Students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA are exposed to the best of all worlds -- strong, research-oriented basic and clinical science departments; a hospital consistently ranked among the nation's elite; superb affiliated clinical facilities that provide the full spectrum of teaching settings and patient populations; and a biomedical library that is considered one of the world's best.
UCLA Medical Center, closely tied to the medical school, is a modern, 12-story building with facilities for advanced diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Patients are refered from miles away to see the world's experts in their field. U.S. News and World Report regularly deems UCLA Medical Center "Best in the West." UCLA Medical Plaza, across the street from the main hospital, houses most of the ambulatory care services.
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Departments
- Biological Chemistry
- Family Medicine
- Human Genetics
- Microbiology and Immunology
- Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Orthopaedic Surgery
- Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
- Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
- Radiation Oncology
- Radiological Sciences
While UCLA's hospital and outpatient facility alone present unsurpassed opportunities for learning, the assortment of facilities affiliated with David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA -- county hospitals, community hospitals, VA hospitals and managed care facilities, along with a host of ambulatory care settings -- greatly enhances the schools curriculum by providing well-rounded teaching and research experiences.
The school's faculty, among the leading recipients of reasearch dollars from the National Institutes of Health, includes world-renowned leaders in clinical practice and in scientific research, touching every biomedical discipline.
Based on this national reputation for excellence, the school annually attracts a superior group of students. The excellent qualifications of students accepted by David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, along with the large percentage of these students who go on to matriculate here, make the school the most selective in the nation when it comes to choosing -- and landing -- its applicants.
A comprehensive selection process ensures that a diverse group of students is accepted. Performance in college, scores on the Medical College Admissions Test, activities in the community, and estimates of character, motivation and humanitarianism are all considered. As a result, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA has earned a reputation for producing highly competent, conscientious, and compassionate physicians -- physicians who become leaders in the challenging fields of research, medical education, and healthcare administration. Graduates have taken the training and skills they gained at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in many exciting directions, making their mark wherever they go.
The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is committed to maintaining a multi-cultural student body, one in which diversity is respected and nurtured. The office of Academic Enrichment and Outreach helps identify and recruit promising students who, by virtue of their backgrounds, abilities, and expressed intentions, will go on to solve some of the most pressing needs in modern medicine. More under-represented minority students at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have won prestigious National Medical Fellowships McLean and Cadbury Awards (given to the No.1 and No. 2 graduating minority medical students in the nation) than at any of the Association of American Medical Colleges' 125 member schools.
Not surprisingly, a degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA opens doors to the nation's most prestigious institutions. Each year, more than 85 percent of the graduating students from UCLA are matched with one of their top three choices for a residency program.
Learning for Tomorrow
Innovative and dynamic only begin to describe the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA's curriculum, which combines traditional teaching with problem-based learning to maximize the educational experience. Since medical school is but one phase in a physician's education, the curriculum fosters an environment where students will be well-prepared for a future in which scientific knowledge, social values and human needs are ever changing.
Computers and the Curriculum:
As the revolution in information technology continues to gain momentum, computers have become an integral part of student life at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. All students have electronic mail addresses, used to communicate with faculty, administration, and other students. Some courses use computers for instruction; in others, students are using computers in small-group sessions as a way of sharing information and communicating with their group members. The school has instituted Web pages on the Internet for applicants and students.
Many of the computing resources available at UCLA are also accessible remotely from home computers. The Medical Student Computing Committee continues to address students' needs in this rapidly advancing area.
Students learn a comprehensive scientific and humane approach to patient care that includes basic sciences, preventive medicine, diagnosis and therapeutics. Formats for instruction include lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions, demonstrations and visits to physicians' offices students are exposed to patients from their first week through graduation.
As medicine moves into the 21st century, the curriculum continues to evolve, emphasizing issues of growing importance such as ambulatory care, primary care, the development of research opportunities for those considering careers in academic medicine, human genetics and the evolving world of gene therapy, psychosocial issues of health and disease, preventive medicine, and medical ethics. At the same time, the curriculum has become more integrated as the lines between disciplines are softened and strict departmentalism for teaching courses is eased.
