The School of Medicine is located in the Georgetown area of Washington, D.C., a small community of cobblestone streets, trolley tracks, and fine shops and restaurants.
Washington, D.C. is one of the most important cities in the world. Political decisions made in Washington, D.C. affect the lives of people around the world.
Medical, health policy and economic issues are debated daily in many arenas with resolutions that shape the practice of medicine in the United States and abroad. The National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland is world renowned for its medical research and sophisticated technological developments.
The cultural and social opportunities of the nation’s capital are endless. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art with its striking East Wing, the Holocaust Museum, and the Smithsonian Institution, including such facilities as the Museum of Natural History, the Joseph Hirshhorn Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African Art, and the Sackler and Freer Museums of Asian art, are only a few examples of the resources available in Washington.
Washington also is home to the NFL’s Washington Football Team, the Wizards basketball team, the National Hockey League’s Capitals, and Washington Stars and Maryland Bays soccer teams. We also enjoy the success of our neighboring Baltimore Orioles and the Baltimore football team, the Ravens. Naturally, the Hoyas, 1984 NCAA National Champions and six time Big East Conference Champions, are a local, as well as a national attraction.
Recreational opportunities abound within the metropolitan area and both the Appalachian mountains and the Atlantic coast are within a few hours drive of campus.
Medical students at Georgetown find housing off-campus, close to the University. Residents in nearby areas of Burleith, Glover Park, and Georgetown rent houses, rooms, or apartments to our students, and the metropolitan area also offers many high-rise and garden apartments within a 15 to 20-minute walk, or a 5 to 10-minute car or bike ride. Also, some first and second-year students and many upperclass students live across the Potomac River in the Rosslyn area of Northern Virginia with free bus service available to campus.
Many Georgetown offices provide assistance to the first-year student in particular. The Office of Student Services assists in the housing search by providing matriculating students a biweekly list of local apartments and houses, and, with the permission of the student, they provide a list of names and phone numbers of those students searching for or willing to share housing accommodations. The University maintains an Off-Campus Housing Office (Leavey Center, Room 208) where lists of private and commercial facilities available to students are maintained daily on the Internet. For additional information, call (202) 687-7764.
Housing costs in Washington are high, but comparable to those in most large cities, and will vary widely according to condition, location, and size of the accommodations.
As a Jesuit university, Georgetown provides many opportunities for religious expression. A team consisting of a Catholic Chaplain to the School of Medicine, a Protestant Chaplain, and a Jewish Chaplain, comprise the Campus Ministry staff and are available for counsel and discussion. Catholic Mass is held weekly at 12:05 p.m. in the Saint Ignatius Loyola Chapel, located on the first floor of the Medical/Dental Building adjoining the Chaplain’s Office (Room SW #101). Sunday Mass and Protestant worship are held each week in other campus chapels. Jewish students gather for Shabbat services and dinner at the Jewish Student Center, 1316 36th Street NW. Muslim students meet each week for prayer in Copley Hall on the ground floor adjacent to the Crypt Chapel.
Other ministers, including the chaplain to Orthodox Christians, serve on the University Campus Ministry staff and are available to medical students. Churches and synagogues are easily accessible from campus. The University sponsors discussions and support groups, personal counseling, retreats, religious services, and festivals for students of various faiths. More information is available at the Chaplain’s Office, Room SW #101, Med-Dent Building, (202) 687-1103, or Healy Hall, Room #113, (202) 687-4300.
The Student Health Service provides primary medical care through an outpatient clinic, the Student Primary Care Clinic (SPCC), located in the Bles Building of the Hospital. The service provides diagnostic evaluation and treatment for illness and injury to all Georgetown students. The Georgetown University Medical Center’s Faculty Practice Group manages medical services at the clinic. At present, hours of operation are Monday and Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 8:30 am – 8:00 pm; Wednesday, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, Saturday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. A full range of primary health care services will be offered by appointment. Only students with urgent conditions will be seen on a walk-in basis. After-hours emergency care is available at the Georgetown University Medical Center Emergency Room.
SPCC charges for all services rendered; students; insurance companies will be billed first for charges incurred at the clinic. Students and or parents will be responsible for any charges not covered by insurance. Insurance cards must be presented in order for the insurance company to be billed. If you have any questions, call the SPCC at 202-687-4500.
Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
CAPS is located in Darnell Hall. Appointments with the staff of psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers can be made by calling 687-6985. These services are entirely confidential. CAPS is also the home of the Learning Skills Center and a learning specialist whose services are very helpful to medical students. Students in academic difficulty or who are concerned about their performance levels, study skills or exam-taking skills are urged to make an appointment for an early consultation. Many students initiate self-referrals; others make appointments after talking with the Deans, a chaplain or other faculty.
Immunizations and Health Records
Both the District of Columbia and the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Hospitals require that all medical and nursing students be immunized against seven childhood disease and skin-tested for tuberculosis prior to admission to the School of Medicine. Because of the recent rising incidence of treatment-resistant tuberculosis in city hospitals, federal regulations now require all medical students to get tuberculosis skin tests yearly.
Federal agencies also require all hospital personnel, including medical students, to undergo immunization for Hepatitis B. This must be completed in the first year. (The cost of the Hepatitis B immunization is automatically added to the student’s account.) New federal legislation requires all Veterans Administration hospitals to operate random drug screening for all employees (interpreted to include medical students on clerkship at any VA hospital). A copy of the regulations and mode of procedure is on file with the Associate Dean for Students.
The law forbids the University to register or allow class attendance to any student who has not fully complied with these regulations.
