Medicine

Degrees Offered

  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Joint Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy
  • Joint Doctor of Medicine and Master's in Public Health
  • Joint Doctor of Medicine Jurisprudence Degree
  • Joint Doctor of Medicine and MBA

The degree of doctor of medicine (M.D.) is granted to students who have completed the prescribed curriculum and who have been recommended for the degree by the faculty of the School of Medicine.

The M.D./PhD. program is available to students who show exceptional interest and scholarly promise. All admission requirements of the School of Medicine and the specific graduate program apply. An M.D./M.P.H. program is available for those interested in public health issues.

The following information applies only to students in the School of Medicine who are enrolled in the prescribed curriculum which culminates in the M.D. degree. All other students, undergraduates, or graduates enrolled in other programs in the School of Medicine are governed by the policies found elsewhere in this catalog.

Accreditation

The West Virginia University School of Medicine is accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME).

Promotion and Graduation Requirements

Evaluation of Student Progress

Promotion of a student in the M.D. degree program is evaluated in four major areas: (1) successful completion of all required work,  (2) successful completion of Step 1 and Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE), (3) successful completion of the WVU School of Medicine Clinical Performance Exam, and (4) successful fulfillment of the professional standards of the School of Medicine, including 100 hours of community service.

The following information is only a brief outline of the School of Medicine policies and procedures. Detailed requirements and policies for evaluation of student progress and graduation may be found in the Policy on Academic and Professional Standards Governing the M.D. degree program at WVU School of Medicine on the Student Services website. The Committee on Academic and Professional Standards administers all promotion and dismissal rules.

Academic Coursework Review

The Committee on Academic and Professional Standards of the School of Medicine reviews the performance of each student in every course at the end of each academic period. If a student has been found to have an unsatisfactory performance in any of the required courses, the student will be required to remediate or be dismissed from the school. In selected circumstances, the committee may require remedial work of all or a portion of the curriculum.

The Committee on Academic and Professional Standards may require a student to complete remedial work or dismiss the student even though no failing (F) grade has been received in a required course. Such an event would occur only if, in the opinion of the committee, the student’s overall performance does not meet the academic/professional standards of the School of Medicine.

Readmission of a dismissed student is the prerogative of the Admissions Committee after careful review of the student’s performance, including but not limited to, actions taken by the Committee on Academic and Professional Standards.

Grading Policy

All courses required for the M.D. degree are graded as honors (H), pass (P), or fail (F) at the completion of the course in lieu of other letter grades. The H, P, and F designations are accompanied by a narrative report of the student’s progress, noting any factors requiring remedial work or counseling. The narrative is submitted by each course and filed in the student portfolio. A grade of F shall be regarded as a failing grade.

The grade of incomplete (I) is given when the instructor believes that the work is unavoidably incomplete or that a supplementary examination is justifiable. If a grade of I is not removed by satisfactory completion of the work before the end of the next semester in which the student is in residence, it becomes a failure  unless special permission to postpone the work is obtained from the Committee on Academic and Professional Standards (University rule). All students who have a health problem which they feel may be causing difficulty with their academic progress are strongly advised to notify an associate dean for student services. It is the responsibility of the student to consult the instructor about the means and schedule for making up incomplete courses.

No student will be permitted to register for any work of the second or subsequent year until all courses for the year before have been completed successfully.

United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE)

All states require that physicians be licensed to practice medicine. Satisfactory completion of all portions of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) is the only examination mechanism by which this license may be obtained. The School of Medicine requires a passing grade on Step I and Step II for promotion and graduation. A failing grade will delay progress and require remediation. Students are limited to three attempts on each step.

Step I is required upon successful completion of all basic science coursework. A passing grade in Step I is required for promotion into the clinical rotations. Step II (clinical knowledge and clinical skills) is required after successful completion of third-year clinical rotations. A passing score on Step II is required before a recommendation can be made to grant the M.D. degree by the School of Medicine faculty and Committee on Academic and Professional Standards.

Licensure examinations are administered using a computer-based testing format.

Professional Standards Review

All non-disciplinary matters are governed by the concept of academic due process.

In view of public and professional responsibilities, the faculty of each of the professional schools of WVU has the authority to recommend to the president of the University the removal of any student from its rolls whenever, by formal decision reduced to writing, the faculty finds that the student is unfit to meet the qualifications and responsibilities of the profession. For further information the reader is referred to the Policy on Academic and Professional Standards Governing the M.D. Degree Program at West Virginia University School of Medicine, which is available at the School of Medicine Student Services website.

Departure from Scheduled Work

Medical students are registered for all prescribed courses for each semester except by special permission from the Committee on Academic Standards and an associate dean for student services of the School of Medicine. This permission is not valid until it has been reported to the assistant director of admissions and records, Health Sciences Center, and  Student Services, School of Medicine.

