University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA

The University of Maryland School of Medicine (abbreviated UM SOM or UMB SOM), located in Baltimore City, Maryland, U.S., is the medical school of the University of Maryland, Baltimore and is affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System. Established in 1807 as the College of Medicine of Maryland,  it is the first public and the fifth oldest medical school in the United States. It was also the first medical school to institute a residency training program. UMB SOM’s campus includes Davidge Hall, which was built in 1812, and is the oldest building in continuous use for medical education in the Northern Hemisphere.

In addition to an MD degree, the UMB SOM offers PhD programs through the Graduate Program in Life Sciences. It also offers several joint degree programs: a Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) MD/PhD, a joint MD/DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery), the MD/MPH (Master of Public Health) program, and the PhD/DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy).

The University of Maryland School of Medicine was ranked 40th in U.S. News and World Report‘s 2016 rankings of “Best Medical Schools: Research” and 44th in “Best Medical Schools: Primary Care”. In 2013, the school offered admission to 6.8% of applicants. Since 2006, the medical school dean has been E. Albert Reece.

Chartered as the College of Medicine of Maryland in December 1807, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was the founding school of the University System of Maryland  and the only public medical school in the U.S. at the time.  It is the fifth oldest medical school in the country after the medicals schools at Columbia University (established May 1807), Dartmouth College(1798), Harvard University (1782), and the University of Pennsylvania (1765).

Its founding by Nathaniel Potter and John Beale Davidge was part of an influx of professionals to Baltimore and the rapid urban development that immediately followed the American Revolution. By the late 1780s, there was public discussion about the need for “medical reform and suppression of quackery”. A group of physicians made several short-lived attempts at starting medical schools around the turn of the 19th century, and were finally successful in 1807 when the Maryland state legislature passed the Medical College Bill, authorizing the formation the College of Medicine of Maryland.  In 1812 it was rechartered as the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Davidge Hall, built in 1812 and still in use today, is the original building of the College of Medicine of Maryland. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest building in continuous use for medical education in the United States. In the 1950s, the building was named after John Beale Davidge, one of the founders and the first dean of the College of Medicine of Maryland.

In a 2011 article in Forbes magazine, Steven Salzberg criticized the school’s inclusion of pseudoscientific subjects such as homeopathy in the curriculum. According to Salzberg, the school is “mis-training medical students” by teaching courses in integrative medicine.

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have made several milestone discoveries in the field of biomedical research and therapeutics. Recent discoveries include the development of aromatase inhibitors for the treatment of breast cancer by the lab of Angela Brodie,  and the discovery of calcium sparks as drivers of heart contraction by the lab of Jonathan Lederer. The School of Medicine is a research-focused academic institution, with over $400 million in extramural research funding in 2015.  A large portion of that research funding comes from the federal government of the United States. As of 2016, over $148 million in research grants from the NIH were attributed to the parent university of the School of Medicine. Focus areas of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s research include cancer research, cardiovascular research, neuroscience, and virology.

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