What Med School Applicants Need to Know About the University of Colorado School of Medicine


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A conversation with Dr. Nichole Zehnder, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine [Show summary] Dr. Nichole Zehnder, Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, shares an overview of the school’s unique offerings and admissions process for prospective med school applicants. Get to know the University of Colorado School of Medicine [Show notes] Today's guest, Dr. Nichole Zehnder, earned her MD at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2006. She did her residency in internal medicine and is a practicing physician affiliated with the University of Colorado Hospital, and she's also an Associate Professor of Hospital Medicine at the University of Colorado. More importantly, for purposes of this interview, she is the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Can you give an overview of the Colorado School of Medicine's program, focusing on the more distinctive elements? [1:37] The University of Colorado School of Medicine is a four-year MD/PhD program. We're LCME accredited and affiliated with AAMC. We offer spots for 10 MSPP students, so 10 MD/PhD students in each of our intern classes, and then 174 MD spots. I think there's a few different distinct parts of our curriculum, some of which are just blooming on the horizon, which I'd love to feature here, as well as some things that are already in existence. Some of the more notable parts of our school and our curriculum as it exists right now are our longitudinal interprofessional curriculum. We're fortunate to be on one of the biggest healthcare campuses in the United States. We have our medical school, our dental school, our PA school, our pharmacy school, and our nursing school all here on our campus. And with that, we think that we should take that geographic advantage and have our learners learn together in a true interprofessional environment. That starts here at CU in the first year, continues all the way through the fourth year or the senior year of medical school. That's one of our really distinct opportunities that our students can take advantage of. And that's true for both MD and MD/PhD students. I think a few other parts of our curriculum really deserve a shout out. One is, we have quite a few developed, longitudinal, integrated clerkships in our clinical year. Our students who will be entering in this year's intern class, so the 2020 intern class, have the opportunity to, if they want, participate in five different longitudinal integrated clerkship models. Everything from urban underserved care at our Denver Health site to our C-CLIC, which is our rural and community longitudinal integrated clerkship. The longitudinal clerkship model is a model that's been done for decades. Here at CU, we've been doing it for about the past six or seven years. And that's done in the clerkship phase of training, so the clinical phase of training, which for some schools is the third year, for some schools it's earlier. For us right now, it's in the third year, and I'll get to that part here in a second. But the students have the opportunity to do the entirety of their clerkship or clinical year at this specific site. The Colorado School of Medicine has a branch in Colorado Springs, although most of your campus is outside of Denver. What is the advantage of that? Why would a student choose that? [4:09] Our main campus is located at the Anschutz Medical Campus. That's in Aurora, which is east of the Denver Metro area. Colorado Springs is about an hour south of the Denver area, and we have 24 of our students do their clinical training down in Colorado Springs. One might think with Colorado Springs that they may be more interested in mountain medicine or rural medicine, but actually we have students who are interested in all of those things.

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