An immunization form is included with the information sent to each accepted student, and this form must be filled out by a physician or from school immunization records. Family records are not accepted by the District of Columbia. The only exceptions to this immunization requirement are those people with documented immune disease or documented religious prohibitions to immunization.
Health and Disability Insurance
To ensure students have adequate health coverage, the University requires full-time students to provide proof of health care insurance coverage. Georgetown is offering a new health insurance plan to students. The Plan was specifically developed to provide coverage for health services usually accessed by students. A pamphlet describing the plan is mailed to all registered full-time students.
Concern for the disability coverage of medical students led the Liaison Committee on Medical Education to require all schools, as a condition of accreditation, to assure that all medical students are covered by Disability Insurance. A charge (varying by class year) for a standard disability policy is added to students’ accounts.
Medical students who receive needle sticks or who are exposed to blood-borne pathogens will be treated at Georgetown Student Primary Care Clinic. The cost for treatment is not covered by the student’s insurance policy, but is covered by the School of Medicine. To prevent any one student from bearing the very expensive cost of testing, all medical students are required to pay a “needle stick fee” at the time of registration.
Parking and Transportation
Because of severe limitations, the School of Medicine cannot provide on-campus parking for any medical student, other than those eligible for handicap status.
The University maintains the popular Georgetown University Transportation Society (GUTS) bus system, which offers limited service in Washington and Virginia. Regular service operates Monday through Friday starting at 6 a.m. and ending by 11 p.m., with express buses every 10 minutes to Dupont Circle and Rosslyn Metro stations during morning and evening rush hours. For further information, please call (202) 687-4372 or visit the GUTS page on the Georgetown Transportation website.
Many students choose to ride bicycles to class. The School of Medicine maintains space for 75 bikes with lock facilities directly adjacent to the Med-Dent Building. Public buses to the Medical Center run approximately every 20 minutes. The fare varies, with transfers available throughout Washington, and transfers into Maryland and Virginia available at additional charge.
Meal plans are available for medical students in the Darnall and New South cafeterias. Full board (19 meals a week), partial board (14 meals a week), lunch only (5 meals a week), or selective (any 7 of the 19 weekly meals) plans are available. For information or to register for any plan, contact Food Service Office, New South Cafeteria, (202) 687-7597.
Cafeteria, fast food, a pub, and a convenience store are available at the Leavey Center. Vending services are available in the Med-Dent Building and in the Hospital.
The Student Council is the elected representative organization of the School of Medicine student body, and its officers are elected by the entire student body. In addition, each class is represented by its elected class president, vice-president, secretary/treasurer, and two representatives. The council meets monthly and forwards nominees to the Associate Dean for membership on the standing committees of the Executive Faculty, such as the Education, Students and Admissions Committees. Students also are members of various Medical Center committees.
Four times a year, the Student Council meets with the Dean, Associate Dean and invited members of the faculty, at which time students and faculty review the strengths and weaknesses of the educational programs for each year and discuss other areas of mutual interest and concern. Deans also meet informally each month with the first and second-year classes, and participate in regular class meetings throughout the four years.
The council sponsors several major social events during the year including the Winter Carnival and the Golden Apple Spring Dinner Dance. The latter, cosponsored with the Dean’s Office and the Alumni Association, is the occasion on which the Golden Apple Awards and the John C. Rose Award are presented to outstanding faculty and staff members.
Scope, the monthly newsletter of the Student Council, is an informational bulletin providing information and relating upcoming events and activities to students and faculty. The senior class publishes a yearbook, Grand Rounds.
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society is a national medical honor society whose members are chosen on the basis of scholarship, personal integrity, and potential leadership. Its purpose is the attainment of the highest ethical and professional standards in the study and practice of medicine. Since the society is not a social organization, the chapter meetings are devoted largely to the presentation and discussion of scientific papers and clinical cases.
The St. George Society is an organization of students with a strong interest in malignant disease. The American Cancer Society sponsors a series of lectures by leaders in the field of cancer diagnosis, treatment, and research, provided particularly for students from Washington’s three medical schools. Students pay no dues and become members by attending a majority of monthly lectures.
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) is an independent federation of medical students organized by chapters. The Georgetown chapter provides students with an opportunity to participate on local and national committees that plan and carry out projects in community health, curriculum evaluation, student service, and scientific seminars. Chapter activities are coordinated by an executive committee composed of two representatives from each class. The Minority Affairs Committee and Women in Medicine are subdivisions of AMSA.
The Student National Medical Association (SNMA) is a national organization of minority medical students involved in community activities and legislative proceedings of particular interest to minorities. Its purpose is to improve health care delivery and provide medical information and education to the underprivileged and minority populations. SNMA and the AMSA Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) sponsors the yearly intercultural dinner.
The American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) is a national organization that deals with the academic and personal situations of women pursuing a career in medicine. AMWA activities include presentations by female physicians who serve as role models and mentors for student members. Participation by male students is encouraged. Students regularly attend national conferences and the yearly Washington Legislative Conference. AMWA also sponsors an annual domestic violence awareness week.
The Osler-Garrison Society is interested in other areas such as the law, ethics and humanities as they relate to medicine. This organization is open to all students, and sponsors monthly lectures and discussions with faculty or guests on topics of medical interest.
Students are active in the Student Section of the Medical Society of the District of Columbia and the American Medical Association. There are student representatives to the Association of American Medical Colleges who participate in regional and national meetings. Student activity is becoming very popular with new and ever-growing organizations. Athletics, Family Medicine Interest Group (FMIG), and the Christian Medical Dental Society (CMDS) are among a few of these new groups.
Further information concerning these organizations may be obtained through the Student Council or the Associate Dean at (202) 687-1004.