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The Pritzker School of Medicine

Mission

At the University of Chicago, in an atmosphere of interdisciplinary scholarship and discovery, the Pritzker School of Medicine is dedicated to inspiring diverse students of exceptional promise to become leaders and innovators in science and medicine for the betterment of humanity.

Overview

The University of Chicago matriculated its first class of medical students in 1927 and today is a national leader in training physicians and physician-scientists. The great traditions which underlie the school’s history include the presence of a full-time teaching faculty devoted to working with students, a strong emphasis on research and discovery, and a commitment to translating the most recent advances in biomedical science to the bedside.

The Pritzker School of Medicine is unique among medical schools in that it is on the campus of a major research university, allowing our medical students ample opportunity to find and participate in extracurricular activities and to take in cultural attractions and events. In 2009, the Pritzker School of Medicine began rolling out a reorganized curriculum, known as the Pritzker Initiative. This curriculum emphasizes active learning, integration among the clinical and basic sciences, and scholarship and discovery. Building on Pritzker’s legacy of producing research scholars, the curriculum also includes a Scholarship and Discovery thread which requires the completion of a mentored scholarly project.

The University of Chicago Medical Center

The University of Chicago Medical Center, which includes the new Center for Care and Discovery, plus Comer Children’s Hospital, Bernard A. Mitchell Hospital and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, serves as the teaching facility for the Pritzker School of Medicine.

The medical center is a leader in research and treatment of disorders such as cancer, gastrointestinal disease, diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, neurological disorders, musculoskeletal disorders and others. It houses more than 100 specialty clinics and provides medical care during more than 500,000 in-hospital, outpatient and emergency room visits a year.

The Medical Center currently has more than 800 physicians and 1,600 nurses, as well as more than 900 residents and fellows (physicians working in advanced specialty training in medical science, leading to specialty board certification).  It is a major provider of health care for the immediate neighborhood of more than 700,000 people, and has engaged in a long-term effort to construct a more rational collaborative system of doctors' offices, clinics, community hospitals and academic centers to provide care for all the  people who live on the South Side of Chicago. Community-based training opportunities include relationships with nearby physicians and hospitals, and an academic affiliation with the NorthShore University Health System, which includes three suburban hospitals. It has regional burn and perinatal units.

Please visit http://pritzker.uchicago.edu for complete information on our curriculum, our initiatives, and application instructions.

NorthShore University Health System

Headquartered in Evanston, Ill., NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) is a comprehensive, fully integrated, healthcare delivery system that serves the greater North Shore and northern Illinois communities. The system includes four Hospitals – Evanston Hospital, Glenbrook Hospital, Highland Park Hospital and Skokie Hospital. In addition, the health system has more than 2,400 affiliated physicians, including a 600-physician, multispecialty physician group practice with over 70 office locations - NorthShore University HealthSystem Medical Group. Further, NorthShore is committed to excellence in its academic mission and supports teaching and research as the principal teaching affiliate for the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

The NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute focuses on clinical and translational research, including leadership in outcomes research and clinical trials.

The HealthSystem has significant capabilities in a wide spectrum of clinical programs, including neurosciences, cancer, heart, orthopaedics, high-risk maternity and pediatrics. NorthShore is a national leader in the implementation of innovative technologies, including electronic medical records, (EMR). In 2003, the HealthSystem was among the first in the country to successfully launch a system wide EMR with demonstrable benefits in quality, safety and service to patients. NorthShore has been recognized by multiple national organizations for this notable achievement.

Combined MD/PhD Programs in the Division of the Biological Sciences and Pritzker School of Medicine

The University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine has an exceptionally rich tradition of interdisciplinary scholarship. Each year, typically 15 to 20 percent of the graduating medical school class also graduates with a PhD. In the spirit of this tradition, the Pritzker School of Medicine offers a wide selection of joint degree programs for individuals interested in the critical interface of medicine, biological sciences, and society.

Students interested in combining clinical and biomedical research can combine their MD training with education toward a PhD in one of the degree granting units (see section on Basic Sciences) within the Biological Sciences Division. The Pritzker School of Medicine is also home to several highly competitive and award winning NIH funded MD/PhD training programs including the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) and the Growth and Development Training Program (GDTP). Students interested in pursuing a PhD degree in the Humanities or Social Sciences can do so as part of a unique MD-PhD program in Medicine, Social Sciences and Humanities (MESH). Students may also graduate with additional master degrees in business, law or policy.

