Harvard Medical School (HMS) is one of the oldest medical schools in the country and was founded in 1782. The school has become well-known for its research in geriatrics, internal medicine, and drug and alcohol abuse. Harvard is affiliated with more than 20 institutions in the Boston area. It also works with Partners Harvard Medical International (PHMI), which is affiliated with universities in Munich, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
Harvard is one of the larger medical schools in the country, with just over 700 students enrolled every year. Class sizes are also a bit bigger than other schools, with a faculty-student ratio of just under 13 to 1. The Medical School currently has over 9,000 faculty members as well as over 9,000 alumni living around the world.
Aside from a traditional MD degree, Harvard Medical School also offers joint degrees like the MD/PhD degree through the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Students can also take courses through Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. There are also opportunities for students interested in engineering and medicine through the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology Program.
The curriculum currently used was actually developed by a Harvard president back in the 1800s. Harvard Medical School students focus on academics the first two years and then begin their clinical work. The most popular areas of study include family practice, pediatrics, and radiation oncology.
One difference with most other medical schools is that Harvard Medical School students are divided into five societies during their first semester. Each society is named after a famous Harvard alum and includes a master and several associate masters who work as academic advisors to the rest of the students in their group. Students participate in small group tutorials and lab sessions within their society through the New Pathway program.
There are plenty of opportunities for students to blow off steam outside the classroom and clinic settings. The five societies compete in the Society Olympics every year; activities include events like the dance-off, dodge ball, and a limbo contest. Many other events are held on campus, like the First-Year Adventure Trip and the annual White Coat Ceremony. Students also enjoy participating in the Second Year Show, where second-years put on a live musical. These extracurricular activities demonstrate that Harvard knows how to balance rigorous studies with lighthearted events. Students interested in studying at a prestigious medical school should look into Harvard Medical School’s program.