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Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

Region: Tennessee Country: USA

About VUSM
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine trains leaders in medicine by providing the best faculty and physicians in the best learning environment for the best students in the world. We are known for our personal attention and our customized medical education. Our research program is the fastest growing in the U.S.

But our ranking among the top medical schools comes not just from an innovative curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities. It comes from our commitment to people.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine ranks 15th out of 126 accredited medical schools, according to U.S. News and World Report's annual ranking of graduate education programs and health disciplines released in April, 2010. Read more.

Beckers Hospital Review listed Vanderbilt Medical Center on its 2011 recently named Vanderbilt University Medical Center one of America's 50 Best Hospitals.

The Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt has been ranked among the top 25 in the nation in six pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. Children's Hospital was ranked sixth best in the United States in Urology in the annual listing of America's Best Children's Hospitals. The hospital also was ranked No. 13 in Neonatology; No. 21 in Digestive Disorders; No. 22 in Orthopedics; No. 23 in Heart and Heart Surgery; and No. 25 in Cancer.

Vanderbilt School of Medicine is ranked No. 10 among U.S. medical schools for NIH funding. In fiscal year 2007 (FY07) Vanderbilt's grant funding increased from $245.6 million to $282.3 million - the largest increase among the top 10 schools of medicine. Read more.

Vanderbilt Medical Center is among the nation's 100 "most wired" hospitals and health systems, according to the 2009 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study, conducted by Hospitals and Health Networks magazine.

The Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

Brief History
Vanderbilt University issued it first diplomas to 61 Doctors of Medicine in 1875, thanks to an arrangement that recognized the University of Nashville's medical school as serving both institutions. After reorganization under the Vanderbilt Board of Trust in 1895, admission requirements were raised, the course was lengthened, and the system of instruction was changed to include laboratory work in the basic sciences.

Degrees Offered

  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.)
  • Doctor of Medical Physics (M.P.D)
  • Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (M.S.C.I.)
  • Master of Science in Medical Physics (M.S.M.P.)
  • Master of Science (Speech-Language Pathology) (M.S. / S.L.P.)
  • Master of Education of the Deaf (M.D.E)
  • Master of Health Professions Education (M.H.P.E.)
  • Master of Laboratory Investigation (M.L.I.)
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) (Awarded by Vanderbilt University Graduate School)

Office of the Dean
Dear students, friends and alumni,
I am honored to serve as Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. As many of you know, I am a graduate of our M.D./Ph.D program, and have been at Vanderbilt as a student and faculty member for 17 years. I am deeply committed to our people, our mission, and our culture. The year ahead promises a wealth of challenges and exciting new opportunities in the academic life of this medical center, and I am deeply grateful for your support, your friendship, and your continuous feedback.

Competencies for Learners Across the Continuum
In fulfillment of its Mission, the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine has established the following educational objectives to align with the ACGME core competencies. As a consequence, the School must ensure that before graduation every student will have demonstrated, to the satisfaction of the Faculty, the following:

Medical Knowledge
Competency statement

  • Physicians must understand established and evolving biological, clinical, epidemiological and social-behavioral sciences and must be able to apply this knowledge to patient care. Learners will be able to demonstrate the following at a developmentally appropriate level:
  • Understanding of the biological, behavioral and social factors that promote health or predispose individuals to illness, and how these may be used in partnership with patients to predict, prevent or mitigate the onset of disease.
  • Understanding of the sciences essential for one's chosen field of practice.
  • Knowledge of the sciences that support other specialty fields as they relate to one's own practice.
  • Knowledge of the sciences underlying the common and important health and wellness issues affecting our society and other societies around the globe.
  • An appreciation for the importance of the sciences that underlie the effective practice of medicine and a resulting commitment to maintain an up-to-date fund of knowledge through continuous learning.
  • Knowledge of the scientific method, reproducible research, and experimental designs that are valid for the question of interest, and an understanding of how to collect, analyze, and interpret new information to enhance knowledge in the various disciplines related to medicine.

