History of Georgetown University School of Medicine

closeup of Georgetown seal at University's front gate

Georgetown University School of Medicine opened its doors to students in May 1851 as a department of Georgetown College, precursor of Georgetown University. It was the second medical school to be established in Washington, DC, and the first Catholic medical school in the country. Initially located in downtown DC, the school moved to its current location on Reservoir Road in 1930. 

Since its inception, the School of Medicine has been guided by the Catholic, Jesuit principles of public service (“women and men in service to others”) and cura personalis, or “care of the whole person.” Today, the school offers a four-year program of professional education leading to the MD degree, as well as MD/PhD, MD/MBA, MD/MPH (in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and several MD/MS degrees. In June 2019, the school was reaccredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) for a full eight-year term. 

Clinical education at the School of Medicine is accomplished through a now 20-year partnership with MedStar Health, Inc., the largest integrated health system in the mid-Atlantic. In keeping with the school’s Jesuit social justice mission, MedStar also provides innovative integrated health care for underserved Medicaid families in Baltimore, Washington, and nine Maryland counties through MedStar Family Choice, and supports Georgetown’s student-driven HOYA Clinic in inner-city DC. In 2017, Georgetown University and MedStar Health finalized new long-term agreements that span a 50-year term, reaffirming a joint commitment to their partnership and building on the foundation established by existing agreements.

View a general history of Georgetown University.