In response to the information explosion in medicine and the revolutionary advances in information technology in general, the curriculum has increasingly moved away from a lecture-only format and toward a commitment to small-group discussion and self-directed learning, a more active approach to education that has the added benefit of developing students' skills in finding and synthesizing data.
For example, Clinical Applications of the Basic Sciences (CABS) is a two-year, once-a-week, problem-based learning session that transcends traditional medical disciplines. Students tackle 10-12 cases in a year, applying basic science concepts to real-life clinical problems.
Perhaps the most innovative feature of the required curriculum is the Doctoring Course, a four-year, problem-based program organized as a series of month-long modules addressing important subjects at the interface of medicine, the patient, and society subjects that might otherwise receive little or
In small groups, students discuss actual cases covering a range of topics that are not strictly biomedical in nature but will profoundly affect their ability to practice medicine. Learning about subjects such as family violence, homelessness and substance abuse typically through direct observation students gain a grounding in the ethical, legal, cultural, economic, psychological, and public health issues that play a role in every patient encounter.
Indeed, exposing students to every imaginable practice situation is a common thread running through the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA curriculum. No other program offers a wider diversity of training experiences during the clinical years.
Through UCLA's many affiliations, students observe the way medicine is practiced in county hospitals, private community hospitals, VA hospitals, managed care facilities, and, of course, the renowned UCLA Medical Center and outpatient UCLA Medical Plaza, as well as family medicine group practices and low-cost clinics. This affords students the extraordinary opportunity to train with different patient populations, diseases, psychosocial and socioeconomic issues, delivery systems and teaching methods all within a 30-mile radius of UCLA.
The first two years of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA curriculum provide instruction in the sciences basic to medicine. Students learn about basic biological mechanisms and gain an understanding for normal and abnormal structure and function relating to states of health and disease. Emphasis is placed on the whole person in health and disease. The second year of the program centers on the processes of disease, with emphasis on organ-system oriented introduction.
In their first year, students follow a required basic and social science curriculum. In addition, they may choose from one of four broad categories of electives. In small groups, students can focus on specialized topics: addiction, cancer biology, controversies in nutrition, AIDS, sexual differentiation of the brain, health care reform, etc. In the Medical Scholars Program, groups of five first-year students meet for two hours each week to work through academic problems that arise from courses such as cell and tissue biology in the first semester and physiology in the second. Students who choose the research program can do bench work in a lab or clinical research involving data analysis and literature review. Students can also choose clinical experience electives examples include the UCLA/Salvation Army Homeless Health Care Project and DOC/STATS, in which students lead community discussions with adolescents on topics such as AIDS prevention and smoking cessation.
During the last two years, instruction in patient care is given in the form of required clinical rotations at UCLA Medical Center and at the many affiliated hospitals. The third year Doctoring course combines ambulatory care in community settings with small group discussions of diverse aspects of common patient problems.
Included in the clinical years are electives where students can spend up to 12 weeks at other sites away from UCLA and its affiliated hospitals, exploring a particular area in a practical, hands-on way. Students can also participate in externships in other parts of the world, including such locations as Australia, England, Germany, Africa, South America, Honduras, India
Centers of Excellence
Within the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Medical Center, there are numerous "centers of excellence" in which critical masses of talented individuals aided by the necessary infrastructure support work in concert on a particular area of medicine, producing a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Examples include the Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, Reed Neurological Research Center, Brain Research Institute, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Jules Stein Eye Institute and Doris Stein Eye Research Center, Mental Retardation Research Center, UCLA AIDS Institute, UCLA Breast Center, Crump Institute for Biological Imaging, and the Department of Human Genetics/Gene Therapy Group.
