Established in 1807, The School of Medicine is the first public and the fifth oldest medical school in the United States, and the first to institute a residency training program. The School of Medicine was the founding school of the University of Maryland and today is an integral part of the 11-campus University System of Maryland. On the University of Maryland's Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine serves as the anchor for a large academic health center which aims to provide the best medical education, conduct the most innovative biomedical research and provide the best patient care and community service to Maryland and beyond. While its tradition of excellence remains constant, the School of Medicine and its reputation for academic achievement continue to grow.
World-Class Education, Research and Patient Care
The School of Medicine has more than 2,800 faculty members (full-time, part-time and adjunct); 3,300 administrative, research and clinical staff; and maintains a current enrollment of over 1,200 medical, graduate and allied health students. The School of Medicine and its clinical partner, the University of Maryland Medical Center, educate and train many of the state of Maryland's medical professionals; continuing education programs serve more than 5,000 physicians and other health professionals annually.
A Top-Tier Research Institution
The research productivity of the faculty is among the highest in the country, and the School of Medicine remains among the fastest growing research enterprises in the country. Total grants and contracts to the school of Medicine were $429.9 million in FY12. Among all medical schools, the School of Medicine ranks 8th in direct expenditures per principal investigator, according to Association for American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The School of Medicine ranks 16th in direct grants and contract expenditures among all 138 medical schools. The School of Medicine ranks 6th among all 76 public medical schools.
The combined direct and associated spending for the school and its faculty practice plan was $1.5 billion in FY09, or about five percent of the total state economy. This equates to $24 in revenue generated for every $1 of the general state support.
The University of Maryland School of Medicine is America's oldest public medical school. In fact, of the nation's medical schools, only four are older: Penn, Harvard, Columbia and Dartmouth.
To appreciate the atmosphere in which the institution was created, it is necessary to go back to the end of the 18th century. Baltimore was a prosperous harbor city of 40,000 people. When combined with the general lack of sanitation, the city had a deadly side. Malaria, typhoid fever, cholera, yellow fever and other devastating communicable diseases contributed to an average lifespan of 34 years. One third of infants died. What's more, the kitchen knife was a common surgical tool.
Exasperated with the unskilled charlatans in town who proclaimed themselves doctors, a group of physicians and scientists, trained primarily in Europe, began teaching students in their homes. They included John Beale Davidge, James Cocke and James Shaw. Davidge and Cocke held medical degrees, while Shaw had attended medical lectures around the world and taught chemistry.
In 1807, with financial support from colleagues, Davidge built an anatomical theater behind his Saratoga Street home. The classes were popular with students but short-lived. On the night of November 21, a mob demolished the structure to protest the use of cadavers during anatomy lectures. This was not a new conflict. In 1801 and 1802, the state denied the medical community's requests to establish a medical school, thus providing legislative protection. But within a month of the incident at Dr. Davidge's home, the legislature approved a bill creating the College of Medicine of Maryland. Its independent board of regents was charged with educating Maryland's physicians, and the members elected Dr. Davidge dean of the faculty.
The Founding Act authorized a lottery, in lieu of a tax, to raise up to $40,000 for a building, but it was never implemented. Instead, fund-raising came primarily from the faculty, and a parcel of land was purchased "far out in the country" in view of the Patapsco River. The College Building on Lombard Street was eventually renamed Davidge Hall in honor of the first dean and person most responsible for its construction. The building has been used continuously for medical education longer than any other in the northern hemisphere and is a designated National Historic Landmark.
Clinical instruction was primarily at the bedside of patients at the Baltimore Almshouse, a workhouse and infirmary for the poor on Howard Street, now the location of Maryland General Hospital. Lectures continued in physicians' homes, but other buildings were used with less success. Chemistry classes were taught in the old schoolhouse on Fayette Street, but the roof leaked so badly that in the winter the chemicals froze. For a brief time, a ballroom on Commerce Street was available without charge between noon and 2 p.m.
