Medicine

Welcome to the Department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. The Boston University Medical Campus contains the Boston Medical Center and Boston University Schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Dental Medicine. The Department of Medicine is affiliated with our two principal teaching hospitals, Boston Medical Center and the VA Boston Healthcare System.

Goals

The faculty of the Department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine are unified by an unflinching commitment to excellence, professionalism, service, and discovery. We believe that our success as a department is dependent upon exceptional achievement in each of our core missions of research, clinical care, and education.

Department Overview

Faculty: The Department of Medicine contains 405 full-time faculty. Of the total, 42% are associate or full professors, 43% are women, and 6% are underrepresented minorities.

Clinical Programs

The department’s clinical programs provide a full range of clinical services to an extraordinarily diverse patient population from within Boston as well as the greater New England region. The clinical services have a distinguished history of providing care to vulnerable patient populations as well as tertiary care. Several of the department’s clinical programs (e.g., amyloid program, nutrition and weight management, scleroderma unit, vasculitis unit, pulmonary hypertension program, cardiomyopathy, and others) draw patients from throughout the world. The integration of the department’s compelling social mission with a rigorous academic tradition creates an especially rich environment for patient care, training, and discovery.

The department’s clinicians provide substantial care in our ambulatory clinics and the inpatient services of Boston Medical Center and the Boston VA Healthcare System. Over 704,000 wRVU’s were generated by faculty in AY 2013. Access for new patients to our specialty and primary care clinics averaged 63% within 14 days in AY 2013. The department has a very robust program in quality and safety that spans inpatient and outpatient sites of care. Indeed, the Observed to Expected Mortality rate on the inpatient service at Boston Medical Center is in the top quartile nationally and among the lowest in the Boston area.

The department’s clinical programs are a critical part of the success of Boston Medical Center in meeting the patient care needs of our community. Remarkably, the ambulatory clinics at Boston Medical Center have the largest visit volume of any of the academic medical centers in Boston.

Research Programs

The department’s world-class research programs foster a spirit of inquiry in the department’s clinical and educational programs, and bring new preventive, diagnostic, and treatment modalities to our patient population. These programs derive from a rich tradition of mentorship and critical thinking, and are fostered by a supportive and collegial environment that encourages faculty and trainees to work and learn collaboratively. The department’s research program has averaged $95 million in extramural funding over the past four years (AY 10–13). Substantial growth in the department’s research portfolio has occurred in infectious disease, cardiology, biomedical genetics, clinical epidemiology, and computational biomedicine. The expansion of these programs reflects investments in new faculty and research infrastructure. The department has continued its goal of supporting research faculty by awarding 14 pilot grants in 2012–2013 in collaboration with the Clinical Translational Sciences Institute and the Center for Nanotechnology and Nanobiotechnology. The department has also awarded bridge funding to eight faculty members. The DOM’s established research cores: the Analytical Core, the Metabolic Phenotyping Core, the Cellular Imaging Core, Biostatistics Core, and the High Throughput Screening Core (HTS) all continue to grow. In 2012–2013, we have had 1,000 internal and external users scheduling for use of the cores. A total of 45 grants were submitted using these core resources, of which 21 were funded for a total of over $37M. The department’s funding from the National Institutes of Health is in the very top tier of research-intensive departments of medicine in the United States.

The department has internationally renowned research programs in a number of areas. Examples include:

  • cardiovascular biology
  • pulmonary inflammation and immunology
  • obesity
  • mycobacterial infections
  • diabetes
  • arthritis
  • alcohol/substance abuse
  • genetics and genomics
  • cancer biology
  • clinical epidemiology
  • amyloidosis
  • vasculitis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • medical informatics
  • lung cancer
  • renal glomerular disorders
  • geriatrics
  • sickle cell disease

The most important longitudinal study of cardiac risk factors ever conducted—the Framingham Heart Study—is based in the Department of Medicine at Boston University. The National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, funded by NIH, Boston University, and Boston Medical Center, opened in late 2011. This 200,000 sq. ft. research center will eventually house up to 20 research teams working on emerging infectious diseases that require high level bio-containment (BSL 4). The Center for Regenerative Medicine was also recently established by the Department of Medicine to accelerate groundbreaking work in stem cell biology. In addition, the department has recently established the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research to provide resources and infrastructure for faculty to work in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams that create new approaches to the discovery process. As of AY 2013, over 150 faculty were participating in the programs supported by the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research.

Educational Programs

The department’s educational programs have a long-standing tradition of training national leaders in discovery, clinical care, and medical education. The present faculty enthusiastically embrace this tradition and are eager to promote the development of the next generation of leaders in medicine. The residency training program includes tracks emphasizing training in the following areas: HIV, global health, urban health, medical education, quality improvement and patient safety, and preventive medicine. The residency program includes 143 residents, 13% of whom have an advanced graduate degree. The residency program also includes a primary care training program. We are particularly proud that this year’s intern class contains 17% underrepresented minorities. In addition to our residency training program, the department’s education programs include PhD programs in Translational and Molecular Medicine, Genetics and Genomics, and Nutrition and Metabolism, as well as a long-standing successful program in Continuing Medical Education. The goals of the department’s educational programs are to attract the most outstanding trainees, enforce rigorous standards of achievement, develop a learning environment and individualized programs of study that help trainees reach their full potential, and to create an exemplary mixture of professionalism, clinical excellence, service, and integrity.

Medical Student Education

The Department of Medicine plays a central role In educating students throughout the four-year BUSM curriculum. Medicine faculty promote the development of foundational communications and physical diagnosis skills while providing much of the instruction in Introduction to Clinical Medicine 1 and 2. The department also delivers the Diagnosis and Therapeutic Course in year 2 that provides a strong conceptual approach and knowledge necessary to ready students for clinical work.

During the Medicine 1 Clerkship taken during year 3, students learn clinical medicine while working side-by-side with residents and faculty in providing care to a cohort of inpatients. A key principle that guides student learning throughout the department’s offerings, is to provide graduated responsibility with supervision. Medicine 1 introduces the clinical tools and perspectives of the internist that are appropriate to the “undifferentiated” medical student. This learning experience is complemented by a unique enrichment in which students also work closely in small groups with a Clerkship Director and hone essential clinical skills (including intermediate-level communications skills, physical diagnosis, and clinical reasoning).

Advanced medical topics and skills are addressed during the fourth year of the curriculum. Medicine 2 provides outpatient learning opportunities that are supplemented by enrichment sessions in communications skills, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based medicine. This clerkship also aims to provide a bridge to internship by addressing interdisciplinary topics and clinical issues relevant to students entering any specialty.

The subinternship in Medicine is a hands-on, capstone inpatient rotation that prepares students for the challenges of internship. Students are given additional clinical responsibility in patient care while under close supervision. The Advanced Acting Internship (AAI), also known as the “Super Sub,” builds upon, and is a more intensive version of the traditional subinternship. Two AAI students are paired on an inpatient team that has one fewer intern than a traditional team, and together are expected to fulfill the role of one intern.

Finally, students enroll in the department’s many fourth-year electives where they develop a more focused knowledge and clinical skill set in general internal medicine or one of the discipline’s sub-specialties.