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Revised November 2008

Student and Career Services

Financial Information

Fees and Expenses

All students are required to register and pay tuition and fees each semester. Any financial aid a student might be awarded is disbursed at the time of registration for the fall and spring semesters.

Fees and charges imposed by the University are subject to change by the Board of Trustees without notice.

No degree will be conferred upon any candidate prior to the payment of all tuition, fees, and indebtedness to the University.

A full-time student who withdraws within a specified period of time may be eligible for a prorated refund in accordance with University policy. For a schedule of University refund allowances, contact the School of Medicine director of enrollment services/registrar.

Academic Fees--2008-2009

South Carolina Residents (per academic year)


Nonresidents (per academic year)


Supplementary Application Fee (nonrefundable)


Admission Deposit (applied toward first year tuition, nonrefundable after May 15)


Matriculation Fee (first year only)


Estimated expenditures for books, supplies, equipment, educational travel, insurance, and related educational expenses:

First Year


Second Year


Third Year


Fourth Year


Books and Equipment

All required books and equipment are available in the University of South Carolina Health Science Store. Students are given a list of acceptable models for clinical equipment and are required to purchase such items as stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers, according to individual preference.


A laptop computer with designated software is required as part of the technology enhanced curriculum in the School of Medicine. Specifications are available on the School of Medicine web site and are updated as necessary.

Financial Aid

Students in the School of Medicine are individually responsible for tuition, fees, and living expenses. It is imperative that all students anticipating the need for financial assistance at any time during their medical educations undertake early long-term planning. Limited aid specifically oriented for medical students is available from the School of Medicine. However, financial aid programs of the University of South Carolina make it possible for many students to attend the University who could not do so if they were entirely dependent on their own resources. Eligibility for all aid, except for some academic scholarships, depends on applicants' financial circumstances. Students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Renewal FAFSA annually to determine the amount of assistance they are eligible to receive. Information and application forms for the various financial aid programs may be obtained from the School of Medicine Office of Student and Career Services.

Policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid Eligibility

A student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress if he/she is allowed by the dean, after considering the recommendations of the Student Promotions Committee, to be enrolled in the regular curriculum. The academic regulations are found in the School of Medicine Bulletin.

Listed below are some of the financial aid programs available to students. For complete information, contact the School of Medicine Office of Student Services.


Federal Loan Programs

Information about federal programs is subject to change based upon changes in federal legislation.

The subsidized Stafford Loan Program provides long-term, low interest, need-based loans to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Loans disbursed on or after July 1, 2006, will have a fixed interest rate of 6.8%.  The interest rate on loans disbursed prior to July 1, 2006, is variable and set at 3.1 percentage points above the 91-day Treasury bill rate with an 8.25% cap. The interest rate on subsidized Federal Stafford Loans made prior to July 1, 1994, will vary according to the dates on which the loans were disbursed and/or the borrower's outstanding federal loan indebtedness. The interest rate during repayment will be different. These rates are subject to change by law.

Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans may be requested from a variety of lenders with a loan guaranty from any authorized guarantee agency.  A medical student may borrow up to $8,500 per year not to exceed $65,500 including any amount borrowed as an undergraduate. If a student receives a subsidized Stafford Loan, they will not be required to begin repayment until six months after they cease to be enrolled on at least a half-time basis.

The unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan Program is similar to the subsidized Stafford Loan except that eligibility is not based on financial need and interest payments are not subsidized by the federal government, but rather are the responsibility of the borrower.

Medical students have an additional $32,000 per year in unsubsidized eligibility, and a career maximum total of $224,000 including any amounts borrowed as an undergraduate. The interest rate is the same as the subsidized Stafford Loan; however, interest begins to accrue at the time the lender makes the loan and is not automatically deferred. A student may choose to pay the interest or request that it be deferred. This results in the deferred interest being capitalized and creating a greater expense during repayment.

Medical students are now eligible to borrow under the federal PLUS Loan Program up to their cost of attendance minus other estimated financial assistance. The terms and conditions applicable to the Parent PLUS loans also apply to Grad PLUS. These requirements include a determination that a student does not have an adverse credit history.  Repayment begins on the date of the last disbursement of the loan, and a fixed interest rate of 8.5%. To apply for this loan students are required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and must also have applied for a Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford loan

Primary Care Loans are low-interest (5%), long-term educational loans available to full-time medical students who demonstrate exceptional financial need and who never have borrowed through the Health Professions Student Loan Program. In order to receive the loan and qualify for the most favorable repayment terms, borrowers must agree to enter a residency and practice in primary health care. Primary health care areas are defined by the Department of Health and Human Services as family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, preventive medicine, combined medicine/pediatrics, and osteopathic general practice. The maximum annual program award can range up to the cost of attendance less any other aid.

