Medical students earn the Doctor of Medicine degree in a general four-year program designed to be followed by graduate training in a specialty area. During the first two years of the program, students study the sciences basic to medicine—anatomy, behavioral science, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology.
Clinical correlations to basic material are emphasized, and professional skills are nurtured in a four-semester Introduction to Clinical Practice course continuum. The first of its kind in the country, the School of Medicine leads the way in integrating pioneering applications of ultrasound technology into all four years of medical school.
In the third year medical students leave the classroom and enter the hospitals and clinics full-time for hands-on training under the close supervision of faculty. The final two years of the medical curriculum include required clinical clerkships in family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery. There is also ample opportunity in the fourth year for elective courses, allowing the student flexibility and time to pursue individual interests. While most medical students complete their core clinical training at Columbia-area affiliated hospitals, an optional clinical clerkship program at the Greenville Hospital System is available.
The M.D. program is fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and Association of American Medical Colleges. Class size for each of the four years is limited to 85 students. With this relatively small class size, a favorable faculty/student ratio, and varied hospital resources, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine is able to offer the medical student personalized instruction and excellent patient contact opportunities.
As a community-based medical school, the School of Medicine provides medical students with preceptorship opportunities in the offices of practicing physicians in the Columbia area. An innovative Rural Primary Care Education Project, in Winnsboro, SC, provides students with first-hand experience in rural practice. An active faculty research program keeps the medical education program up-to-date and reinforces training in the scientific approach to medicine.
As part of South Carolina’s flagship state university, the School of Medicine also makes available to medical students all the benefits of a large university community, including contact with students and faculty in related disciplines and a variety of University cultural and recreational events.