The School of Medicine - Columbia

This is an archived copy of the 2020-2021 bulletin. To access the most recent version of the bulletin, please visit

Vision, Mission, Values


To be part of a vibrant academic health center that provides access to the best evidence-based medical care and biomedical education, supported by research and cutting edge technologies.


We serve the people of South Carolina and beyond through exemplary medical and health education, transformative research, and compassionate patient care.



We are committed to achieving the highest levels of personal and professional performance in all our endeavors.


We adhere to the highest standards of behavior guided by the values and practices of our professions.


We partner with individuals, teams, institutions and communities to enhance the value of our efforts.

Diversity and Inclusion

We create and sustain an inclusive and diverse environment, demonstrating in word and deed our commitment to valuing and supporting each other and those whom we serve.


We are resolute in our efforts to relieve suffering and promote fairness.


In 1973, after considerable prior public discussion and planning, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the State Legislature authorized the University of South Carolina to apply for a grant from the Veterans Administration to assist in the development of the medical school; the grant (funded through the Teague-Cranston Act) was approved in 1974.  Faculty recruitment and curriculum planning began in 1975 and in 1976 the School of Medicine received provisional accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges.  In February 1977, the school was granted approval for the admission of the first class of 24 medical students in the fall of 1977.  The Charter Class graduated in May 1981, at which time the School of Medicine was fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.  Medical student class size has more than tripled since the entrance of the first class.

The School of Medicine’s educational programs were further augmented by the establishment of the Ph.D. Program in Biomedical Science in 198l, the M.S. Program in Genetic Counseling in 1985, the M.S Program in Nurse Anesthesia 1993, and the M.S. Program in Biomedical Science in 1998.  The University’s M.S. Program in Rehabilitation Counseling program was transferred to the School of Medicine in 1994.  A M.S. Program in Physician Assistant Studies is scheduled to open in 2017.  Residency programs in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, preventive medicine, psychiatry, and surgery are cosponsored with Palmetto Health and the Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center.  Fellowships in surgical, medical, and psychiatric specialties are offered by individual School of Medicine departments in conjunction with Palmetto Health.

The School of Medicine’s basic science campus, consisting of fully renovated historic buildings, is located four miles from the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina.  The complex provides excellent teaching and research facilities.  Most clinical departments are located on the campus at Palmetto Health-Richland in central Columbia.

Affiliated hospitals in Columbia include the WJB Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center, the Palmetto Health Alliance including Palmetto Health Richland Hospital and Palmetto Baptist Medical Center.  In 2014, the School of Medicine’s affiliation with the Greenville Hospital System (GHS) ended.  That affiliation had provided School of Medicine students the opportunity for completion of core third- and fourth-year clerkships and rotations at the GHS facility.  The last students from the School of Medicine trained at GHS graduated in 2015.

The School of Medicine started a regional branch campus in 2014 that allows third- and fourth-year students to take core clerkships in Florence, SC.  Faculty have been credentialed in all clerkships in addition to elective areas.  A regional assistant dean, student services director, and site assistant clerkship directors have been hired.  Initial feedback has been good with students reporting hands on opportunities in procedures, close apprentice-like teaching relationships with faculty and family medicine residents, and great support from the community and institutions.  The students at Florence are also enrolled in a longitudinal professional leadership seminar.  This partnership is in collaboration with Carolinas Medical Center, McLeod Health System, and Francis Marion University.

To aid expanding activities among the various sites and institutions, the School of Medicine has established an extensive high definition video conferencing system at all three Columbia campuses, assisted GHS-UMC in developing a comparable video conferencing capability in Greenville, and installed and maintains video conference units at all three Rural Primary Care Education Centers.  The School of Medicine has developed a reputation for its primary care medical education and for the excellent quality of students graduating from the medical school.  The medical school collaborates closely with state agencies involved in health service delivery, sponsors research focused primarily on South Carolina health care needs, and provides a wide range of clinical care services to South Carolinians.

To further enhance the educational opportunities for our students, the School of Medicine also signed affiliation agreements with Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, SC to allow third- and fourth-year student electives, and with Providence Hospital in Columbia for part of the surgery clerkship.

Additionally, the School of Medicine has begun integration with its major partner’s practices, Palmetto Health.  This integration will add additional training sites and faculty for education, provide ability for the health care system to provide population health services, and to better serve our patients and learners due to an improved financial environment.

In 2006, the School of Medicine began an integrated ultrasound curriculum for medical students, the first in the nation.  Since that time, the School of Medicine has hosted the First and Second World Congress on Ultrasound in Medical Education, and started the first Primary Care Ultrasound Fellowship in 2011 among many other accomplishments and initiatives in ultrasound for students.

The School of Medicine

The School of Medicine Campus

The Offices of Admissions and Enrollment Services, Student and Career Services, Curricular Affairs and Media Resources, and Minority Affairs, as well as basic science departmental offices and laboratories and the Medical Library are located on the School of Medicine campus adjacent to the Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Office of the Dean and clinical department offices are located primarily on the Richland Medical Park campus.

