A visit to George Washington University


My trips to George Washington usual coincide with conferences in the Washington, DC area and this was no exception.  The 2003 AMSA conference was underway and San Diego State was well represented with 12 undergrads.  Two had already been accepted to medical school, but the others were eager to start the process of deciding where to apply to medical school.  Although it was raining, our travels were made easy by way of the metro system.  The Foggy Bottom metro station is right at the entrance of the medical school and when we emerged we found the usual vendors selling cheap (really cheap!) umbrellas.  After a quick dash to the door of Ross Hall, we showed our ID’s and obtained nametags. Then it was up the elevator to the seventh floor where we were greeted by Diane McQuail, Assistant Dean for Admissions.  Unfortunately it was spring break so we didn’t get to meet many students, but Lisa Palladino, Assistant Director of Admissions, provided a tour.  Following are the students’ impressions:


One student appreciated that the school was steps away from the metro stop, had a hospital located next door, and provided excellent clinical exposure and programs beginning 1st year.  However, this same person was not as impressed with the small campus and felt that there were fewer activities/opportunities than at larger schools.  In all fairness, many students might be attracted to the compact nature of the school and since we were there during Spring Break, we didn’t have students to tell us about all the activities.


(Additional comment from Barb)  By small campus, I think the student meant the compactness of the physical campus since there are 19,000 students with a great number of organizations and outside resources. The students did not see the entire school.


 Another said,  


I liked the fact that George Washington is so close to the metro.  I think that this definitely works to the students’ advantage during the rainy and cold times of the year.  In addition, our tour guide informed us that the students are trained on patient simulations in rooms above the ER before they do their clinical work.  The patient simulations are electrical, so their hearts pump and their lungs move up and down as if they are inhaling and exhaling oxygen.  Some of them can take IVs and speak.  I believe that as a student I would gain from these patient simulations and they would make me feel more comfortable to approach a patient when it comes to the clinical work.

Another said,


 I liked their simulated surgical center on the sixth floor of the hospital, which gives students a chance to do surgeries long before trying it on a patient.  Also, I thought the "standard patient" program, also on the sixth floor, was a great idea to help students receive equal training regardless of their internships. It was fun to see the fourth year medical students so excited on match day.  Walking into GW's lobby area, the few students who were still around seemed excited to see us touring their school.  One matched student yelled out "go G-dub" as he stood with his fellow elated students.   It was nice to see the enthusiasm of their med students.  Even several of the undergrads whom I had stopped to chat with as they worked in a lab were very friendly, answering questions about life on the East Coast.  Overall, it seemed like a very friendly student population.


And another…


I would like to thank the staff at George Washington University for taking the time to give our group a tour on such short notice. George Washington University staff’s willingness to educate premedical students about their medical curriculum is definitely reflective of the faculty’s dedication to scholarship. 


Here is some more information sent to us from GW--Barb


The George Washington University School of Medicine and Heath Sciences

As the 11th oldest medical school in the country, The George Washington University (GWU) has a rich history of being at the forefront of medical technology. The School of Medicine and Health Sciences is enriched by the diversity of its more than 600 medical students. Four of every ten students hold undergraduate degrees in the arts, humanities, or social sciences. In the Fall 2002 entering class, twenty-five states are represented plus the District of Columbia, with the top 5 states being California, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Utah. The entering class ranged in age from 20 to 41 years old with the average age of 24. Furthermore, fifty four percent of last year’s entering class are female.

The Foggy Bottom Campus of The George Washington University is nestled in the heart of one of the most powerful cities in the world. The Foggy Bottom campus is situated between the banks of the Potomac River, the Kennedy Center & the Watergate Complex to the West; the White House & World Bank to the East; Pennsylvania Avenue & Washington Circle to the North; and the State Department, Lincoln Memorial & National Mall to the South. You will study in the most historical twenty-two blocks in the nation's capital! The campus is subway accessible; the Foggy Bottom/GWU metro stop sits immediately outside Ross Hall. Ross Hall is the center of activity for both the School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the School of Pubic Health and Health Services.

GWU has over 19,000 students, of which more than half are enrolled in graduate programs. In addition to the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, GWU also boasts a Law School, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Services, School of Engineering and Applied Science, School of Business and Public Management and Elliott School of International Affairs.

The Marvin Center -- the campus community center – is located only two blocks from Ross Hall. Newly renovated, the Marvin Center is home to the Student Activities Center, student organization offices, the Dorothy Betts Marvin Theater, a travel agency, computer store, campus bookstore, the "J Street" food court, and a newsstand with Ticketmaster. Nearby Lisner Auditorium presents plays, musicals, and major concerts.
Students interested in athletics can participate in activities, such as intramural sports and aerobics classes. The brand new, state-of-the-art Health and Wellness Center, also two blocks from Ross Hall, is an 188,000 square foot facility that hosts a wide variety of fitness and instructional classes; walk-in recreation; and sport club, intramural, and wellness programs and services. It includes a wellness and fitness instructional multi-purpose room; a 9,800 square foot cardiovascular and strengthening center; gymnasiums with basketball, volleyball, or badminton courts; an indoor 3-lane jogging track, 3-lane indoor 25-yard lap pool; and racquetball courts.
In the Fall of 2002, a brand new GW Hospital opened…just steps away from Ross Hall. Housed on the 6th floor of the new hospital is the GW Clinical Skills Center. Dedicated to education and research, this floor of the hospital features cutting edge technology in a setting that is among the most innovative in the nation. It is here that students will gain the comprehensive clinical exposure, feedback, and evaluation they need to become both technically adept and humane caregivers for their patients through the use of the Surgical Simulation and Demonstration Area and the Standardized Patient Examining Area.

For further information about the Doctor of Medicine Program at GW, please visit http://www.gwumc.edu/edu/admis/ .