If a student receives a PCL, they will not be required to start repaying it, nor will any interest be charged until 12 months after they cease to be enrolled on a full-time basis as a medical student. Minimum payments will be $40 per month and the 10-year repayment period may be extended to 25 years under certain circumstances. The student must have submitted parental data on the FAFSA in order to be considered for this program.

The Federal Perkins Loan is a low-interest (5%), long-term educational loan program available to both undergraduate and graduate students demonstrating exceptional financial need. Repayment is required unless the loan debt is otherwise resolved.  Medical students may receive up to $6,000 for each year of study not to exceed $40,000 for all years of study including undergraduate amounts received. Award amounts are based on fund availability and are determined annually by the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships.  If a student is eligible for Perkins Loan funds their award amount may be less than these limits due to limited fund availability.  Interest is not charged and repayment does not begin until nine months after their enrollment drops below half-time status. If the student receives their first Perkins Loan on or after October 1, 1992, their minimum payment will be $40 per month. In all cases, repayment may extend up to 10 years depending upon the total amount borrowed. If the student has outstanding NDSL balances and is currently receiving a Federal Perkins Loan, they must review their NDSL promissory note to determine the terms and conditions that apply to the loan. Under certain conditions of reenrollment, employment or extenuating circumstances, payments may be deferred or canceled. Further information concerning repayment is available in the Office of Student Loan Collections, Room 110 Petigru.

Federal Programs with a Service Commitment

Information about federal programs is subject to change based upon changes in federal legislation.

National Health Service Corps Scholarships are offered by the federal government to students and physicians interested in pursuing careers in primary care and serving in health professional shortage areas in the United States.

Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship recipients are commissioned in the armed forces and their tuition, fees, books, and equipment, including microscope rental, are paid by their particular branch. In addition, a monthly stipend is paid directly to the student. Recipients are required to serve 45 days of training duty each year. Repayment is on a year-for-year basis. A deferment for postgraduate education is given only if a student is not chosen for a military residency program.

Other Programs with a Service Commitment

The John T. Stevens Foundation Grant

This grant is for up to four years of medical education expenses and is awarded to worthy medical students enrolled in the School of Medicine who reside in Lancaster or Kershaw county. The grant requires the scholar to practice in Lancaster or Kershaw county for a defined period of time upon completion of training. Call the USC School of Medicine's Office of Research and Special Projects at 803-733-3331 for more information.

School of Medicine Loan Program

The Laura R. and William M. Corbett Estate Loan program, established by the late Dr. William M. Corbett of Columbia in memory of his father and mother, provides low-interest loans to worthy students. The long-term loan program provides loans of up to $3,000 per year for four years. A student must borrow at least $12,500 of Federal Stafford Loan money and maintain that amount for the academic year to be eligible for a loan.

No interest is charged on monies borrowed while the student is enrolled; repayment of interest begins after the student ceases to be enrolled in the School of Medicine. There is a deferment period of up to five years on repayment of principal for students engaged in postgraduate education. Interest charges do accrue during residency training and must be paid semiannually. Repayment of the principal and interest must be completed within 10 years of graduation.


Private Sources

Columbia Medical Society Auxiliary Scholarship. Established by members of the Columbia Medical Society and Auxiliary, several scholarships are awarded annually to deserving medical students.

Fullerton Medical Scholarship. The School of Medicine nominates one candidate from each entering class for consideration for the Fullerton Medical Scholarship. The scholarship nominee is guaranteed a minimum of $1,000 for one year and competes for a four-year, $20,000 Fullerton Medical Scholarship with medical students from other medical schools in North and South Carolina.  Must interview by January 16 for consideration for Fall matriculation.

South Carolina Medical Association Foundation in alliance with the South Carolina Medical Association Alliance. These scholarships are awarded annually to several academically worthy students in need of financial assistance.

Southern Medical Association Scholarship Fund. This scholarship, established by members of the Southern Medical Association, is awarded to third-year students who have financial need. Students must be nominated by the School of Medicine and must demonstrate superior academic ability.

