University of Virginia
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School of Medicine
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General Information

According to Thomas Jefferson, medical education was to become part of the curriculum and of the general education at the University of Virginia. A "School of Anatomy and Medicine" was one of the original eight schools authorized by an Act of the General Assembly, passed January 25, 1819, and opened on March 7, 1825.

Unlike many other medical schools of that era, the Medical School was always an integral part of the University, and the professors received full-time appointments. During the early years, the curriculum for the medical degree consisted of a graduated course entailing the most thorough theoretical instruction, except for the anatomical lessons of the dissecting room. Consequently, many medical students took additional degrees in schools in large cities where they obtained the necessary clinical training. The bias against clinical instruction was based, in part, on a Jeffersonian concept which stressed the teaching of medicine from a cultural rather than from a practical point of view.

Today, the University of Virginia Health System serves as one of the major acute-care referral institutions in central and western Virginia. The Health System comprises all of the direct patient care areas and the educational enterprise. The newest component is the University Hospital, which opened in 1990. The hospital and its adjoining Primary Care Center are linked to the old hospital, called the West Complex, located just across the street.

The University of Virginia Hospital has come a long way since its beginnings as a 25-bed facility. Today, the Medical Center is the centerpiece of the Health System, which also includes a school of nursing, a major health sciences library, and a highly rated school of medicine.

The Health System also includes the Children’s Medical Center, the Kluge Children’s Rehabilitation Center, the Private Clinics Building, and the affiliated Virginia Ambulatory Surgery Center. The Center also operates a number of other local clinics and treatment centers. Preventative and family care are available, along with the leading specialists associated with a major medical center.


School of Medicine Admissions
1146 McKim Hall
University of Virginia
P.O. Box 800725
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0725
(434) 924-5571 Fax: (434) 982-2586

Facilities and Research Centers


Teaching Facilities At the heart of the 140,000 square feet of School of Medicine teaching space is Jordan Hall, a seven-story structure that houses the lecture halls and laboratory facilities for the preclinical phase of the curriculum. The first floor of Jordan Hall contains two lecture auditoriums, each seating 152 students, as well as a smaller seminar room. The second floor houses additional student laboratories designed for both individual exercises in histology and pathology as well as group experiments and teaching sessions in microbiology. The rest of the second floor contains basic science research laboratories. Third through seventh floors of Jordan Hall are occupied by the academic offices and research laboratories of the departments of Cell Biology, Physiology, Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and Microbiology. The newest addition to Jordan Hall is a full-equipped conference center, consisting of a 170-seat auditorium and six adjoining conference rooms.

Claude Moore Health Sciences Library The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library serves the faculty, students, and staff of the University of Virginia Health System, which includes the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, the hospital, and the clinics. The Library’s resources are also available to the University community and to health practitioners throughout Virginia. The Library is a modern, fully networked facility with small group study rooms, computer classrooms, a computer lab, and photocopying machines. Free self-service searching of journal and full text databases, such as MEDLINE, is available. All basic services of the Library are computerized for in-house and remote access.

The Library maintains well-developed collections of books, journals, and audiovisuals in medicine, nursing, and related areas. The Library offers numerous databases related to health care for easy citation retrieval and increasing numbers of full-text online journals and textbooks. Documents from the collection or from other libraries on Grounds can be delivered for a fee. A reserve collection contains basic medical and nursing texts, as well as items put on temporary reserve by course instructors. The reference collection includes directories, dictionaries, indexes, statistical sources, and other research tools.

The Learning Resources Center, on the first floor of the Library maintains a collection of videocassettes and other computer software. A variety of players, projectors, recorders, monitors, and computers is available. A state-of-the-art computer classroom is available for use in computer-based instruction.

The Library’s services, resources, and policies are all accessible from an extensive website at:

Research Facilities The research facilities of the School of Medicine include laboratories located in the old Medical School Building, Cobb Hall, Stacey Hall, Jordan Hall, and the Medical Research Buildings, and represent more than 500,000 square feet of dedicated space. Each of the five upper floors of Jordan Hall houses the offices and laboratories of one of the basic science departments. Components of the Cancer Center, the Diabetes Center, and several research service core labs occupy parts of the first and second floors of Jordan Hall. Clinical departments have their research labs in the old Medical School Building, Cobb Hall, the Medical Research Buildings, and the first two floors of Jordan Hall. In addition, the new Bioengineering and Medical Sciences Building houses research labs of the Departments of Pathology, Biomedical Engineering, and the Cardiovascular Research Center.

Medical Student Research Programs Medical students participate to an increasing extent in the research programs of the School of Medicine. There is an active summer research program following the first year of medical school, and further research activities are encouraged thereafter during elective periods. Medical students may also elect to extend their medical education to include a year of basic science or clinical research without an additional year’s tuition. The student will prepare a research proposal outlining the hypothesis for the project, methods, and a time schedule that must be approved by the student’s research supervisory committee. To complete the program, the student will present the initial proposal and a final report in the format of a scientific paper. Recognition for the research year will appear on the student’s transcript.

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