For students interested in scientific careers, the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) educates and trains exceptionally qualified individuals, requiring an average of seven years of study leading to the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. The Specialty Training and Academic Research (STAR) program, offered by the Department of Medicine, seeks to promote academic careers for physician-scientists. The program integrates research with medical school, residency and fellowship training, leading to certification in internal medicine and its subspecialties, as well as the Ph.D. degree for equivalent research experience.
For students who wish to pursue research or other responsibilities, another option is now available The Extended Curriculum Program, in which the pre-clinical portion of the medical school curriculum is spread over three years, giving students the flexibility to pursue special needs and interests.
The Drew/UCLA Medical Education Program is designed to attract students who express an interest in addressing the concerns of underserved populations. Students in the program spend their first two years at the UCLA campus, and complete their last two years of clinical work at the King/Drew Medical Center on the Drew University campus.
The UCR/UCLA Biomedical Sciences Program is a cooperative venture involving UC Riverside, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Students obtain both B.S. and M.D. degrees in seven years by combining programs in their fourth year at UCRiverside.
Freedom and Opportunity
A reputation for graduating thoughtful, creative and expertly trained physicians is not gained by chance. At the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, it is due in part to the school's unique structure, one that gives students ample opportunity to expand on what is taught in class. A pass/fail system lessens competition, enabling students to work together more effectively on curricular and extracurricular activities. These opportunities might include writing a thesis on a topic of interest, creating a program to meet a health need in the community, or designing, conducting and then publishing the results of a research undertaking.
All of these extracurricular projects enjoy the full backing of the school's faculty and staff. The Office of Student Affairs serves as a hub of activity, where professional staff can help students with everything from administering a community-health project to career counseling, to answering questions about the curriculum. The Office of Academic Enrichment and Outreach also provides comprehensive academic and personal counseling services for all enrolled UCLAmedical students which include Learning Skills Diagnostic Assessment and Counseling, tutorial assistance, and a comprehensive review for Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination conducted during the six months prior to the exam. All of this is done in a nurturing, welcoming atmosphere designed to support whatever interest a student chooses to pursue.
Giving medical students the freedom and opportunity to explore extracurricular activities has produced important results. Students have set up a weekly clinic to treat the medical needs of homeless patients. The project was student-initiated in 1990 and is entirely student run, with third- and fourth-year students overseeing the work of first- and second-year students, all under faculty guidance.
The UCLA Prenatal Care Project, another student-directed program, matches low-income pregnant women with a medical student who follows the pregnancy until delivery. The Class of 1998 created this program to enhance the experience of low-income pregnant women during and after prenatal care, to increase fetal health, and to help future physicians understand the delicate medical, social and economic influences unique to pregnancy.
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA students have provided leadership on a wide range of projects seeking to upgrade the health status of the medically underserved. Students can volunteer at the highly regarded Venice Family Clinic, which serves a primarily Spanish-speaking, indigent population. Clerkships that prepare students to work in rural or urban poverty areas have taken students to Zimbabwe, Haiti, Costa Rica and India. Other programs explore the relationship between poverty, race and disease.
The school's distinguished faculty consider research an essential part of medical training an important avenue to the development of logical and deductive thought processes, and an essential experience for those students planning on a career in academia. UCLA boasts exciting opportunities for both bench and clinical research. Student researchers have gone on to win numerous awards, both nationally and locally, for work they have pursued while enrolled at UCLA. The number of David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA students receiving a prestigious Research Training Fellowship for Medical Students is virtually unparalleled. Medical students have also taken the lion's share of top honors in the UCLA Graduate Distinguished Scholar competition.
Research can began as early as the student's first academic year and continue until graduation. A large funded research program is available to students between years one and two, and between years two and three. The Short Term Training Program affords students the opportunity to engage in basic research training in one of many pre-selected productive labs within the school. Junior and senior medical students may arrange up to six weeks of research elective credit as a portion of the 28 weeks of electives required for graduation.
