Medical Education

The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URSMD) is dedicated to training future humanistic physicians who are leaders in clinical medicine, research, and administration. The “Double Helix Curriculum—Translations and Transitions” integrates clinical and basic science throughout four years emphasizing the Biopsychosocial Model. Our curriculum includes instruction in the pillars of Collaborative Care, Technology in Medicine, and Professional Identity Formation. Our instruction utilizes a variety of modalities including problem based learning, small group experiences, simulation, and team based learning. Medical Humanities transcend our curriculum to facilitate education in innovative and creative ways. Outcomes assessments guide students in achieving excellence.

There are numerous research opportunities, elective pathways, and international opportunities to further assist students in achieving their long-term educational and career goals. The school is committed to setting the highest standards in medical education and serving as a national model for innovation and continuous improvement in medical student education. We welcome your exploration of our website which will allow you to appreciate the Rochester difference.

Congratulations to the Class of 2020

We are extraordinarily proud of the School of Medicine and Dentistry Class of 2020 and, in lieu of being able to celebrate their achievement in the traditional way, were pleased to share messages honoring them and to celebrate the graduates and faculty who were cited with awards.

Please join us in congratulating our new graduates by watching our virtual ceremony. In addition to a welcome from David Lambert, M.D., Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education, names of all graduates were announced by Flavia Nobay, M.D., Associate Dean for Admissions. Celebratory remarks were shared by Dean Mark B. Taubman, M.D., Class of 2020’s Bethanne Bartscherer, M.D., faculty representative Amy M. Potter, M.D., and Keynote Speaker David Guzick, M.D., Ph.D.

We also congratulate our new physicians and to residents and faculty who were honored at part of our commencement celebration. View a complete list of the Class of 2020 Prizes and Awards honorees.​

Here are excerpts from the speakers’ inspiring remarks, which share a common thread in acknowledging the role the Class of 2020 will play in shaping the future of health care. Full versions are available for viewing in the ceremony video.

Mark B. Taubman, M.D., CEO, University of Rochester Medical Center
Dean, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

We are proud of our graduates and proud that we have given you the foundation to make a difference in how health care is delivered in the 21st century. As you move forward in your careers, you will have the satisfaction of shaping how we deliver health care and in having played a central role in translating the biopsychosocial model—true to the University’s motto, Meliora—to something ever better… When I look at our graduates, I know we are in great hands.

Bethanne Bartscherer, M.D.
Class of 2020 Speaker: Sending the Elevator Back Down

Now, more than ever, I am especially grateful for this group of new physicians who I am lucky enough to call my colleagues, who have shared these past four years empowering each other to advocate for a more equitable, just and compassionate health care system.

Amy M. Potter, M.D., Medical Director, Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York
Faculty Address: How to Become a #HealthCareHero Overnight

Follow the aspects of medicine and your job that speak to your heart. I implore you to remember the humble reasons that brought you to this profession, the ones you talked about when you interviewed here just a few years ago… Take a moment to bask in your accomplishment. You deserve this. You are all truly my heroes today.

David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., Emeritus Dean, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
Senior Vice President, Health Affairs and President, UF Health, University of Florida
Keynote Address: Celebrating the Class of 2020

Completing medical school in the year of the coronavirus and entering your residency during the peak of the pandemic will no doubt profoundly shape your perspective on the practice of medicine. More broadly, it will shape the future of public health and medical care in the United States… Your dream of becoming a doctor has now become a reality and we should not let a virus distract us from celebrating this moment… Let us celebrate your achievements and your future. You are needed more than ever, and it is comforting to know that the future of medicine is in such good hands. Meliora to you all!

URSMD Class of 2020 Graduates Early

In response to the pandemic, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry conferred the MD degree upon members of the Class of 2020 on April 8, 2020.  The medical school will have a virtual Commencement Ceremony on May 15, 2020.  Below is the video of the Conferral of the MD Degree Ceremony.

URSMD COVID-19 Response

The University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry’s MD education program has implemented a number of changes in response to COVID-19 to maximize the health and safety of applicants, medical students, and the community.  We have closely reviewed guidance provided by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and will continue to do so.  Additionally, we have been in touch with many other medical schools in New York State and throughout the United States to maintain approaches that are consistent with other schools.

All individuals who have applied to our medical school and were granted an interview have completed their interviews.  Our “second look” weekend to revisit the medical school for students who have been admitted was conducted as a virtual experience so no one traveled to Rochester.

Regarding our currently enrolled medical students, for courses in the first two years of the curriculum, all lectures are digitally recorded and available for students to view.  Small group instruction including Problem Based Learning and Team Based Learning is conducted virtually.  Clinical experiences in the first two years were suspended and any content not able to be delivered through other means will be delivered in the next academic year.

All clinical clerkships in the third year and electives were suspended as of March 15th.  No students will be involved in the evaluation or care of any patients suspected of having or confirmed to have COVID-19. As medical students often complete electives at other medical schools and hospitals, we currently have no students completing electives away and we will not approve any for the foreseeable future.  Additionally, we will not accept any students from other U.S. or international institutions at this time.

We have canceled all student volunteer activities, social events, and non-essential educational talks except for those volunteer activities that are within the university.  We have notified students who were planning to complete international work over the summer or in the next academic year that this will not be possible and alternative plans should be made.  

As the situation is dynamic, we will make modifications to our current plans and students will continue to receive details and changes through email.  We are confident that the talent and resilience of our medical school community will allow all of us to be successful in the weeks and months ahead.