Admission Requirements

The student preparing for any career in the health professions must have a keen interest in the sciences.

The following courses are required for consideration of an application to medical school:

  • English: 6 credit hours (1 writing intensive course can be substituted)

  • Biological sciences: 6 credit hours

  • General Chemistry: 6 credit hours

  • Organic chemistry (Substitute with 3 hours Organic Chemistry with 3 hours Biochemistry): 6 credit hours

  • Physics: 6 credit hours

  • Social or behavioral sciences (Anthropology, Archaeology, Communication, Cultural Studies, Demography, Economics, Geography, History, Linguistics, Social Work, Sociology, Political Science & Psychology): 9 credit hours

  • Lab courses (Biology, Biochemistry, Physics, Inorganic or Organic Chemistry): 6 credit hours

Biochemistry and Cellular and Molecular Biology are strongly recommended. A total of ninety semester hours, exclusive of ROTC and general physical education, as well as 3 years of undergraduate education is required. Computer skills are required. All required courses must be successfully completed, ideally passed with a grade of a C or better.  All but one required class must be completed prior to January 1 of the year of admission; applicants may complete one required course in the spring of the year they anticipate to matriculate. In this case, the applicant may be interviewed and presented, but any decision of acceptance to the fall class would be deferred until receipt of the official transcript confirming successful completion of the course with a grade of C or better.

Applicants who have been subject to suspension from WVU or other medical schools can be rarely admitted only in very exceptional cases and at the discretion of the Committee on Admissions (COA).

Pre-Admission Tests

The score of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is one of the factors used by the COA in considering an applicant for admission. It is recommended that students take the MCAT during the spring of their junior year in college. The MCAT must be taken by September of the year of application. MCATs taken in January of the year of admission will not be considered. The dates for beginning and closure of application acceptances are available through AMCAS and on our website.

Information concerning the time and place of the test can be obtained from your premedical adviser or the Office of Admissions at the Health Sciences Center.

Application Procedure

West Virginia University School of Medicine uses a Holistic Review for each application.

The admissions process is initiated by completing the online American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) forms. They are online at http://www.aamc.org.

Application for admission in August should be made at the end of the previous school year. The last date for filing an application through AMCAS is November 1. The applicant should file as early as possible, making certain that recent MCAT scores, current transcripts, and letters of recommendation are available to the COA.

Admission preference is given to West Virginia residents and those non-resident applicants who have strong ties to and service in the state. In a holistic review of an applicant, not one specific factor is used to determine admission.  The applicant must provide evidence of outstanding academic performance and a commitment to activities that would fulfill the mission of our school.   Careful consideration is given to those personal qualifications which apply to the study and practice of medicine. The criteria for admission include outstanding academic performance, course load, letters of recommendation, MCAT scores, motivation, interpersonal skills, community service, health care experiences, physician shadowing and a personal interview. An early decision program is available for those residents and non-residents with strong grades and MCATs who wish only to apply and attend WVU and have participated in activities that reflect the mission of our school..

No applicant is admitted before an interview by the COA. Residency status is determined by the Board of Governors Policy Bulletin #36. Interviews and consideration of applicants begin in August or September. Acceptances are made on a rolling basis.

If an applicant is denied admission or does not enroll after acceptance, he or she must reapply in the regular manner for consideration in a subsequent year.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing positions are considered only in very exceptional circumstances and only to students currently attending a medical school accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). A student can apply for a transfer if all parts of the Transfer Policy (http://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/media/2862/transfer-student-policy.pdf) are fulfilled, and then the COA will make the final decision. The application must be received no later than April 1. The applicant must present certification of good academic and professional standing in the school from which he/she is transferring. 

Conditions Following Acceptance

An applicant accepted into the first year or in advanced standing is expected to meet all entrance requirements and satisfactorily complete all undergraduate/medical school work in progress. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of the acceptance by the COA.

The student must be aware that furnishing, or causing to be furnished, false or incorrect information for the purpose of the School of Medicine application constitutes grounds for disciplinary actions, including, but not limited to, expulsion or revocation of the acceptance.

A criminal background check is required and must be successfully passed prior to matriculation. Certain convictions negate an offer to attend medical school at WVU.

Students in the School of Medicine agree to abide by the provision of an integrity code, which requires ethical and moral standards of conduct in all situations. Each student is required to return a signed statement to the Office of Student Services, indicating the student has read and understands the Student Professional and Academic Integrity Code of the West Virginia University School of Medicine. The code and copies of the statement are available on the Student Services website.

Prior to entering medical school, all students must complete certain prescribed immunization and diagnostic procedures. Personal health insurance is required.

