University of Virginia School of Medicine

University of Virginia School of Medicine

name = University of Virginia School of Medicine

established = 1819
type = Public
dean = Steven T. DeKosky
city = Charlottesville
state = Virginia
country = USA
website = [ UVA School of Medicine]

The University of Virginia School of Medicine is a medical school located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. The tenth medical school to open in the United States, it has been part of the University of Virginia since the University's establishment in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. The school's facilities are on the University of Virginia Grounds adjacent to the historic Academical Village, and it shares a close association with the University of Virginia Health System.

The current dean of the School of Medicine is noted Alzheimers disease researcher Dr. Steven T. DeKosky, formerly of the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. DeKosky became dean on August 1, 2008,cite web |url= |title=DeKosky Appointed Dean of University of Virginia School of Medicine |work=UVa News |date=2008-06-12 |accessdate=2008-06-16] taking over from interim dean Sharon L. Hostler, a specialist in pediatrics.cite web |url= |title=About the Dean |work=University of Virginia Health System |accessdate=2008-05-06]


Medical education was one of the fields of study at the University of Virginia since its founding by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, forming a cornerstone of Jefferson's 1814 plan for a school of higher education and in his 1817 bill to the General Assembly which first proposed the idea of a central university at the head of an integrated system of public education across the commonwealth.cite book |last=Bruce |first=Philip Alexander |title=History of the University of Virginia: The Lengthening Shadow of One Man |volume=I |pages=73-78 |location=New York |publisher=Macmillan |year=1921] Jefferson's initial 1818 proposal for the faculty of the University was for a single professor of the theory of medicine and surgery as a science, since at that time Charlottesville was too small to support a general hospital; however, Jefferson planned from the beginning for anatomy to be a key portion of the University curriculum, dedicating a building, the Anatomical Theatre, for the teaching of the subject.Bruce, I:224.]

The University opened for classes in 1825 with eight faculty and sixty-eight students, of whom 20 took classes in the School of Medicine.Bruce, II:80.] Jefferson took great pains to recruit the most highly qualified faculty, five of whom were found in England and three in the United States. Robley Dunglison, who later became Thomas Jefferson's personal physician, was the University's first professor of anatomy and medicine, while John Patton Emmet lectured on biology, chemistry, and comparative anatomy.Bruce, II:107.] The anatomical theater was finally approved by the Board of Visitors in 1825 and construction began in 1826 and finished in 1827, allowing medical instruction to take place as originally envisioned by Jefferson.Bruce, I:270.]

Jefferson opposed the granting of degrees on the grounds that they were "artificial embellishments." In 1824, however, the Board of Visitors authorized granting the master of arts degree. The M.D. degree was awarded to the first graduates of the School of Medicine in 1829.Bruce, II:139.] The bachelor's degree was awarded beginning in 1849, but became the standard undergraduate degree and a prerequisite for the master's degree in 1899, bringing the University into conformity with other institutions of higher learning. The Ph.D. has been awarded since 1883.Bruce, III:389-395.]

Over the years the medical school faced several attempts to relocate it to Richmond on the grounds that it would benefit from close association with a hospital, the first such attempt occurring in 1834Bruce, II:111-114.] and the last in 1920; the final attempt was deflected by University professor (and later president) John Lloyd Newcomb, who said, "Yes, we agree that the Medical School ought to be in Richmond where there are fine clinical facilities; and we also want the Engineering School at Pittsburgh, where there are more factories, and the Modern Language Department in Switzerland, the linguistic capital of the world."cite book |last=Dabney |first=Virginius |authorlink=Virginius Dabney |url= |title=Mr. Jefferson's University: A History |location=Charlottesville |publisher=University of Virginia Press |year=1981 |isbn=081390904X |pages=69-72]

The medical school operated without benefit of access to a hospital until the beginning of the 20th century. Beginning in 1893 the Board of Visitors petitioned the General Assembly for funds to construct a hospital on University grounds, and plans were drafted beginning in 1899. The first (administration) building was opened in 1901 and the flanking pavilions were built in subsequent years.Bruce, IV:293-297.] The hospital continued to be expanded throughout the 20th century. (For more information about the hospital, see University of Virginia Health System.)


In 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked the UVA School of Medicine at No. 23 for research. The school was ranked #9 among public U.S. medical schools.cite web |url= |title=University of Virginia |work=US News 2007 Medical School Rankings |accessdate=2008-05-02]


Notable Faculty

The faculty of the School of Medicine are recognized nationally and internationally. The faculty includes 15 members of the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences; three members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; 12 members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; five recipients of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award; four recipients of the Virginia Outstanding Scientist Award; and two recipients of the Virginia Life Achievement Award in Science.cite web |url= |title=Highlights of Faculty Achievements |work=Factbook, UVA School of Medicine |accessdate=2008-05-02]

External links

* [ School of Medicine Home Page]
* [ Admissions Office]
* [ About the SOM]
* [ Biomedical Sciences Graduate Programs]
* [ Clinical Residencies & Fellowship]
* [ Housestaff Office]
* [ Financial Aid Office]
* [ Continuing Medical Education]
* [ Research Core Facilities, Institutes, Centers, & Other Programs]
* [ School of Medicine Factbook]


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