University of Utah School of Medicine: Training Tomorrow’s Physicians for the Rapidly Changing World of Medicine

The University combines excellence in teaching, research, and clinical expertise to train tomorrow’s physicians for the rapidly changing world of medicine.

The University of Utah School of Medicine (SOM) is located on the upper campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was founded in 1905 and offers the only MD program in the state of Utah. The institute engages in year-round community outreach programs throughout Utah to encourage students to consider careers in health care, including medicine. Over the last four years, applications to the MD program have nearly tripled. Considering the school’s clinical and campus resources, along with Salt Lake City’s incredible lifestyle benefits, such massive growth isn’t so surprising.

The SOM ranks among the top 50 of US medical schools and offers the No. 5-ranked Physician Assistant program. Along with a traditional MD degree, combined degrees like MD-PhD, MD-MPH, and MD-MBA are also available.

Perched on the foothills of the incredible Wasatch Mountains, the University of Utah campus overlooks Salt Lake City. Right from campus, students can access hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails. The deeply powdered slopes of 11 ski resorts lie within a half-hour’s drive of campus. Five national parks, 43 state parks, 120+ golf courses, a vibrant downtown scene, and affordable living complete the picture.

Brilliant Educational and Infrastructural Facilities

With a clinical footprint covering nearly 10% of the U.S., students at the University of Utah enjoy uncommonly broad access to a variety of health care settings. Urban, rural, and even frontier populations offer unrivaled diversity of clinical experience.

The University of Utah Health is the only university health system in the Mountain West, handling 1.7M+ annual patient visits. More than 5,000 practicing clinicians and nurses staff its four hospitals, the Clinical Neurosciences Center, and 12 community health centers. The physicians also support a joint on-campus venture with the Intermountain Healthcare-operated Primary Children’s Hospital.

Students at the University also receive consistent exposure to research. The school is known for expertise in genetics, cancer, biomedical informatics, neuroscience, and infectious disease. As stewards of the world’s largest collection of multigenerational pedigrees tied to health information, the University is advancing a new era of precision medicine and population health through its Utah Genome Project (UGP). UGP is a large-scale genome sequencing and analysis initiative pooling faculty expertise, genetics resources, and leading-edge computational technologies. Medical students are part of this effort, helping advance prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of genetics-influenced conditions.

Insightful Leadership

  1. Lorris Betz, MD, PhD, currently serves as interim Senior Vice President for Health Sciences, CEO of the health system, and Executive Dean of the medical school, having served previously in that role from 1999-2011. An internationally-recognized leader in academic health administration, Betz has led U of U Health’s system-wide mission of providing world-class patient care, delivering outstanding medical education, and conducting transformative research. He also kicked off efforts that have led U of U Health to be recognized among the nation’s top 10 academic medical centers for eight consecutive years.

Financial Assistance

The SOM and the Financial Aid Office assist students in meeting the cost of attending medical school through various scholarships and loans. Funds from various sources may be “packaged” to cover costs of attendance. These can include loans, scholarships, federal aid, and various repayment programs. Awards may be based on merit, although many are based on demonstrated financial need.

Career Opportunities and Exposures

The University provides a wide array of career openings and experiences to the students. Co-location with University Hospital and the U of U Health system gives medical students deep clinical exposure from day one. The university’s hallmark is to provide opportunities to participate in pioneering efforts in health care value and quality. Its residency match rate is higher than the national average of 96.2%.

Highly Distinguished Alumni

The institute has produced numerous graduates who have made it big in various walks of life. Some of the accomplished alumni of the institute who have made the institution proud through their achievements include Russell M. Nelson, MD, PhD, who helped develop the heart-lung machine and performed Utah’s first open heart surgery in 1955. Homer R. Warner, MD, PhD, founded the nation’s first biomedical informatics department, pioneering evidence-based clinical care, in 1964. Robert Jarvik, MD, developed the Jarvik-7 artificial heart.

Words of Trust

I chose the University of Utah because of the feelings I had when I came for my tour and interview. I felt that every door would be open to me here. I love getting up every morning to come to school. I know that the U prepares me to provide the best possible patient care. The mountains can’t be beat either.” – Veronica M. Urbik

“What strikes me about the University of Utah is how everyone is invested in my success. When I approached student affairs with a new program idea, I was offered all the support I needed to launch it successfully. Even course directors try to know you on a first-name basis and are always available to help”. – Shreya Sreekantaswamy

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