The Commonwealth of Virginia as the Old Dominion state is known, is home to over 8.5 million residents, of which 36% are concentrated in the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore metropolitan area. The proximity of Virginia to the nation’s most important urban area makes its medical schools all the more crucial for education as well as a medical practice. The medical schools in Virginia are also home to some fantastic institutions for healthcare and top-ranked hospitals in the US. Incidentally, Virginia is known for having the sixth-highest percentage of residents with bachelor’s degrees or higher, showing the high level of educational achievement in the state. However, there are racial and social health disparities that will challenge medical education in the state, too.
Let’s have a look at the best medical schools in Virginia.
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Top Medical Schools in Virginia
1. University of Virginia School of Medicine
The University of Virginia is situated in Charlottesville and was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson. It is therefore one of the historic universities of the US, with a long history and carrying a lot of prestige. The School of Medicine was among the first institutions to start teaching within the university – it is in fact the tenth oldest medical school in the US. It is affiliated with the University of Virginia Health System, an academic health care center which includes a main hospital, a children’s hospital, a clinic network, a school of medicine, a school of nursing and a health sciences library. The UVA Hospital is well-known nationally for its healthcare capacities. UVA School of Medicine is the best medical school in Virginia.
The curriculum for the MD program condenses the traditional first 2 years of teaching into 1.5 years, allowing students to have more experience in clinical settings. As of the second half of year 2, students will be working in the clinic.
There are a multitude of state-of-the-art laboratories and research centers at UVA: the UVA Cancer Center, the Carter Immunology Center and the Thaler Center for AIDS and HIV Research are among just a few of them.
Most recently, the UVA School of Medicine has also formed a partnership with the Inova Health System in North Virginia, which will allow students to complete their 3rd and 4th years of the MD degree in the urban environment of Inova campus.
2. Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
This public medical university is situated in Roanoake and forms part of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. It was founded in 2007 as a public-private partnership with Carilion Clinic, and was a private institution until 2018, when it joined the Virginia Tech system.
As a top medical school in Virginia, Virginia Tech medical school’s aim is to create “physician scientists” and forward-thinking community leaders. To this end, the curriculum for their MD program starts off with a solid foundation in basic science and clinical science. There are continuous opportunities for research and practice throughout the four years spent at Virginia Tech. Of course, clinical practice is highly valued: in years 3 and 4, you will conduct clerkships in two, four and six-week rotations culminating with electives in the final year of study. The school really emphasizes self-directed learning, which means that the actual lecture-based sessions and formal teaching is minimized to give way to the students’ own learning.
3. Eastern Virginia Medical School
Eastern Virginia Medical School is based in Norfolk and was founded in 1973. It is a public school with a large campus including Sentara Norfolk General Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. It is famous for its focus on and advances in reproductive medicine and is the first institution in the US to have produced a viable fetus through in vitro fertilization.
The school also has a strong interest in community participation and medical missions and they have founded multiple operations and initiatives in the US and abroad, in which medical students can take part during their studies.
The MD program emphasizes commitment to human values, sense of collegiality and scientific curiosity. There is also the opportunity to study for a dual MD/MBA program and an MD/PhD. The community-engaged learning experience you will receive at EVMS is unique in the country.
4. Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
We end our list of best medical schools in Virginia with the the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). This medical school is the largest and oldest continuously teaching medical school in the state. It was founded in 1838 as the medical department of the Hampden-Sydney College, continuing on to become the Medical College of Virginia in 1854 and the finally joining with the Richmond Professional Institute in 1968 to become Virginia Commonwealth University.
There is a broad VCU Medical Center campus in Richmond, and the medical school is one of five schools within it. Studying at VCU will give you access to a multitude of additional programs, dual degrees and resources in research and postgraduate study. For your practical training, you can join the Inova Fairfax Hospital in Northern Virginia, as well, alongside all the many options available through the VCU Medical Center (Level 1 Trauma Center, Neonatal-Intensive Care Unit, organ transplantation center, translational research center, children’s mental health center, burn care center and more).
I hope that this article on the best medical schools in Virginia was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Medical School Category!