The STAR program offered by the Department of Medicine supports summer research for students interested in careers as physician-scientists. The Department of Pathology offers summer fellowships in which students participate in all activities conducted by the attending pathologists. The UCLA/Drew Center of Excellence Minority Health Summer Research Program provides 10 summer research fellowships for underrepresented minority students desiring an experience in academic research, particularly minority health. Minority students can also take advantage of the fellowship program in academic medicine administered by National Medical Fellowships, Inc., and funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and the Commonwealth Funds.
Funded research opportunities are also available for more extended periods. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute sponsors two programs that support students who wish to spend one or two years conducting full-time research at locations that include UCLA and the National Institutes of Health. The NIH also sponsors a scholars program at its Bethesda headquarters. The American Heart Association supports a fellowship in cardiovascular research at UCLA and other locations.
For students who want an intensive research program, the extended curriculum option allows them to stretch their coursework over five years. Students who want to further tailor their studies can opt for a combination M.D. and Ph.D program, as well as a joint M.D./M.B.A. degree. The Medical Student Thesis Program provides students the chance to pursue an area of interest from basic laboratory work to public health research or a critical literature analysis while working closely with a faculty preceptor. This innovative program gives students the time to use their newfound skills, test their ideas, and answer their questions.
In the Right Place...
Many medical schools are situated miles away from their university campus, connected in name only. The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, positioned directly adjacent to the UCLA campus, is an integral part of the university in both proximity and function. Moreover, it is not connected with just any campus, but with one of the leading universities in the world.
This cohesion among medical school, teaching hospital and general campus has resulted in highly productive collaborations involving medical school faculty and basic scientists on the campus, as well as postgraduates from both camps. For medical students at UCLA, it has proved enriching in a variety of other ways.
The campus connection gives David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA students all of the cultural, recreational and educational opportunities that the university has to offer. In the relatively brief span of 75 years, UCLA has blossomed into one of the most recognized and respected universities in the world, well known for its outstanding libraries, health care facilities, performing arts, and continuing education programs, among other attributes. Students at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA can take advantage of extracurricular educational opportunities, whether in continuing education or by enrolling in courses in the business school, the law school, or elsewhere on campus.
UCLA is replete with cultural and recreational facilities. The UCLA Center for the Performing Arts offers a wide variety of dance, music and theater performances. UCLA hosts hundreds of cultural events annually, from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Philip Glass. The world-renowned UCLA Film and Television Archive screens films at Melnitz Hall, and patrons come from near and far to see the world-class displays at The Wight Art Gallery, the Fowler Museum of Cultural History, the Perloff Hall Gallery for Architecture and Urban Design, and the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center in Westwood.
The John Wooden Center and Sunset Canyon Recreation Center provide the finest in athletic facilities, including a gymnasium, squash and racquetball courts, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA students are active participants in intramural sports on campus, fielding teams for basketball, swimming, baseball, water polo, volleyball and football. For spectators, a wide selection of athletic events is available for viewing, including football and basketball games on and off campus.
Los Angeles serves as the perfect setting for a medical school a large urban area with an incomparably diverse population and a diverse set of health problems and challenges.
At the same time, with this richness of cultures Los Angeles offers unparalleled experiences all set in an ideal climate, surrounded by beaches and mountains, and augmented by some of the finest restaurants anywhere.
The world lives in Los Angeles. From a Peruvian restaurant in Hollywood to a great jazz club in Culver City to a dim sum breakfast in Chinatown to a Mexican art exhibit in East Los Angeles to a Buddhist temple downtown, almost anything is available. Los Angeles has also emerged as an international art center, with stellar art collections found in the galleries of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, and countless small galleries clustered in Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and beyond. Musical performance runs the gamut from classical symphonies and opera at the Music Center downtown, to blues, jazz and alternative rock at small clubs on the west side of town near UCLA.
In Westwood Village, UCLA's backyard, first-run movies debut on a weekly basis and a rich array of dining and other entertainment possibilities beckon.