For further information about this program, please visit:  http://pritzker.uchicago.edu/page/joint-degrees

Medical Scientist Training Program

The University of Chicago Medical Scientist Training Program is a challenging interdisciplinary training program in biomedical sciences which leads to an MD from the Pritzker School of Medicine and to a PhD in the Interdisciplinary Scientist Training Program (ISTP). Our trainees graduate prepared to assume successful leadership roles in the evolving world of 21st century academic biomedicine. Being one of the earliest programs to obtain federal funding in 1967, the MSTP at the University of Chicago is currently one of the longest running in the country.

The MD is awarded through the Pritzker School of Medicine, one of the top 10 graduate schools in the nation. With the introduction of the Pritzker Initiative in Autumn 2009, students will be educated in smaller classes with more individual attention from faculty, with an emphasis on active learning and scholarship, will be integrated among disciplines when possible, and in an atmosphere that highlights the relationship between basic and clinical sciences.

For their graduate work, trainees will be part of the ISTP, the degree-granting arm of the MSTP. This program is a novel, adaptable mechanism for students to obtain highly-integrated, interdisciplinary training. Trainees will be part of a flexible PhD program that offers superb educational opportunities and rigorous training in the highly integrated environment of Chicago Biomedicine at The University of Chicago. The ISTP also provides a programmatic identity that fosters a seamless progression of our students through the medical and graduate phases of their training.

The program is designed for students who seek broad careers in biomedical related research and a desire to apply both clinical and research expertise to solve the most pressing problems in medical science. Typically students begin their full-time PhD research after completion of their first year of medical studies and return to medical school after they have successfully defended their PhD thesis. On average, MSTP trainees complete both degrees in 8 years.

For further information about this program, please visit: http://pritzker.uchicago.edu/page/mstp-medical-scientist-training-program

Growth, Development and Disabilities Training Program

The Growth, Development and Disabilities Training Program (GDDTP) is a unique opportunity available to University of Chicago medical students who decide to pursue an advanced PhD degree after they have started medical school. The program began over 40 years ago and in 2003 received the first NICHD Mentor Award for Excellence in Research Training.

Entry into the program is available for students who have completed two years (occasionally one year) of medical studies. Students wishing to be considered for the program generally acquire relevant laboratory experience, fulfill at least some graduate courses requirements and seek out a research sponsor and graduate degree unit during their first two years of medical studies, in anticipation of their application to the program.

The program is unique in that it offers medical students the opportunity to pursue a PhD degree after they have started medical school. This represents a major opportunity for students at the Pritzker School of Medicine, who frequently become so enthusiastic about research during their first or second year of medical school that they decide to take a leave from medical studies to pursue a PhD degree. A wide variety of PhD degree granting units is available to trainees, most often in the Biological Sciences Division.

Students interested in the program may submit formal applications in the winter quarter of their first or second year of medical studies. When all necessary supporting material, including transcripts and letters of recommendation, is received, the students undergo two formal interviews. Decisions are announced in the spring, with appointment to the grant in July. Demonstrated interest and commitment to basic research, as evidenced by prior experience and accomplishment, as well as strong academic record, are major criteria for selection.

Trainees in the program receive a maximum of five years of support which generally includes three years of support during the PhD phase and the remainder of the MD training (the two clinical years). Financial aid covers full tuition, fees and a stipend supplemented to national competitive levels to support living expenses.

For further information about this program, please visit: http://pritzker.uchicago.edu/page/growth-development-and-disabilities-training-program

MD-PhD Program in Medicine, Social Sciences and Humanities (MESH)

The program is based on the premise that physicians should acquire special competence in another area of scholarship in order to address the overlapping social, economic, scientific, ethical, legal and humanistic problems which medicine as an enterprise, and as a profession, faces today.

Doctoral studies may be pursued in any of the departments within the social sciences (including Anthropology, Economics, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology or Sociology) or humanities, in the Committee on Social Thought or the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science Division, or the schools of divinity or public policy. Research may also be conducted through the Center for Health and the Social Sciences, the Morris Fishbein Center for the Study of the History and Science of Medicine, or the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. Following completion of their doctoral studies, students in the program are expected to return to medical school to resume work toward the MD degree.

For further information about this program, please visit: http://pritzker.uchicago.edu/page/md-phd-programs-medicine-social-sciences-and-humanities