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Revised November 2008


The mission of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine is to improve the health of the people of the state of South Carolina through the development and implementation of programs for medical education, research, and the delivery of health care. School of Medicine programs will be developed in collaboration with affiliated institutions, and allocation of resources will be based upon the physician manpower and health care needs of South Carolina, the effectiveness and efficiency of specific programs, and the accreditation requirements of all appropriate organizations.

Education. Medical education and graduate education at all levels are conducted in a highly personal atmosphere which emphasizes a balance among scientific disciplines, humanistic concerns, and societal needs.

Research. Research in the basic biomedical sciences, in the clinical sciences, and in the delivery of health care is pursued for excellence in medical education, for development and application of new knowledge, and for nurturance of intellectual curiosity among faculty and trainees.

Service. Faculty service is developed in order to maintain superior clinical skills, to enhance educational programs, to make comprehensive outpatient and inpatient care available to patients, to secure resources necessary to support education and research, and to provide consultation to physicians, other health care professionals, and affiliated health care agencies and institutions.


To improve health care for the citizens of South Carolina, planning for the establishment of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine was begun in the late 1960s. In 1973, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the State Legislature authorized the University to apply for a grant from the Veterans Administration to assist in the development of the medical school; the grant was approved the following year.

Faculty recruitment and curriculum planning began in 1975, and in 1976 the School of Medicine received provisional accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges. In February 1977, the school was granted approval for admission of the first class of 24 medical students in the fall of 1977.

The charter class graduated in May 1981, at which time the School of Medicine was fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Medical student class size has tripled since the entrance of the first class, and approximately 300 medical students are enrolled in the four-year program.

The School of Medicine's educational programs were further augmented by the establishment of the Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Sciences in 1981, the M.S. Program in Genetic Counseling in 1985, and the M.S. Program in Biomedical Sciences with Specialization in Nurse Anesthesia in 1994. The University's M.S. Program in Rehabilitation Counseling was transferred to the School of Medicine in 1994. The M.S. Program in Biomedical Sciences was initiated in 1998. Residency programs in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, and surgery are cosponsored with the Palmetto Health Alliance and the Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center. A residency program in preventive medicine and fellowships in medical and psychiatric specialties are offered by individual School of Medicine departments.

The School of Medicine's basic science campus consists of fully renovated historic buildings and is located four miles from the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina. The complex provides teaching and research facilities which are unexcelled nationally. Most clinical departments are located on the Richland Medical Park campus in central Columbia. Affiliated hospitals are the Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Palmetto Health Richland; the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute; the Greenville Hospital System; the James F. Byrnes Center for Geriatric Medicine, Education, and Research; and the seven teaching hospitals affiliated with the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium.

In 1991, the School of Medicine's affiliation with the Greenville Hospital System was enhanced to provide the opportunity for completion of core third- and fourth-year clerkships and rotations at that facility for students interested in completing their medical educations in upstate South Carolina.

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine has become a national leader in primary care medical education. The School of Medicine also collaborates closely with state agencies involved in health service delivery, sponsors research focused primarily on South Carolina health care needs, and provides a wide range of clinical care services to South Carolinians.

The School of Medicine

The School of Medicine Campus

The Offices of the Dean, Admissions and Enrollment Services, Student Services, and Curricular Affairs and Faculty Support, as well as basic science departmental offices and laboratories, the Medical Library, and the Bookstore are located on the School of Medicine campus adjacent to the Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Clinical department offices are located primarily on the Richland Medical Park campus.

Library Facilities

The School of Medicine Library serves as the School of Medicine's information gateway to over 28,000 biomedical electronic journals, over 400 electronic textbooks (MDConsult, AccessMedicine), over 80 biomedical databases (Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews, Essential Evidence, Web of Knowledge), a diagnostic decision support system (DxPLAIN), consumer health information, an online catalog, and PASCAL, South Carolina's state-wide electronic library. The Library's print collection consists of more than 116,000 volumes. The Library provides information resources to meet the needs of the School's faculty, staff, and students and the larger USC community, area health care professionals, and consumers. In its role as a resource library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern/Atlantic Region, the Library also provides biomedical information services to all health care professionals in South Carolina. A complete range of services is available, including reference and instruction, interlibrary loan, and tours and orientations. Professional librarians provide regularly scheduled instructional workshops on PubMed, Ovid, PowerPoint, e-journals, consumer health information on the web, Web of Knowledge, and evidence-based medicine. The library is highly service oriented and offers rapid, individualized information retrieval and delivery. Most resources may be accessed remotely through the library's Web page. School of Medicine students and faculty also have access to all of the print and electronic resources available from the Thomas Cooper Library of the University of South Carolina. Located on the University's main campus, the Thomas Cooper Library provides access to over 28,000 electronic journals and has a collection of nearly 3 million bound volumes. To further explore the School of Medicine Library's resources, consult the Library's web site at http://uscm.med.sc.edu/