Doctor of Medicine

Curriculum requirements

BMP 741Clinical Clerkship in Psychiatry6
Problem-based Learning4
Problem-Based Learning (Repeated)
CCMD 712Public Health3
CCMD 721Physical Diagnosis/Clinical Integration 24
CCMD 722Physical Diagnosis and Clinical Integration 25
CCMD 725Health Care Ethics2
CCMD 730Human Function16
CCMD 740Behavioral Science and Psychopathology4
CCMD 745Physical Diagnosis/Clinical Integration 13
CCMD 746Physical Diagnosis and Clinical Integration4
CCMD 775Neurobiology7
CCMD 776Step-One Board Preparation3
CCMD 777USMLE Step-2 Clinical Knowledge Examination2
CCMD 778Basic Medical Science Exam2
CCMD 779Clinical Performance Examination1
CCMD 780Hospital Care4
CCMD 781Rural Health4
CCMD 782Critical Care Clerkship2
FMED 731Clerkship8
MED 731Clinical Clerkship in Medicine8
MICB 801Immunity, Infection and Disease9
NBAN 801Human Structure19
NEUR 741Clinical Clerkship in Neurology2
OBST 741Clinical Clerkship in Obstetrics and Gynecology8
PATH 801Mechanisms of Human Disease11
PCOL 801Medical Pharmacology9
PEDI 731Clinical Clerkship in Pediatrics8
SURG 741Clinical Clerkship in Surgery8
CCMD 783USMLE Step-2 Clinical Skills Examination Prep1
CCMD 784Anesthesiology Clerkship2
Independent Study Requirement20
Independent Study
CCMD 788Selective Experiences in Medicine3
Total Hours192

First Year

Medical students’ first year is a thirty-seven-week academic year divided into three blocks (sixteen weeks, fifteen weeks, and seven weeks). There are approximately twenty-two scheduled instructional contact hours per week. Each block contains three courses: a basic science multidisciplinary course, public health (epidemiology, biostatistics, and preventive medicine) in the fall, and physical diagnosis and clinical integration (large group alternating every other week with small groups). While physical diagnosis and clinical integration runs throughout the year, the basic science component changes each block. The first block (sixteen weeks) contains a multidisciplinary run course: human function (physiology, biochemistry, and genetics.). Second block (fifteen weeks) consists of human structure (gross anatomy, embryology, and microanatomy: large group and laboratory). Third block (seven weeks) consists of multidisciplinary neuroscience (ten hours large group, laboratory, and small group). A weekly problem-based learning group is maintained throughout the first year. Students also complete a summer selective experience for a total of 3 credit hours.

Second Year

Medical students’ second academic year is thirty-four weeks. The schedules of course material from Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology, and Physical Diagnosis and Clinical Integration-two courses are integrated by organ system. Each course maintains its autonomy with respect to assessment of student performance. This integrated, yet independent, approach assists students in finding remediation courses if they experience academic difficulty in any one particular discipline. In addition to the integration of the schedule of these four courses, there is an additional course, Behavioral Science and Psychopathology, in the fall and Health Care Ethics in the spring. There are approximately nineteen scheduled instructional contact hours per week.

Clinical Years

The last two years of study take place in the clinics, hospitals, and community settings where students have the opportunity to help diagnose and treat patients under supervision of the faculty and staff. All students will serve a significant portion of the clinical years training at an off-campus or rural site.

Third Year

In the third year, the student must spend a designated period of time in each of the major clinical disciplines: internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry and neurology, and family medicine for a total of 48 weeks. This gives the student a foundation in history-taking, examination, patient relations, laboratory aids, diagnosis, treatment, and use of the medical literature in the major clinical disciplines. One month is spent in rural primary care.

Approximately one-third of each class completes third and fourth year at the Charleston Division of the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center of West Virginia University. A smaller number of students will also complete their third and fourth year at the Eastern Division Campus.

Fourth Year

The fourth year is a partially structured and partially elective year. Each student works with an advisor to select the program best suited to the individual’s abilities and goals. Courses selected are subject to approval of an associate dean Student Services.

Three months of the senior year are committed to required clerkships at the home campus which include one month in internal medicine, family general medicine, surgery, or pediatric sub-internship; one month of acute care, and one month of rural community care. The remaining five months of the senior year are elective at approved teaching sites.

A catalog is available online that lists the approved electives and selection guidelines at http://medicine.hsc.wvu.edu/ms4catalog

Elective time must be spent in LCME (Liaison Committee on Medical Education) or JCAH (Joint Council of American Hospitals) accredited institutions. Foreign rotations, regardless of sponsorship, are limited to one month credit.

