Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine (GCSOM) is the medical school of Geisinger Health System and is located in northeast and north central Pennsylvania. GCSOM offers a community-based model of medical education with four regional campuses – North (Scranton), South (Wilkes-Barre), Central (Danville), and Guthrie (Sayre). The College attracts students from within its 17-county region as well as across Pennsylvania and the nation who are interested in studying evidence- and community-based medicine and who have a strong desire to serve their community. GCSOM offers a Doctor of Medicine (MD) Program and a Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) Program.
The foundation of GCSOM, formerly known as The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC), began with the establishment of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Medical Education Development Consortium (MEDC) in 2004. The consortium included business, medical, community, and government representatives. After acquiring funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and other state, federal and private philanthropic sources, the Commonwealth Medical Education Corporation was formed. In the spring of 2007, Robert M. D’Alessandri, MD, began his tenure as president and founding dean.
Geisinger Commonwealth was awarded degree-granting authority by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2008, received preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in 2008. Dr. D’Alessandri resigned from his position as dean and president in April 2011 “to pursue other opportunities”. In June 2011, the LCME placed GCSOM on probation due to financial stability concerns. Provisional accreditation was granted in 2012, with full accreditation granted in June 2014. In June 2014, GCSOM was also granted full accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). GCSOM accepted its first class of medical and master’s students in 2009. GCSOM graduated its first MD and fourth MBS classes in May 2013.
In April 2011, GCSOM opened the 185,000 square foot Medical Sciences Building in Scranton that houses the academic and research programs. Geisinger Commonwealth established administrative and educational space in Williamsport and in Wilkes-Barre at affiliated hospitals. Overall, the school has relationships with over 25 hospitals in northeast and north central Pennsylvania which provide learning environments for the students.
On September 28, 2016, Geisinger Health System announced it has acquired The Commonwealth Medical College. The acquisition integrated aspects of the health system, such as residency training programs, into TCMC, and also introduced new Master’s programs to increase opportunities for students. Additionally, TCMC was renamed Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.
The MD Class of 2020 had an average MCAT score of 30 and GPA of 3.62 at admission. 12% of the class is from groups historically underrepresented in medicine, and 71% of the 108 students that comprise the class are from Pennsylvania. 29% of the class is specifically from Northeastern Pennsylvania and North Central Pennsylvania.
The school is among the first United States medical schools to adopt the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) model as the standard clinical experience for the entire medical school class in the third year. This allows students to follow a panel of patients over the course of a year. Students live in the community and train with clinical preceptors in the different core disciplines of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, OB/GYN and general surgery. The key difference is the year-long curriculum as opposed to traditional “block” clinical rotations.
The school also offers an accelerated one year MBS program designed to help students strengthen their credentials and candidacy for acceptance into medical and health professional schools.
The first step in these processes for GCSOM was to receive degree-granting authority from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). This authority was received in April, 2008 and allowed the school to accept students for the Masters of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) and Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree programs.
GCSOM received “preliminary” accreditation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) in October 2008. In June 2012, TCMC received “provisional” accreditation. In July 2014, GCSOM received full accreditation by the LCME. This certifies that Geisinger Commonwealth’s MD degree meets national standards for structure and function.
In June 2014, The Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) granted GCSOM full accreditation. To earn and maintain full accreditation, colleges and universities must demonstrate to colleagues from peer institutions that they meet or surpass mutually agreed-upon standards.
Steven J. Scheinman, MD, joined GCSOM in September 2012 as president and dean. He was formerly professor of medicine and pharmacology at SUNY Upstate Medical University, where he had served for eight years as its senior vice president and dean of the College of Medicine.
Board-certified in internal medicine and nephrology, Dr. Scheinman has earned international prominence for his research into the genetics of inherited kidney diseases and kidney stones.