The M.D. program at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville is a unique journey into the world of medicine that begins with hands-on clinical training as Emergency Medical Technicians, and continues through exploration of the scientific, social, clinical and cultural facets of the profession. Located in Greenville, SC the school joins the campus of Greenville Memorial Hospital, one of eight medical campuses belonging to Greenville Health System; an integrated healthcare delivery system and the largest hospital system in South Carolina. The curriculum is an integrated blend of interactive experiences from classroom to community that are designed to foster and enhance the acquisition of essential knowledge, communication, diagnostic and problem solving skills, and lead to application, critical thinking and patient care. USCSOM Greenville focuses on student-centered learning as the roadmap for the life-long learning continuum from undergraduate to graduate and continuing medical education. Click here for a recent article from Focus Magazine highlighting the innovative Medical School curriculum.
Program highlights include:
- Emergency Medical Technician Training: The curricular design begins with an introduction to core clinical skills in EMT training and culminates in students passing required exams to receive EMT certicfication. Through this training, students begin their career in medical education as a vital, active member of an interprofessional health care team. EMTs work in an environment requiring skills in communication, focused patient assessment, documentation, and patient safety. Throughout the program, students are required to keep patient logs and reflect on their experiences within the framework of the objectives of the Integrated Practice of Medicine modules, which expands their knowledge and skills in patient care towards competency as physicians. Furthermore, the early and ongoing experience as EMTs provides students the exposure and awareness of the many challenges and issues facing health care delivery, and serves as an experiential basis for proposing a patient centered research project. Click here for a recent article from Focus Magazine featuring Emergency Medical Technician training in the medical curriculum.
- Lifestyle Medicine: Lifestyle Medicine is an integral longitudinal curricular theme within USCSOM Greenville, and is reflected in the Lifestyle Medicine vision statement: “Our vision is to integrate lifestyle medicine into medical education. Lifestyle factors including nutrition, physical activity, and stress are critical determinants of health, causing a pandemic of chronic disease and unsustainable health care costs. We provide an array of evidence-based curricular resources for prevention and treatment of lifestyle related diseases throughout medical education”.
Total Health is the approach to patient care adopted and embraced by the Greenville Health System that begins with a health risk assessment to develop a patient centered prevention and wellness program. Emphasis is on continuity of care before, during and after admissions in order to reduce risk of acute illness, relapse or acute episodes of chronic disease, and hospital admissions while maximizing patient function and well-being. The Lifestyle Medicine curriculum reinforces and builds on this approach to patient care, and demonstrates the continuum of education through practice as a hallmark of the partnership between USCSOM Greenville and the Greenville Health System.
- First and Second Year: Following the initial phase of EMT training, students begin their foundational studies of the scientific basis of medicine, which is also designed as a graduated learning experience. In the M1 year, students primarily focus on the normal human body, with continuous reinforcement of the clinical relevancy of their studies and integration of clinical skills. Weekly clinical scenarios punctuate and emphasize how alterations of normal processes lead to illness and disease as M1 students are challenged to recognize deviations from normal and identify where deviations most likely occurred.
During the M2 year, students continue learning the scientific basis of medicine in an organ-system based approach, focused more on pathophysiological and pathological disease processes, diagnostic testing and imaging, and principles of treatment and management. With their increasing clinical and basic science knowledge, students are challenged to develop differential diagnoses, identify clinical laboratory testing or imaging required, propose prevention and treatment plans, and learn to perform procedures. Embedded in this progress of clinical skills is the understanding and utilization of the tools and systems of medical practice, including electronic health records and clinical documentation. The M2 year concludes with time for two electives to provide early opportunities for students to begin their clinical experiences in order to make informed choices for residency programs.
- Third Year: Through this graduated continuum of integrated knowledge and skills, students enter the clerkship years prepared to perform as active members of the health care delivery team. In core clerkships, students continue to develop their clinical skills and accept increased clinical responsibility. M3 electives provide students exposure to various residency match options. Each core clerkship includes a CAPP week (Consolidation, Assessment and Personal and Professional Development). Consolidation occurs through student-led interprofessional grand rounds and panel discussions, while assessment includes clerkship specific OSCEs and subject exams. Personal and professional development encompasses topics such as point of care use of evidence based medicine, systems-based practice issues, legal and ethical issues in medicine, the business of medicine, and reinforcement of the longitudinal curricular themes.
- Fourth Year: Once students have identified a residency program interest in the fourth year, they are placed into a specialty-specific intensification track. This track meets the Year 4 requirement for an acting internship and exposure to either intensive care or emergency medicine. After discussion with their specialty advisors, a menu of selectives is provided to each student. In addition, five weeks are dedicated to an intensification experience at the conclusion of the M4 year. All students complete three weeks of core clinical skills, procedures practice, and competency assessment. An additional two weeks is dedicated specifically to the specialty (example: knot tying, instrument identification, and suturing for surgery). This intensification process is intended to better prepare students for their residency training program. Twelve weeks of elective opportunities are available during the fourth year beyond this intensification track.
- The Learning Environment at USCSOM Greenville includes the use of wireless and mobile technology, electronic resources and media, an abundance of small group and individual study spaces all designed to support the learning needs and styles of all students, Greenville Memorial Hospital, the Greenville Health System and its entire integrated healthcare delivery team.
The medical school has an active Gold Humanism Honor Society. An Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society Chapter is anticipated in early 2016, once the school receives full accreditation. The School also has thirteen active student organizations and twenty Specialty Interest Groups.
Relationship with University of South Carolina
The M.D. program at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville builds on an already successful, 20-year-old partnership between the University of South Carolina and the Greenville Health System (GHS).
That partnership has allowed third- and fourth-year USC School of Medicine Columbia medical students to complete their final two years of education at GHS. With the accreditation of the M.D. program at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, students are now be able to complete all four years of their medical training at GHS. The charter class of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville enrolled 53 first year medical students in August 2012, with that number growing to 100 first year medical students in 2015, and an ultimate 400 medical students over all four years of education.
The University of South Carolina is one of only seven universities with two separately accredited M.D. programs. Separate accreditation permits the two USC medical schools to provide separate and distinct curricula geared to the strengths and philosophies of each school. Together, these two USC medical schools will help combat the state's ongoing physician shortage by permitting a greater combined number of MD graduates.