School of Medicine Scholarships

Alumni Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded annually (or as funds are available) to one or more students who demonstrate a strong academic record, excellent professional skills, and a commitment to serving patients' needs.

American Medical Association Foundation Scholars Award. This scholarship is awarded to a medical student based on financial need and/or academic excellence.

Anniversary Scholarship. Income from this fund is used to award scholarships to students selected by the School of Medicine Scholarship and Loan Committee.

Tom L. Austin Student Scholarship. Income from this endowed fund, established by the Department of Neonatology at Palmetto Health Richland in honor of Dr. Tom L. Austin, is used to award scholarships to students selected by the School of Medicine Scholarship and Loan Committee.

Bruner-Waddell Scholarship in Medicine. This endowed scholarship was established by the Bruner and Waddell families in memory of Robert Rayson Bruner Jr. and Henry Grady Waddell, M.D. It is awarded annually to a medical student who is a resident of South Carolina.

Carolina Medical Scholars Program. This program provides for full-tuition scholarships for up to four years for selected first-year medical students.  Must interview by January 16 for consideration for Fall matriculation.

The William Childs Cantey Sr., M.D., Medical Scholarship. Funds generated by the endowment for this scholarship, which honors Dr. Cantey, are allocated toward tuition for its recipient, who must be a resident of South Carolina. The scholarship is renewable each year for four years and the recipient is designated as a Cantey Scholar.

Thomas C. Chow, M.D., D.P.H. and Rosemary Y. Chow, M.D., D.P.H. Scholarship. This endowed scholarship, which honors the parents of Jim C. Chow, M.D., a 1985 School of Medicine graduate, is awarded to a fourth-year medical student who has demonstrated an interest in a career in family or preventive medicine.

The William Q. and Marguerite D. Claytor Medical Scholarship. This endowed scholarship was established by Dr. Hubert Claytor in memory of his parents.

Dean's Underrepresented in Medicine Scholarship.  Scholarships up to $20,000 per year are awarded to students who are from underrepresented minority groups in medicine in the state of South Carolina:

Greenville Hospital System Scholarship.  A scholarship in the amount of $20,000 per year is awarded to a student from an underrepresented minority group in medicine in the state of South Carolina.

Lexington Medical Center Scholarship.  A scholarship in the amount of $20,000 per year is awarded to a student from an underrepresented minority group in medicine in the state of South Carolina who is from or currently lives in Lexington County.

Palmetto Health Scholarship.  A scholarship in the amount of $20,000 per year is awarded to a student from an underrepresented minority group in medicine in the state of South Carolina.

Dr. and Mrs. George W. Dick Scholarship in Medicine. The income from a fund provided by Mrs. Caroline McKissick Dial, in memory of her father and mother, provides an annual scholarship to a medical student based on scholastic achievement and financial need.

William B. Douglas Scholarship. The interest from this permanent endowment is awarded to medical students in good academic standing and with financial need. Preference is given to South Carolina residents, especially those from the Florence area.

Dr. Lawrence H. Erdman Scholarship. This endowed scholarship, in memory of Dr. Erdman, is awarded to an outstanding student selected by the School of Medicine Scholarship and Loan Committee. Consideration is given to student with financial need and scholastic ability.

Louise Mickle Harvey Medical Student Scholarship. This endowed four-year scholarship is awarded to a student from Camden, S.C. (or the nearest geographic area within South Carolina), who has demonstrated financial need, a record of academic achievement, and the potential for becoming a personable and compassionate physician.

Ellington Cody Hawes, M.D., Medical Scholarship. This is a merit-based scholarship for a resident of Georgia, preferably from the central Savannah River area. This scholarship covers up to $30,000 of the student's educational expenses per year; it may be renewed for up to four years contingent upon the recipient's maintaining satisfactory progress as determined by the School of Medicine Student Promotions Committee.

Arthur L. Humphries Scholarship. This is an endowed scholarship in memory of the father of J. O'Neal Humphries, M.D., Dean of the School of Medicine, 1983--1994. The recipient may receive the scholarship for up to four years, provided that stated criteria are met.

The Jowers Scholarship Fund. The income from this fund, provided by Dr. Lawrence V. Jowers in memory of his friends, provides an annual award to a student who has earned the highest achievement in the first or second year of medical school.

James Stanley Liverman, M.D., Scholarship. This is an endowed fund in memory of Dr. Liverman, who devoted his professional life to improving the health of the people of South Carolina.