Library Facilities

The School of Medicine Library serves as the School of Medicine’s information gateway to over 10,000 biomedical electronic journals, over 1,300 electronic textbooks (Access Medicine, Clinical Key), over 80 biomedical databases (MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, Essential Evidence Plus, Micromedex,Web of Science), a diagnostic decision support system (DxPLAIN), consumer health information, an online catalog, and PASCAL, South Carolina’s state-wide academic electronic library. The Library’s print collection consists of more than 68,000 volumes. The Library provides information resources to meet the needs of the School’s faculty, staff, and students and the larger USC community, area health care professionals, and consumers. In its role as a resource library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern/Atlantic Region, the Library also provides information services to all health care professionals in South Carolina. Professional librarians offer reference services, customized literature searches, and a series of on-demand classes for faculty and students on Photoshop, Current Awareness Tools, PubMed, Ovid, and evidence-based medicine resources.  Librarians also offer course-integrated instruction to meet the specific needs of students and optimize their research and information literacy skills.  Numerous online tutorials are available to provide an overview of an e-resource and can help users improve their searching skills.  The Library Liaison Service actively supports the faculty and staff of the School of Medicine, and fosters communication between the Library and School of Medicine departments.  Liaison Librarians offer instruction on the use of various library resources and advise on library services and policies.  A Computer Classroom with ten workstations and an instructor’s workstation is available for instructional purposes. School of Medicine students and faculty also have access to all of the print and electronic resources available from the Thomas Cooper Library of the University of South Carolina. Located on the University’s main campus, the Thomas Cooper Library provides access to over 28,000 electronic journals and has a collection of nearly 3 million bound volumes. To further explore the School of Medicine Library’s resources, consult the Library’s web site at

Affiliated Hospitals

Palmetto Health Richland

Palmetto Health Richland is one of the largest acute-care facilities in South Carolina and a community teaching hospital that serves patients from every corner of the state.  Boasting the region’s only Level I emergency/trauma center, the Richland campus also includes the state’s only freestanding heart hospital, the first children’s hospital in South Carolina, and the region’s only primary stroke center.  Palmetto Health Richland is the Midlands’ hub of surgical excellence, offering robotic surgery and incision-free gamma knife radiosurgery in addition to hosting operating rooms for neurosurgery, heart surgery, and orthopaedic, laparoscopic and ear/nose/throat procedures.  Among the hospital’s other world-class facilities and specialty services are a simulation center, breast center, cancer centers, women’s services, a mental/behavioral health services network, and an acclaimed research division that sponsors and conducts innumerable clinical trials.  Through its affiliation with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Palmetto Health Richland hosts 22 residency and fellowship programs in a wide range of specialties and subspecialties. The hospital is the clinical home to residencies in dentistry, emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, preventive medicine, psychiatry and surgery. Fellowship programs include EMS and simulation, emergency medicine ultrasound, sports medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, geriatrics, infectious disease, pulmonary, child and adolescent psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and critical care.

Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center

The WJB Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center is one of the most active VA Medical Centers in the South Carolina-Georgia region which includes Primary Care, Specialty Care, Mental Health, Acute, Medical, Surgical, Psychiatric, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Neurology, Oncology, Dentistry, Geriatrics and Extended Care.  Community-Based Outpatient Clinics are located in Anderson, Greenville, Florence, Orangeburg, Spartanburg, Sumter and Rock Hill, SC.  VA Administrative support is provided for the Florence National Cemetery in Florence, SC and Fort Jackson National Cemetery in Columbia, SC; the Vet Centers located in Greenville, SC and Columbia, SC; and the VA Regional Office, which is located on the west side of the Dorn VAMC campus.

South Carolina Department of Mental Health

Various clinical facilities of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health provide diverse clinical experiences for medical students:  G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital provides inpatient psychiatric and forensic treatment and evaluation services to adults; Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital, provides inpatient psychiatric treatment to adults; Morris Village, provides inpatient treatment for adults with alcoholism and drug abuse or addiction and addiction accompanied by psychiatric illness; C. M. Tucker Nursing Care Center, comprised of two licensed nursing homes (Roddey, a general nursing home; Stone, a veterans nursing home) providing intermediate and skilled long-term care.

Carolinas Hospital System

Carolinas Hospital System is located in Florence, SC.  Home to the area’s first accredited Chest Pain Center, the hospital provides comprehensive acute care, cancer care, cardiac care, emergency/trauma services, maternity care, and an array of specialized rehabilitation programs.

McLeod Regional Medical Center

McLeod Regional Medical Center is located in Florence and serves the Pee Dee region of South Carolina.  A Level II trauma center and one of four designated perinatal centers in the region; the facility includes a heart and vascular center and one of the nation’s largest hospital-based health and fitness centers.

Rural Primary Health Care Centers

The John A. Martin Primary Health Care Center, located adjacent to the Fairfield Memorial Hospital in Winnsboro, South Carolina, 35 miles from Columbia, provides medical care to residents of primarily rural Fairfield County and serves as teaching facilities for medical students during the third-year family medicine clerkship.

Graduate Programs

The School of Medicine offers the Doctor of Philosophy and Master’s of Biomedical Science degrees in biomedical science, the Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies, the Master of Science degree in genetic counseling, the Master of Rehabilitation Counseling degree, the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Certificate, the Master’s of Nurse Anesthesia degree, and the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Biomedical Sciences.

Combined M.D./Ph.D. and M.D./M.P.H. Degrees

A combined M.D./Ph.D. plan is available to students interested in careers in academic medicine or medical research. The plan permits students to receive both the M.D. degree and the Ph.D. degree in biomedical science in approximately seven years. An M.D./M.P.H. dual degree plan is available to students in conjunction with the School of Public Health. The plan permits students to receive both the M.D. degree and the M.P.H. degree in five years.

Applicants interested in the combined M.D./Ph.D. and M.D./M.P.H. plans must be admitted separately to each degree program. For additional information about the combined M.D./Ph.D. plan, contact:

Office of Graduate Studies
School of Medicine
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

For additional information about the M.D./M.P.H. dual degree plan, contact:

Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services
School of Medicine
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208