Patient Care
Competency statement

  • Physicians must consistently provide care that is compassionate, safe, efficient, cost sensitive, appropriate, and effective for the treatment of illness and the promotion of health. Learners will be able to demonstrate at their developmentally appropriate level the following
  • Ability to perform a problem-focused or complete history and physical examination as indicated, and to obtain necessary diagnostic studies, including imaging, laboratory and procedural tests.
  • Ability to interpret clinical information and formulate a prioritized differential diagnosis that reflects the use of medical knowledge in a probabilistic reasoning process.
  • Ability to formulate a management plan based on evaluation of the scientific evidence as well as on the patient's values, cultural background, beliefs and behaviors. This requires the ability to critically review the literature with an understanding of the levels of evidence provided by typical experimental or study designs, measurement techniques, and analyses. Students should be able to recognize common forms of bias.
  • Ability to implement a comprehensive management plan that would include performing indicated procedures within the scope of one's training
  • Ability to use knowledge support tools such as evidence-based diagnostic criteria, management guidelines and point-of-care information resources.
  • Ability to use informatics and health information technology in support of patient care in a manner that reflects understanding of their capabilities, limitations, benefits, and risks. Examples include the electronic health record, computerized physician order entry, decision support systems and messaging systems.
  • Ability to exercise clinical judgment that is safe and commensurate for the level of training.
  • Ability to re-examine and address prior decisions when desired outcomes are not achieved and/or the patient is dissatisfied.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Competency statement

  • Physicians must be able to communicate in ways that result in safe, effective and respectful information exchange and create beneficial partnerships with patients, their families, and other health professionals. Learners will be able to demonstrate the following at a developmentally appropriate level:
  • Understanding of the enduring value of effective relationships and the factors that can facilitate or impede their formation, including power imbalances and social, economic and cultural differences.
  • Sensitivity to the diversity with which people perceive, think, learn, communicate, and make decisions, both individually and in groups, and an understanding of how these processes might be impacted by illness.
  • Understanding of the elements of a validated provider-patient communication model, and the ability to demonstrate appropriate components of the model during patient interactions.
  • Understanding of the strengths, limitations and appropriate applications of various communication modalities, including verbal, non-verbal, written, electronic, graphic, synchronous, and asynchronous modalities.
  • Understanding of the challenges and opportunities created by cross-cultural communications and their potential impact on health disparities and health outcomes, and the ability to engage support systems that facilitate cross-cultural communication
  • Understanding of the elements of effective team building and the ability to use appropriate techniques to create, participate in, and lead effective teams
  • The ability to establish and utilize effective communication strategies with patients, families, and healthcare colleagues, regardless of their cultural background.
  • The ability to build and sustain effective relationships in a wide variety of settings and with persons from diverse backgrounds.
  • The ability to effectively manage interpersonal conflict and to provide and receive constructive feedback.
  • The ability to disclose medical error to patients, families and health care providers in a manner that is truthful, sensitive, responsible, constructive and supportive.

Competency statement

  • Physicians must possess the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to carry out professional responsibilities, adhere to ethical standards and establish and maintain productive, respectful relationships with patients and colleagues. Professionalism applies to formal and informal interactions in education systems, in health care practice settings, and in the wider community. Learners will be able to demonstrate the following at a level appropriate to their educational attainment:
  • Understanding of the duties and obligations of the medical profession, its health care institutions and its individual practitioners to patients, communities and society.
  • Commitment to the primacy of the patient in all health care endeavors.
  • Commitment to work for a more just health care system, including the ability to advocate effectively on behalf of individual patients and patient populations.
  • Understanding of the principles of biomedical ethics and skill in applying these principles in practical contexts.
  • Commitment to honesty and transparency in all dealings with patients, learners, and colleagues.
  • Commitment to the professional and legal standards that safeguard patient confidentiality.
  • Understanding of the concepts surrounding conflict of interest and competing priorities, and the ability to identify and manage these in ways that maintain the primacy of patient interests and the health of the public.
  • Compassion and respect for all persons regardless of differences in values, beliefs and experiences.
  • Awareness of the vulnerability of patients and the inherent power differentials in organizational and interpersonal relationships including especially understanding of the boundaries that define therapeutic relationships.
  • Commitment to excellence in all professional endeavors.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
Competency statement