A. Hines McWaters Scholarship. This is an endowed scholarship awarded annually to an academically sound and financially needy medical student.

Dr. Frank Capers Owens Scholarship. This endowed scholarship, in memory of Dr. Owens, is awarded annually to a qualified third-year or fourth-year student planning a career in family practice.

School of Medicine Faculty and Staff Scholarship. This scholarship, established by the faculty and staff of the School of Medicine, is awarded annually to a medical student who has achieved academic excellence, provided service to the School of Medicine and the University, and exhibited a professional demeanor.

James R. Stallworth Student Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a medical student who has an outstanding academic record and who shows evidence of good clinical acumen, devotion to patient care, and potential for future leadership

The Todd Medical Foundation Scholarship. The interest from this permanent endowment is awarded to second-, third-, and fourth-year medical students in good academic standing and with financial need.

John A. Warren Scholarship. This endowed scholarship, established in honor of John A. Warren, the former chairman and chief executive officer of the SCANA Corporation, is given to the rising fourth-year student who has expressed and demonstrated an interest in pursuing a medical career in family practice, pediatrics, and/or oncology. The recipient is selected by the School of Medicine Scholarship and Loan Committee.

George Walker Waring Memorial Scholarship. The income from this fund, established by the Waring family to honor the memory of their father and grandfather, provides a scholarship for medical students who have completed the first two years at the School of Medicine.

Dr. Hudnall Gentry Weaver Scholarship. This endowed scholarship was established by the family of Robert S. Paschal Jr. in memory of Dr. Weaver, a former Macon, Ga., surgeon. Dr. Weaver was the father of Mrs. Paschal and the grandfather of Dr. Hudnall Weaver Paschal, a 1985 School of Medicine graduate.

Dr. Hugh H. Wells Scholarship. The interest from this endowed scholarship in memory of Dr. Wells is awarded annually to a medical student from South Carolina who has a demonstrated financial need.

Veterans Benefits

Veterans and children of deceased or disabled veterans who meet regular admission requirements may be eligible to receive educational assistance benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Application for benefits may be made through the campus University Office of Veterans Affairs. Students are urged to apply for benefits at least 45 days prior to the beginning of the semester.

All veterans and other eligible persons are responsible for informing the University veterans records clerk of any change in enrollment status or withdrawal from the University.

Other Sources of Financial Aid

The School of Medicine Office of Student and Career Services has current information on various financial aid opportunities. Additionally, the School of Medicine Library has national directories listing sources of loans, fellowships, and scholarships. A number of city and county medical societies offer loans or scholarships for residents of their localities, as do churches, businesses, fraternities, and sororities.

Policy on Management of Financial Resources from External Entities

It is the policy and practice of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine to assist enrolled students in the identification of financial resources from external entities to aid them in the financial support of their educations. External entities providing such financial resources can be individuals, employers, professional organizations, hospitals, communities, foundations, and others. The School of Medicine is also required to follow federal and state laws and regulations and University of South Carolina policies, procedures, and guidelines in the processes associated with nominating students for, the awarding of, and the handling of financial resources from external entities for which enrolled students qualify.

For these reasons, and because (1) the School of Medicine usually does not have specific information about the external entities providing financial resources to students; (2) the School of Medicine usually has not been involved in the prior contractual arrangements associated with students' receipt of financial resources from external entities; (3) the School of Medicine cannot provide legal advice about tax consequences, either for the external entity or for the student, of the award of financial resources to students by those external entities; and (4) all final decisions about the nomination of eligible medical students for awarding of financial resources from external entities are made by the School of Medicine Scholarship and Loan Committee, a faculty committee, it is therefore the policy of the School of Medicine:

1. to refer external entities wishing to provide financial resources to enrolled students to the School of Medicine director of development for information about the creation of accounts in the University of South Carolina Educational Foundation from which scholarship monies can be awarded to students;

2. to refer external entities to the University of South Carolina Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships when those entities wish to underwrite any portion of a student's tuition and/or fees at the School of Medicine;

3. to refer students to their legal and financial advisors when questions arise about the tax consequences of financial resources provided to them in support of their educations by external entities; and

4. to refer all requests for nominations of eligible enrolled students for awards of financial resources from external entities to the School of Medicine Scholarship and Loan Committee for final decisions about those nominations.


