We all know excellence when we see it-or realize when we don't-but how can excellence be defined in terms of investigating today's diseases and educating tomorrow's physicians?
At the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where excellence is an everyday pursuit (and a goal that is almost always attained), I believe that creativity and leadership are two characteristics of excellence that define it best.
Why? Our mission, first and foremost, is to educate the finest clinicians and investigators, and to be successful in either-or, in some cases, both-of these ventures requires nothing less than outstanding creativity and leadership.
One needs to be creative as a clinician because, despite all of the advances of modern medicine, each patient is unique, and diagnoses are not always obvious. One needs to be creative as an investigator because research, by its very nature, involves a quest for that which is unknown and, if discovered, constitutes one more bit of the vast, intricate puzzle we call life.
Furthermore, one needs leadership skills if one hopes to address the extremely complicated problems that we face in the delivery and financing of our nation's health care. Clearly, on this matter in particular, not to be part of the solution is to be part of the problem, which makes good leadership skills essential.
Creativity and leadership are the qualities that we seek most in prospective students as well as in our faculty, our administrators, and everyone else who has a hand in making our medical school what it is today.
Evidence of our success in fostering creativity and leadership should be evident throughout this Web site, which I believe reflects just some of the many ways in which these qualities have become ingrained in the culture of our institution and have come to define its excellence.
Planning to read the book later? Here's a brief version of our history.
Chartered in 1886 as the Western Pennsylvania Medical College, a free-standing school formed by local physicians, the School of Medicine sought university affiliation even in the early years of operations. In 1891 the School became affiliated with the Western University of Pennsylvania and, two decades later, was integrated into the newly designated University of Pittsburgh. Abraham Flexner, a renowned educator, published his first report, Medical Education in the U.S. and Canada, in 1910 after he had visited 155 medical schools, including the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The Flexner Report, in effect, removed medical education from the apprenticeship era and laid the foundations for the integrated academic basic science and clinical curricula of today. In this first report, Flexner made the following comments relative to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine:
Since the present management took hold last fall, the admission of students has been more carefully supervised, the building has been put in excellent condition.... Whole-time instructors of modern training and ideals have been secured... A new building is in the process of erection...
Flexner went on to cite the School as an example of what could be accomplished through sound University Management.
For the next four decades the School continued to evolve. Most of the clinical teaching was provided by volunteer or part-time faculty. The number of full-time faculty in the preclinical area expanded as teaching demands increased, and a more sophisticated curriculum was instituted.
At the end of World War II, active planning for a major change was initiated with the encouragement and assistance of the Mellons, a prominent Pittsburgh family. The University accepted the University Health Center concept and, in 1953, appointed the first vice chancellor of the Schools of the Health Professions. Plans were made to house the Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy in a new building contiguous to the principal teaching hospitals and the Graduate School of Public Health. Under these plans, the medical school would engage a full-time teaching faculty for all departments.
To generate the necessary capital, the University planned a fund drive to raise an endowment. A handsome beginning was made when, by mid-December of 1953, $15 million was assured by grants of $5 million each from the A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, the Richard King Mellon Foundation, and the Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation.
The new building, Scaife Hall, was completed in 1956 and vigorous recruitment of additional full-time faculty was begun. With increased facilities and faculty, the School of Medicine began to be recognized as a major center for research in a number of areas. In turn, the faculty of the School attracted appreciable support for research and training from the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies. Moreover, the School became assured of financial support for medical education when, in 1967, the University became state related as part of the higher education system of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Today, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine continues to build upon the strong foundation of past leaders and dedicated physicians Clinical and basic research have grown remarkable and continue to attract support from federal institutions, private foundations, and corporations. The School's faculty is currently ranked among the top 20 nationwide in federal grant and contract support. Innovative ventures such as a new, expanded MD/PhD program, integrated curriculum, physician-investigator fellowship training program, organ transplant program, Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Pittsburgh NMR Institute, promise to keep the School at the forefront of progress in educational, research and patient care endeavors.