The first class - five students - graduated in 1810. Two years later, the school was re-chartered as the University of Maryland, the first public university created on the foundation of a private medical college. It also was the founding institution of what is now the public University System of Maryland.
By 1812, the need for a school of medicine building was critical. The Founding Act authorized a lottery to raise capital funds, but it was never implemented. Instead, the faculty once again rose to the occasion and secured $40,000 for College Building on land owned by John Eager Howard. The structure has been used continuously for medical education longer than any other in the northern hemisphere and is a National Historic Landmark. In 1958, it was re-named for Dr. Davidge.
As the decades accumulated, so did the milestones. In 1823, the school was the first in the nation to open a hospital for resident training. The University of Maryland Medical Center is now on the site. Other historical "firsts" include a preventive medicine course, a curriculum requiring anatomical dissection, teaching women's diseases and obstetrics as separate subjects, and a clinic for children.
About Dean Reece
E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, is the Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland; the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the School of Medicine. He is also professor in the departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medicine, and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. He is a member of the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences.
Originally from Jamaica, West Indies, Dr. Reece completed a Bachelor of Science degree with honors (Magna Cum Laude) from Long Island University; a M.D. degree from New York University School of Medicine; a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica; and a MBA degree from the Fox School of Business & Management of Temple University. He completed an internship and residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center, and a postdoctoral fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. He remained on the full-time faculty at Yale for almost 10 years, during which he served as Clinical Instructor from '82 to '84; Assistant Professor from '84 to '87; and received accelerated promotion to Associate Professor in 1987.
In November 1990, at the age of 39, he was recruited by Temple University to serve as the Abraham Roth Professor and Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences. Between 2001 and 2006, he served as Vice Chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and dean of the College of Medicine. In 2006, he was recruited by the University of Maryland to serve in his current capacity. In 2010, Dr. Reece served as Acting President of the University of Maryland.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities, he is actively involved in research and education. His research focuses on diabetes in pregnancy, birth defects and prenatal diagnosis. He directs an NIH multi-million dollar research laboratory group studying the bio-molecular mechanisms of diabetes-induced birth defects. His laboratory has determined that there are specific cytoarchitectural changes at the epithelial level of the cell associated with these anomalies. Biochemical changes include depletion in membrane lipids and phospholipids as well as excess "free radicals". His group is now studying the molecular mechanisms, and methods to prevent these anomalies. He and his colleagues have also developed the technique of embryofetoscopy for early prenatal diagnosis and eventually for curative fetal therapy. He is a sought after Visiting Professor and Lecturer at numerous institutions both nationally and internationally.
He has published extensively in the scientific literature: 12 books including revisions; 5 monographs; and more than 500 articles, chapters, and abstracts. He recently served as Chair of the Council of Deans of the Association of American Medical Colleges. He serves or has served on many governmental and civic organizations and committees such as, the FDA, the IOM, the NIH, the Secretary of Health & Human Services Committee on Infant Mortality, The March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, the Massachusetts General Hospital Scientific Advisory Committee, the Board (Chairman) of the Nelly Berman Classical Music Institute, and the Agnes Irwin School for Girls.
He receives numerous special recognitions and awards including, the Distinguished Leadership Award in 2009 and the 2010 Berson Medical Alumni Achievement Award in Health Sciences from his alma mater, New York University School of Medicine, and the 2010 Distinguished Service Award from Loma Linda University.
Dean Reece is married to Sharon Reece, MA, JD, LLM, a visiting associate professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law. They have three daughters: Kelie (PhD); Brynne (DDS), and Sharon-Andrea.
Physical Therapy / University of Maryland School of Medicine
The University of Maryland School of Medicine Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science develops physical therapist practitioners and scholars to restore physical function and performance, prevent physical injury and disease and promote physical wellness.
We accomplish this through excellence and leadership in education, research and service.
The department offers an entry-level Doctor of Physical Therapy degree and a Ph.D. in Physical Rehabilitation Science.
Subscribe to the subject University of Maryland School of Medicine