Employment must be discussed with the director of student and career services. When employment appears to interfere with the student's academic and professional development, the director of student services may refer the matter to the Student Promotions Committee for consideration. The academic responsibilities of the first year of medical school preclude outside employment. The Office of Student and Career Services attempts to identify clinical clerkship employment opportunities for rising second-year students for the summer between the first and second years of medical education.

Student Services

Office of the Ombudsperson

The educational program in the School of Medicine has been developed to support and encourage the collegiality and professionalism essential to an effective learning environment. Students who believe that they have been punitively assessed or mistreated because of religion, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age or other factors have access to the School of Medicine ombudspersons.

The ombudspersons are empowered to receive and investigate reports of mistreatment in a completely confidential manner, to mediate between the parties involved, and, in the event mediation is not successful, to make recommendations directly to the dean of the School of Medicine regarding appropriate resolution of any complaints.

The use of the ombudspersons' services to resolve a complaint represents a form of alternate dispute resolution. For this reason, the services of the ombudspersons will no longer be available to a student once that student engages an attorney to initiate legal action against the School of Medicine, the University of South Carolina, or the employees of those institutions.

Student Housing

The majority of students elect to rent/purchase housing in the area adjacent to the School of Medicine campus. Information is posted on the bulletin board in the student mailroom in building 3. Additional information about off-campus housing can be obtained from the Office of Off-Campus Housing Service, Russell House University Union, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208.

The University provides a limited number of housing units for married couples. They are assigned on the basis of date of application receipt. For information, contact University Housing, University of South Carolina, Attn: Family Housing, 1215 Blossom Street, Columbia, SC 29208.

Student Bookstores

Located on the first floor of Basic Science Building 1 on the School of Medicine campus, the University of South Carolina Health Science Store offers medical textbooks, reference books, instruments, office supplies, laboratory coats, and microscope rentals. The University Bookstore, located in the Russell House University Union on the University campus, stocks textbooks, supplies, general interest books, popular and classical recordings, and a wide range of gift items.

Student Lounge/Canteen

A large well-furnished student lounge and adjoining small kitchen area are located on the first floor of the Basic Science Annex on the School of Medicine campus. The lounge, containing a television, computers, and a telephone, is available to students 24 hours a day.

Arthur L. Humphries Physical Fitness Center

The Arthur L. Humphries Physical Fitness Center is located on the ground floor of the Dorn V.A. Medical Center Auditorium. Equipped with a variety of exercise machines and mats, the center is open to School of Medicine students, faculty, and staff and Dorn V.A. Medical Center physicians, staff, and patients (under medical supervision).

Services for Students with Disabilities

The University of South Carolina does everything reasonably possible in an attempt to accommodate students with disabilities in the attainment of their academic objectives. Its Office of Disability Services is available to help disabled students with any problems in their campus life experience and to facilitate any adjustments that might be required. Medical students are invited to contact the Office of Disability Services, University of South Carolina, LeConte College, Room 106, Columbia, SC 29208, 803-777-6742, (TDD 803- 777-6744)  http://www.sa.sc.edu/sds.

University Programs

As students of the University of South Carolina, medical students are entitled to use all facilities and programs available to University students. A partial listing follows.

Russell House University Union

Located at the center of the campus, this facility contains numerous meeting rooms, a ballroom, television and conversational lounges, music listening rooms, a browsing lounge, a theater, and office space for student organizations, including the Student Government, campus newspaper, and radio station.

A variety of services is provided throughout the building. Personnel assist students in locating services. University Dining Services operates food service facilities in the Russell House University Union.

Carolina Productions arranges educational, recreational, and social activities for and with the entire University community. For information, contact the Carolina Productions in the Russell House.


The University sponsors extensive programs in nine men's and 11 women's intercollegiate sports. Its athletic teams, the Gamecocks and the Lady Gamecocks, compete as members of the Southeastern Conference of NCAA Division 1A.

Among the facilities for athletics at the University are Williams-Brice Stadium, Colonial Center, an all-weather track, a baseball stadium, and tennis courts. The Blatt Physical Education Center and the Strom Thurmond Wellness and Fitness Center provide extensive indoor space for student sports, including Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Intramural Recreational Athletic and Club Sports

The Division of Student and Alumni Services of the University conducts an extensive intramural athletic and recreational sports program for all students, with competition in many areas. Students may participate as individuals and teams in more than 25 intramural sports and in 13 club sports.