  • Physicians must be able to continuously improve patient care by investigating and evaluating outcomes of care and by engaging in learning activities which involve critical appraisal and assimilation of scientific evidence and application of relevant knowledge to individual patients and populations. To demonstrate competence in practice-based learning and improvement, each learner must demonstrate:
  • Ability to systematically collect, monitor, and analyze data describing current performance at the individual, team and/or systems levels in an effort to achieve the highest possible quality of care.
  • Continuous pursuit of knowledge regarding best practices and optimal patient outcomes.
  • Ability to compare data about current performance at the individual, team, and/or systems level with expected outcomes, and identify and implement the learning strategies needed to improve performance
  • Ability to develop and implement improvement projects using a systematic approach that employs the principles of improvement science.
  • Ability to recognize, acknowledge and analyze medical errors and devise system-based strategies that would prevent similar errors in the future.

Systems-Based Practice
Competency statement

  • Physicians must understand and respond to the larger context and system of healthcare and effectively call on system resources to provide care that is of optimal value. Learners will be able to demonstrate the following at a developmentally appropriate level:
  • Understanding that healthcare of optimal value is safe, effective, patient-centered, culturally sensitive, timely, efficient, and equitable.
  • Understanding of the principles of systems science and the ways in which people, processes, technology and policy combine to form systems.
  • Understanding of the basic organization of health care systems, including the various relationships between patients, providers, practices, institutions, insurers and benefits managers, community health organizations, federal and state regulators, accrediting bodies, professional organizations, licensing boards, the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and legislators.
  • Understanding of the local systems in which acute patient care and health maintenance is provided, such as emergency departments, outpatient clinics, hospitals, mental health clinics, public health clinics, pharmacies, etc., and the ability to coordinate patient care within these systems.
  • Understanding of different health professionals' roles and responsibilities within the health care delivery system and the ability to maximally utilize the capabilities of all healthcare team members to achieve optimal patient outcomes.
  • Understanding of the key elements of leadership, management and organizational behavior and how these elements apply in teams, healthcare organizations, and society.
  • Understanding of how public health and health policy shape the nature of our healthcare system and how and when clinicians must interact with public health officials and policymakers.
  • Understanding of risk, complexity, resilience and related concepts that influence the performance of humans and the systems in which they work.
  • Ability to design, analyze and evaluate healthcare microsystems and propose interventions that will improve quality, safety and cost-effectiveness.

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine Degree Programs :


  • Bachelor Degree
  • Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences
  • Department of Radiation Oncology
  • Master Degree
  • MD Anaesthesiology
  • MD Anatomy
  • MD Biochemistry
  • MD Community Medicine
  • MD Dermatology
  • MD Emergency Medicine
  • MD General Medicine
  • MD Microbiology
  • MD Paediatrics
  • MD Pathology
  • MD Pharmacology
  • MD Physiology
  • MD Psychiatry
  • MD Radiodiagnosis
  • MD Skin & V.D
  • MD TB & Chest Diseases
  • MS Anatomy
  • MS ENT
  • MS General Surgery
  • MS Ophthalmology
  • MS Orthopaedics
  • (MD / Ph.D.)
  • MD/JD
  • Doctor of Medicine / Masters in Business Administration
  • MD/Mdiv
  • MD/MPH
  • Master of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI)
  • Master of Education of the Deaf
  • Master of Laboratory Investigation
  • Master of Science in Medical Physics
  • Master of Science (Speech-Language Pathology)
  • Master of Health Professions Education (MHPE)
  • Doctorate/PhD
  • Biomedical Informatics (PhD)
  • Chemical and Physical Biology Program (PhD)
  • Epidemiology (PhD)
  • Hearing and Speech Sciences (PhD)
  • Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in the Biological Sciences (PhD)
  • Initiative for Maximizing Student Diversity (PhD)
  • Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD)

Public Health

  • Master Degree
  • Master of Public Health

Video Presentation

Diversity at Vanderbilt School of Medicine

Contact Details

Address: D3300, 1161 21st Avenue South  Nashville, TN 37232


(615) 322-2164

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