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
 FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
 CCMD 7123CCMD 7012CCMD 7883
 CCMD 73016CCMD 7464CCMD 7757
 CCMD 7453NBAN 80119 
 CCMD 7012  
 24 25 10
Second Year
 FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
 CCMD 7214CCMD 7225CCMD 7763
 CCMD 7404CCMD 7252 
 MICB 8019CCMD 7782 
 PATH 80111MICB 801 is a year long course  
 PCOL 8019PATH 801 is a year long course  
  PCOL 801 is a year long course  
 37 9 3
Third Year
 FallHoursSpringHoursSummerHours
 FMED 7318BMP 7416SURG 7418
 MED 7318NEUR 7412 
 OBST 7418PEDI 7318 
 24 16 8
Fourth Year
HoursFallHours  
CCMD 7772CCMD 7831  
CCMD 7791CCMD 7842  
CCMD 7804   
CCMD 7814   
CCMD 7822   
Independent Study Requirement20   
    
 33 3
Total credit hours: 192

Major Learning Goals

Medicine

This program is designed for students to develop knowledge, skills, and attitudes across six (6) competency areas:  Patient Care, Medical Knowledge, Practice-Based Learning and Improvement, Interpersonal and Communication Skills, Professionalism, and Systems-Based Practice.

Students will:

Provide patient care that is compassionate, appropriate, and effective and promote life-styles that promote improved health:

  • Gather essential and accurate patient information, including a complete and appropriately organized medical history and physical examination
  • Evaluate patient information in order to formulate complete and accurate differential diagnoses and apply appropriate diagnostic tests to confirm diagnoses
  • Develop patient management plans that are evidenced-based and considerate of cultural and ethnic preferences
  • Counsel and educate patients and their families about prevention strategies, diagnostic tests, treatment options/plans, and patient orders/prescriptions
  • Perform medical procedures appropriately and professionally
  • Partner with patients to prevent health problems and improve health status

Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, and social-behavioral sciences and apply this knowledge to patient care:

  • Describe normal structure and function of the human body and each organ system over the lifespan
  • Describe molecular, cellular, and biochemical mechanisms of homeostasis
  • Describe and apply normal cognitive and social growth and development of humans to diagnose abnormal cognitive and social development
  • Describe causes of altered structure and function of organ systems and tissues that result in disease (genetic, developmental, nutritional, toxic, infectious, inflammatory, neoplastic, degenerative, traumatic, and behavioral)
  • Describe foundations of diagnostic methods, therapeutic interventions, outcomes, and prevention with respect to specific disease processes in individuals and populations
  • Describe genetic and physiologic basis of individual patient response to drugs
  • Describe and apply foundational principles of epidemiology, statistics, and ethics to diagnosis and treatment of disease
  • Explain the effect of social determinants, health behaviors, and preventative measures on health status and disease of individuals and populations
  • Demonstrate use of scientific method and critical evaluation of scientific literature in establishing causation, diagnosis, and therapy of disease

Demonstrate the ability to investigate and evaluate their role in the care of patients, to appraise and assimilate scientific evidence, and to continuously improve their role in patient care based on constant self-evaluation and learning:

  • Locate, appraise and assimilate evidence from scientific studies including basic, clinical, translational, and community (population) based research
  • Apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to appraise studies
  • Use information technology to manage information and support patient care decisions 
  • Develop the skills necessary for lifelong learning, as evidence by demonstrating independent and self-directed study
  • Utilize strategies to identify and analyze strengths, deficiencies, and limits in one’s knowledge, collaboration skills, and professionalism

Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, peers, and health professionals:

  • Communicate effectively and demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors with patients and families across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds
  • Collaborate with a team of health care professionals to provide patient-focused, preventive, acute, chronic, continuing, rehabilitative, and end-of-life care
  • Provide an accurate and complete oral presentation of a patient encounter
  • Demonstrate effective communication and collaboration with all members of a health care team
  • Write timely, legible, accurate and complete documentation of a clinical encounter in written or electronic format

Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and an adherence to ethical principles:

  • Demonstrate respect, compassion, integrity, responsiveness to needs of patients, society, and profession that supersedes self-interest
  • Demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles, including provision or withholding of care, confidentiality, informed consent, and respect for patient privacy and autonomy
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to a diverse patient population, including but not limited to diversity in culture, age, gender, race, religion, disabilities, sexual orientation, and health
  • Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients
  • Demonstrate timeliness and punctuality in the execution of learning and clinical duties 

Demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to learn about other resources in the system to promote optimal health care:

  • Define the roles of health care professionals and demonstrate how inter-professional collaboration improves patient safety, patient-centered outcomes, and system performance
  • Describe and distinguish effective methods of organizing, financing, and providing health care
  • Describe how the prevention and treatment of healthcare disparities may affect individual patients, populations, and the healthcare system
  • Advocate for quality patient care, as evidenced by recognizing system limitations and failures and contributing to healthcare safety and improvement