Student Health

Student Health Policies

Contagious Infections and/or Diseases. The School of Medicine has adopted the following policy regarding applicants and students with contagious infections and/or diseases:

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine supports fully the spirit and intent of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 in fulfilling its role of providing a medical education to qualified candidates with contagious infections and/or diseases who do not constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of other individuals and who are otherwise able to fulfill the requirements incident to attending medical school.

In fulfilling its obligation to educate future physicians, the School of Medicine is charged with maintaining the integrity of the curriculum; preserving, as part of the curriculum, those elements deemed necessary to the education of physicians; and adhering to procedures consonant with those established with the Centers for Disease Control, among others, to maintain the health and safety of patients.

It is, therefore, the policy of the School of Medicine to fulfill the above-stated obligation, and to provide expert and safe patient care; protect the personal rights of students with contagious infections and/or diseases, including the right to be free from disparate treatment and improper management of confidential information; provide information, education, and support services that promote the professional and personal well-being of students; provide a safe working environment for all students; and provide for the implementation of laws and regulations pertaining to public health and welfare.

Therefore, pursuant to the above-stated policy, in appropriate cases, after obtaining the advice and consultation of the appropriate clinical clerkship director, the School of Medicine will monitor and modify the clinical activities of infected students who pose unwarranted risks to patients. The decision to modify the clinical activities shall be based upon an objective evaluation of the individual student's experience, technical expertise, functional disabilities, and the extent to which the contagious infection and/or disease can be readily transmitted. The infected student shall be afforded full participation in clinical activities that do not pose unwarranted risks to patients, as determined by the appropriate clinical clerkship director. In all instances where the educational activities of a student are modified, steps shall be taken to ensure that his/her educational experience is equivalent to that of his/her uninfected peers. In such cases, maintaining the integrity of the educational experience afforded such a student shall be of paramount importance.

Chemical Dependency. The School of Medicine has adopted the following policy regarding chemical dependency in medical students:

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine recognizes that chemical dependency represents a problem of national proportions and that medical students may be at increased risk.

The School of Medicine is therefore committed to providing an integrated substance abuse curriculum to medical students as a component of their medical education, to promoting student wellness by identifying and assisting students who may be chemically dependent, and to providing access for medical students to confidential chemical dependency treatment programs that will not jeopardize their professional career goals.

Definitions. Substance abuse is characterized as insidious, progressive, chronic, malignant, primary, family-centered, and treatable. The medical consequences resulting from impairment from substance abuse range from a mild hangover to death due to bleeding, infection, or trauma. For medical students, impairment is defined as recurring trouble associated with alcohol or drug abuse; the trouble may occur in any of several domains, including interpersonal (family or other relationships), educational, legal, financial, or medical. Examples include the range of behaviors from absences from class, clinical clerkships, and electives; repeated lateness in the initiation or completion of assigned responsibilities; binge drinking to violence while under the influence of chemicals; traffic accidents and arrests for driving under the influence; attempts to reduce chemical use; receipt of criticism about alcohol and/or drug use from fellow students, faculty members, medical residents, and other clinical supervisors; and, most especially, the student's continued drinking and/or drug use in spite of adverse consequences.

Sources of assistance. Confidential assistance for medical students with suspected chemical dependency impairment may be obtained from any of the following sources:

Community resources: The South Carolina Medical Association Physicians' Assistance and Advocacy Committee has formally agreed to provide compassionate assistance to medical students and medical residents with chemical dependency problems. Confidential assistance with assessment, intervention, or treatment questions can be obtained by contacting the Physicians' Assistance and Advocacy Committee chair at 803-798-6207 or 800-327-1021. South Carolina Medical Association offices are located at 3210 Fernandina Road, Columbia, SC 29211.

University of South Carolina/School of Medicine resources: One component of the School of Medicine Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science focuses on education, clinical research, and clinical assessment in the area of alcohol and other substance abuse. Medical students concerned about their use/abuse of chemical substances and/or that of their peers may obtain confidential assistance by contacting the USC Counseling and Human Development Center (803-777-5223).  In addition, the Peer Advocacy Committee of the Medical Student Association has confidential advisement from a physician faculty member in the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science.  Confidential assistance with intervention and referral may be obtained by contacting the Peer Advocacy Committee through the Medical Student Assocation.  The  Psychological Services Center (803-777-4864), and the Thomson Student Health Center (803-777-3957), all on the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina, and the School of Medicine Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science (803-434-4300) provide confidential assessment, referral, and treatment. Assistance is also available from the associate dean for medical education and academic affairs (803-733-1531), the director of student and career services (803-733-3132), and the GHSUMC assistant dean for medical education (864-455-5494).

