Medical school receives most applications in country

Despite being placed on probation by its accrediting body last fall, GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences reported this June that it received more applications than any other medical school in the country.

SMHS received 13,856 applications, a 3.2 percent increase from last year, said medical school spokeswoman Deborah Hudson. Other prestigious medical schools like Harvard Medical School reported 6,462 received applications in 2008, about 7,300 fewer than GW’s medical school. Georgetown Medical School received 11,237 applications.

Out of nearly 14,000 applications received, Hudson said the school has offered admission to 330 applicants.

Part of the reason for the high number of applications was the school’s location in the nation’s capital, Hudson said.

“GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences continues to attract students from across the country and around the world who want to learn, live and work in our nation’s capital,” Hudson said in an e-mail, adding that the SMHS offers students, “hands-on, real-world experience in community and urban health, emergency management, global health, health policy, integrative medicine, medical education leadership, medical humanities and research.”

The school was placed on probation in October by its accrediting body, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, for failing to correct problems identified by the LCME months – and in some cases years – earlier. The areas cited by the LCME included curriculum management, a lack of study and lounge space, and affiliation agreements with faculty at off-campus sites.

Susan Hwang, a health professions advisor to GW undergraduates, said students did not seem to be concerned with the school’s probation.

“I had very few students come to me with any concerns regarding GW medical school’s probation status,” Hwang said in an e-mail.

In February, the school was notified that its plan to lift the probation was approved by the LCME.

At the time, SMHS Dean James Scott said some of the planned improvements included an overhaul of the database system to monitor curriculum, adding thousands of square feet of new study space, and rewriting some of the legal language in affiliation agreements.

“What we are and what we’ve been hasn’t really changed,” said Scott in regards to the probation.

The LCME will return in October to review the SMHS probation.

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