The University of Pittsburgh, including the School of Medicine is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, the School of Medicine is accredit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the Council on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and the Executive Council of the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPSOM) is a medical school located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. The School of Medicine is also known as Pitt Med, and is ranked as a "top medical school" by U.S. News & World Report in the publication's categories of research (15th) and primary care (18th). The school encompasses both a medical program, offering the Doctor of Medicine, and graduate programs, offering Doctor of Philosophy and Master's degrees in several areas of biomedical science, clinical research, medical education, and medical informatics. The School of Medicine is one of sixteen schools that comprise the University of Pittsburgh and is located in the Oakland neighborhood of the city of Pittsburgh.
Pitt Med is a national leader in biomedical research, as evidenced by Pitt and its affiliates ranking fifth among all institutions in the amount of NIH funding received ($432 million) during the most recently analyzed fiscal year. Admissions to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is highly competitive; the incoming class averaged a score of 35 on the MCAT with an average GPA of 3.75 (median MCAT score of 36 and median GPA of 3.84).In 2011, 5003 people applied and 967 were interviewed for 146 positions in the medical school's entering class.
The School of Medicine is closely affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).UPMC is considered to be a leading American health care provider having been consistently ranked in U.S. News & World Report's "Honor Roll" of approximately 15 to 20 best hospitals in America over the last decade.As of 2010, UPMC ranked 13th among the best hospitals by U.S. News and was ranked in 15 of 16 specialty areas, including seven specialties for which UPMC is in the top 10, not including Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC which was ranked among the top eight pediatric centers in a separate U.S. News ranking
Doctor of Medicine Program
The doctor of medicine program is a full time four year program providing a general professional education that prepares students to pursue any career option in medicine. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine curricular infrastructure combines a lecture-and problem-based curriculum with early and in-depth clinical experiences and an integrated organ systems approach to the preclinical sciences. The clinical years are characterized by an integrated clerkship structure and an emphasis on student flexibility.
The current curriculum was implemented in 2004 and features active, participatory learning, a problem-based approach, an early introduction to the patient and the community, and the integration of a rigorous foundation in basic and clinical biomedical sciences with the social and behavioral aspects of medicine. Key subject matter is longitudinally integrated throughout the curriculum, building upon a foundation of prior learning while providing a level-appropriate and well-synchronized introduction of new content.
Scheduled instructional time in the first two years of the curriculum is apportioned approximately as one-third lecture; one-third small group learning (much of which is problem-based learning; the remainder includes demonstrations, faculty-directed problem-solving exercises, skill-practice sessions, and other activities); and one-third activities (which includes observation of and appropriate participation in patient care, community-site visits, experience with standardized patients, high-fidelity simulations, laboratory exercises, and other activities).
Patient focus in the curriculum begins on day one, in the introduction to being a physician course. Students interview patients about their experience of illness and experiences with their physicians, and they visit community settings to develop an understanding of their roles as medical professionals. Medical interviewing and physical examination courses follow, along with exercises examining the many facets of physician life-in society, ethical settings, and at the patient bedside. Throughout the first two years, students apply their new skills in local practices and hospitals one afternoon per week. The basic science block runs through three-fourths of the first year and provides language and concepts that underlie the scientific basis of medical practice. Organ system block courses integrate physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and patient with concurrent courses in the patient care and patient, physician and society blocks. Weekly discussions, patient interviews, and examination of hospitalized patients reinforce essential clinical skills.
The third-year curriculum consists of seven required clerkships. They are designed to optimize the balance between out-of-hospital and in-patient learning opportunities, eliminate unintentional curriculum redundancy, and optimize opportunities for student-designed curricula in the junior and senior years.
Every student engages in a mentored scholarly project conducted longitudinally throughout the four-year curriculum. Completion and presentation of the scholarly project is due in the spring of the senior year and is a requirement for graduation. Students pursue their projects through several program options, which may include areas of concentration. An innovative system of Web-based learning portfolios facilitates learner-mentor communication and enriches the possibilities for collaboration within and beyond the University.
The medical school maintains the curriculum online via the Navigator system, a family of Web-based applications with domain-specific courseware to support student achievement of course objectives. Students have access to a host of online resources such as digitized images, syllabi, practice quizzes, podcasts, and other material associated with specific instructional units
The Department of Biomedical Informatics @ University of Pittsburgh Medical School
The Department of Biomedical Informatics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine is interested in recruiting the best and the brighest to our team. If you are the American Medical Informatics Association meeting this week contact Mike Becich (Chairman of DBMI) any time.
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