Other resources: A comprehensive listing of statewide educational, counseling, and referral resources for problems related to chemical dependency is available from the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science; see above. An additional list of resources is published annually by the University of South Carolina in the Carolina Community: Student Handbook and Policy Guide provided to each medical student at the beginning of the fall semester. The Carolina Community also contains those University policies and procedures relating to the use of alcohol and other drugs to which all enrolled University students are subject as members of the University community.

Student Health Services

Student Health Services provides accessible, convenient, high quality, low cost health care. The health services team is sincerely interested in your health and wants to be your partner in wellness.

Student Health Services provides on-campus medical, mental health, ancillary, and health and wellness services for students. Services include (1) ambulatory primary care at clinics and ancillary services located at the nationally accredited Thomson Student Health Center; (2) a comprehensive array of counseling, testing, and psychological and psychiatric services available at the nationally accredited Counseling and Human Development Center; and (3) a wide variety of wellness-oriented programs and educational services offered by the Office for Campus Wellness and the Office for Sexual Health and Violence Prevention. Students are encouraged to visit the various Student Health Services Web sites for additional information on clinics, services, and programs. Links to these sites can be found at www.sa.sc.edu/tshc/thomson.htm     www.sa.sc.edu/shs

Counseling/Consultation Services

Students in the School of Medicine have available to them various counseling, consultation, and psychotherapeutic resources. These may be sought from the Office of Student and Career Services, faculty and student advisors, and psychologists and psychiatrists with appointments in the School of Medicine, as well as from the various services and counseling centers on the University campus. Emergency psychiatric services and confidential assessment, referral, and treatment services are available on a 24-hour-a-day basis from the School of Medicine Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science (803-434-4300).

Students enrolled in the School of Medicine program at the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center have access to equivalent counseling and medical services; information about these services is provided to students at the time of third-year orientation.

Medical Insurance

Students enrolled in the School of Medicine are required to have a current medical insurance policy in effect at the time of fall registration and throughout the academic year and to provide the School of Medicine with verification/proof of insurance or sign a formal declaration waiver form.

A comprehensive health insurance policy is made available by Pearce & Pearce, Inc. through the University of South Carolina for students and their spouses and/or children. Brochures and registration materials are available to all students. The policy is in effect from August 1st to July 31st, with fee payment due at the time of fall and spring registrations.


Students are also required to provide, prior to matriculation, a current medical history, the results of a physical examination, and immunization data on forms provided by the School of Medicine. In order to ensure the health and safety of students and patients in both the classroom and clinical settings, students must provide documentation of immunizations:  two dates/doses of MMR or immune state (titers) for rubeola, rubella, mumps; varicella (either a titer or documentation of two doses of varicella vaccine, history of chickenpox is no longer accepted); polio at the time of initial matriculation (refusal form available); and evidence of a tetanus booster.  A TB test is required within six months of matriculation. If the results of TB testing are positive or if the student is known to have tested positive previously, the student must provide proof of positive PPD and negative chest x-ray within the last three years.  Continuing students will receive TB testing each year as arranged by the medical school.  Evidence of a hepatitis-B vaccine is required with a blood titer prior to matriculation, or to be completed by the end of the first semester (refusal form available).  Students accepted in transfer must also provide documentation of hepatitis B immunization and evidence of immune status by blood titer by the end of the first year of transfer (refusal form available).  A hepatitis B immunization program is available, at cost, through the School of Medicine during the first year of medical education.

Workers Compensation Insurance

All medical students are covered by Workers Compensation insurance through the State Accident Fund for any injuries sustained by students during the course of those clinical activities that are a part of their medical educations. The premium for this insurance is paid by the School of Medicine. Information about Workers Compensation insurance policies and procedures and the reporting requirements for injuries sustained by students during their medical educations is provided to students annually and available in the Office of Student Services.

Disability Insurance

A disability insurance policy is available and required for all medical students. Annual premium payment is due at the time of fall registration.

Student Organizations

Students enrolled in the School of Medicine may participate in a wide variety of University organizations, including those of specific interest to medical students.

Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA). AOA is the national honor society for medical students. Election to AOA membership is based upon academic achievement, integrity, leadership ability, and service to the School of Medicine. Eligibility for AOA membership is limited to third- and fourth-year medical students.

Medical Student Association (MSA). The goal of the MSA is to foster the exchange of ideas among health science students. Toward this end, periodic seminars are held at which research and health-related topics of both a general and specific nature are discussed. The MSA also sponsors social, athletic, and community service activities for students and faculty members.

American Medical Student Association (AMSA). AMSA is a national student organization that offers supplementary educational programs, including sections in specialized fields and summer preceptorships. Membership dues are a one-time fee that includes organizational membership, publications, an opportunity to purchase life insurance, and other services. Members are also eligible to attend the annual national convention.

American Medical Women's Association (AMWA). AMWA is a national organization representing women medical students and physicians. Its goal is to enhance the education and training of members and to educate them and the public on health issues of women.

Medical Student Section of the American Medical Association (AMA-MSS). The AMA-MSS enables students to be represented in the activities of organized medicine within the state and nation.

Student National Medical Association (SNMA). The School of Medicine SNMA chapter encourages minority students to consider careers in the health professions and promotes mutual support and communication among minority medical students.

Journal Club.  The Journal Club keeps students informed on new research and procedures in medical science; gives students the opportunity to read and present research to their peers in a comfortable setting (as good practice for future presentations as upperclassmen or residents); and, gives students the opportunity to access the appropriate faculty while preparing their presentations.

Emergency Medicine Interest Group. The Emergency Medicine Interest Group provides opportunities for students to learn about the specialty of emergency medicine. At quarterly meetings and seminars, students meet emergency medicine physicians, participate in practical, hands-on workshops, and discuss topics of relevance to emergency medicine.

Family Medicine Interest Group. The Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and the South Carolina chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians sponsor a Family Practice Club for students who have an interest in careers in this field. At meetings held throughout the academic year at student-determined intervals, students meet family and preventive medicine faculty members, practicing family physicians, and family practice residents. In addition, an annual dinner meeting is held at which a prominent family physician is featured as guest speaker.

Internal Medicine Interest Group. The Internal Medicine Interest Group holds informational and social meetings during the academic year for students interested in general internal medicine and in the various specialties and subspecialties of internal medicine. These meetings include presentations by faculty members in the Department of Medicine, community physicians, and internal medicine residents.

Obstetrics and Gynecology Interest Group.  The OB/GYN Interest Group provides programs for students interested in OB/GYN and other women’s health issues.  Meetings include presentations by faculty in the Department of OB/GYN, community physicians and OB/GYN residents.  Students are also involved in the Teen Clinic at 1801 Sunset Blvd.

Pediatric Interest Group. The Pediatric Interest Group was initiated by the Department of Pediatrics to assist students potentially interested in pediatrics to pursue their interests by means of regular contact with departmental faculty members and residents and with regional and national experts in the field. Meetings and social events are held regularly throughout the academic year.

Psychiatry Interest Group. The Psychiatry Interest Group was created to foster students interested in psychiatry and behavioral science. Four to six dinner meetings are held throughout the academic year, with presentations by faculty members involved in behavioral science/psychiatry research.

Surgery Interest Group. For students with an interest in surgery, the Surgical Interest Group is a student-administered organization that meets monthly throughout the academic year. At these meetings, open to students in all four years, case discussions about surgical cases are moderated by faculty members, with first-year students presenting the anatomy, second-year students presenting the pathophysiology, and third- and fourth-year students presenting the work-up and diagnosis of the case.

Wilderness Medicine Interest Group. The Wilderness Medicine Interest Group provides programs for students with an interest in aspects of wilderness medicine, including emergency response and preventive care. 

American Geriatrics Society (AGS).  The purpose of the student chapter network of AGS is to interest physicians-in-training in the field of geriatrics, to enhance the visibility of geriatric medicine at the medical school level, and to provide educational programs on geriatric medicine.  AGS holds events in which speakers in the field of geriatrics educate students on relevant issues in the areas of research as well as standard practices.

Religious Activities. Medical students are invited to participate in a wide range of student religious activities on the University campus. There is a University chaplain available for counseling. Several denominations provide religious centers with full-time chaplains offering services to the University community. Columbia churches and denominations also serve University students.

Christian Medical Association (CMA). Medical students may participate in monthly CMA activities on the School of Medicine campus.