Affiliated Hospitals

Palmetto Health Richland

Palmetto Health Richland is a public, not-for-profit regional community teaching hospital with 649 inpatient beds devoted to medical, surgical, pediatric, cardiac, psychiatric, and obstetric and gynecologic care. The hospital also supports the Level One trauma center for the region, a neonatal intensive care unit, and special care and newborn nursery units, as well as Palmetto Health's South Carolina Cancer Center. Palmetto Health Richland's affiliations with the Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute support diversified residency training programs in dental education, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, pediatrics, medicine/pediatrics, general psychiatry, child/adolescent psychiatry and fellowship programs in emergency medicine ultrasound, endocrinology, forensic psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, geriatrics, pulmonary medicine, sports medicine, and surgical critical care. http://www.palmettohealth.com/facilities/richland

In February 1998, Richland Memorial Hospital and Baptist Healthcare System combined their resources and facilities in Columbia to create one integrated health care system, Palmetto Health, the largest health care system in South Carolina. Medical students benefit from the expanded educational opportunities resulting from the alliance. http://www.palmettohealth.com

Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center

The Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center is a 216-bed facility, encompassing acute medical, surgical, psychiatric, and long-term care. The hospital provides primary, secondary, and some tertiary care. Satellite outpatient clinics are located in Anderson, Greenville, Florence, Orangeburg, Sumter and Rock Hill, SC.  The hospital is also Clinic of Jurisdiction for the state of South Carolina.   Administrative support is provided for the Florence National Cemetery in Florence, SC,  the Vet Centers located in Greenville and Columbia, SC, and the VA Regional Office also located in Columbia. An affiliation is held with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, located on the hospital grounds. A sharing agreement is in place with Moncrief Army Community Hospital at Fort Jackson and Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, SC. http://www.va.gov/columbiasc/

South Carolina Department of Mental Health

Various clinical facilities of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health provide clinical experiences for medical students. The William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute is licensed as a child-adolescent and forensic psychiatry hospital. Medical students rotate on inpatient and outpatient clinical units in the area of child-adolescent psychiatry. The G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital, a facility that specializes in the treatment of adults with acute psychiatric illnesses, and the Columbia and Lexington Area Mental Health Centers, where thousands of outpatient visits annually enable students to gain exposure to the treatment of patients with a variety of psychiatric conditions on an emergent basis.

Greenville Hospital System

The Greenville Hospital System is a not-for-profit academic health organization located in Greenville, approximately 100 miles from Columbia. Its five campuses provide integrated healthcare to communities across Greenville County and beyond through a tertiary referral and education center, community hospitals, a long term acute care hospital, nursing home, outpatient facilities and wellness centers. The Greenville Hospital System has residency training programs in family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, medicine-pediatrics, general surgery as well as four four fellowship programs. http://www.ghs.org

Rural Primary Health Care Centers

The John A. Martin Primary Health Care Center in Winnsboro, S.C., the Kershaw Family Medicine Center in Kershaw, S.C., and the Bennettsvile Primary Care Health Care Education Center in Bennettsville, S.C. provide medical care to residents of these primarily rural counties and serve as teaching facilities for medical students during the third-year family medicine clerkship.

Graduate Programs

The School of Medicine offers the Doctor of Philosophy and Master's of Biomedical Science degrees in biomedical science, the Master of Science degree in genetic counseling, the Master of Rehabilitation Counseling degree, and the Master's of Nurse Anesthesia degree. Extensive information about these programs may be accessed via the Web at www.sc.edu/bulletin/grad/GSchoolMed.html

Combined M.D./Ph.D. and M.D./M.P.H. Plans

A combined M.D./Ph.D. plan is available to students interested in careers in academic medicine or medical research. The plan permits students to receive both the M.D. degree and the Ph.D. degree in biomedical science in approximately six years. An M.D./M.P.H. dual degree plan is available to students in conjunction with the School of Public Health. The plan permits students to receive both the M.D. degree and the M.P.H. degree in five years.

Applicants interested in the combined M.D./Ph.D. and M.D./M.P.H. plans must be admitted separately to each degree program. For additional information about the combined M.D./Ph.D. plan, contact the Office of Graduate Studies, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, or call 803-733-3100. For additional information about the M.D./M.P.H. dual degree plan, contact the Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services, School of Medicine, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208, or call 803-733-3325.