The medical school at Columbia University is called the Roy and Diana Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, or P&S. Located in Manhattan, New York, the school enrolls about 600 M.D. students a year and is ranked highly for both its research and primary care. It is affiliated with New York-Presbyterian Hospital, one of the highest ranked hospitals in the country. The school was originally founded in 1767 as the first medical school in the colonies. Students who attend this school can certainly benefit from more than 10 centers and institutes including the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Institute of Human Nutrition. P&S is also very well respected for its Occupational Therapy Program.
The P&S curriculum does not follow the traditional style of other medical schools. First of all, students can graduate in less than four years. The program at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons is divided into three sections: Fundamentals, which takes 18 months to complete; Major Clinical Year; and a 14-month program of clinics, electives, and selectives. Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons students are also required to complete a 4-month academic project before graduation. Some of the most popular areas of specialty include emergency medicine, neurology, pediatrics, and psychiatry. Individuals can complete rotations at nearby affiliated hospitals like the Harlem Hospital Center, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Concord, New Hampshire, and Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut. P&S also has the Columbia-Bassett Program for students who are interested in pursuing a career in rural medicine.
There are other opportunities for students to get involved outside of the classroom or hospital setting. P&S has more than 70 student organizations on campus organized into eight categories based on themes and interests. The school prides itself on having a diverse student population which has consisted of famous musicians and Olympic athletes. There are a wide range of clubs, including the Bard Hall Players, which is one of the country’s most active theater groups consisting of med students. P&S Club has helped many students get involved as volunteers as well. In the past, the club’s members worked to offer medical services to Eskimo and Native American fisherman. Students who enjoy extracurriculars, paired with challenging academics, should look into Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons.