Welcome to the Department of Medicine at BU Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. The Boston University Medical Campus contains the Boston Medical Center and Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, School of Public Health, and Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. The Department of Medicine is affiliated with our two principal teaching hospitals, Boston Medical Center and the VA Boston Healthcare System.
The faculty of the Department of Medicine at BU Chobanian & Avedisian 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.
The Department of Medicine has 486 full-time faculty. Of the total, 27% are associate or full professors, 55% are women, and 11% are from groups underrepresented in medicine.
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, pulmonary hypertension program, cardiomyopathy, sarcoidosis, auto-immune renal disease, and others) draw patients from throughout the world. In addition, the department’s Primary Care Practice received Level III Medical Home Certification. 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 comprehensive care in our ambulatory clinics and the inpatient services of Boston Medical Center and the Boston VA Healthcare System. Over 357,000 outpatient visits were seen by departmental faculty in fiscal year 2022 at Boston Medical Center alone. The department has a very robust program in quality and safety that spans inpatient and outpatient sites of care.
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.
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 secured over $110 million in new extramural funding in AY 2021. Substantial growth in the department’s research portfolio has occurred in infectious disease, cardiology, biomedical genetics, clinical epidemiology, regenerative medicine, preventive medicine, pulmonary medicine, general internal medicine, 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 eight pilot grants in 2021–2022 in collaboration with the Clinical Translational Sciences Institute. The department has also awarded bridge funding to two faculty members. The Department of Medicine’s established research cores—the Analytical Core, the Metabolic Phenotyping and IVIS Core, the Cellular Imaging Core, and the Single Cell Sequencing Core—all continue to grow. New instruments and services include an Abberior STED super-resolution microscope, a MERSCOPE spatial transcriptomics instrument, a new IVIS for in vivo imaging, and an Octet R8 System for Molecular Interaction Studies. In AY 2022, we had over 200 unique internal and external users of the cores. The department’s funding from the National Institutes of Health is in the very top decile 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
- mycobacterial infections
- arthritis and scleroderma
- alcohol/substance abuse
- genetics and genomics of neurodegenerative diseases
- cancer diagnostics and therapeutics
- clinical epidemiology
- lung cancer
- renal glomerular disorders
- precision medicine of acute and chronic kidney diseases
- geriatrics—aging and studies of centenarians
- sickle cell disease
- regenerative medicine
- computational biomedicine
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 houses up to 20 research teams working on emerging infectious diseases that require high-level bio-containment (BSL 4). The Center for Regenerative Medicine was established by the Department of Medicine in partnership with Chobanian & Avedisian SOM and BMC to accelerate groundbreaking work in stem cell biology. In addition, the department’s Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research (ECIBR) provides resources and infrastructure for faculty to work in multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary teams that create new approaches to the discovery process. As of AY 2022, over 250 faculty and 100 graduate students were participating in the programs supported by the Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research. These faculty have secured over 150 extramural research grants and produced over 500 publications on work related to the ECIBR Affinity Research Collaboratives. The Center for Implementation and Improvement Science, established in 2017, further increased the scope and impact of the projects and training relative to implementation science in the department and established a new fellowship program in 2022.
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 program includes a robust training experience with a very diverse patient population and a wide range of opportunities for academic pursuits. It has a strong emphasis on equity and social justice. In addition, the residency program provides pathways that provide enhanced training in the following areas: HIV medicine, global/urban health/equity, medical education, quality improvement/patient safety, medical informatics, and cardiovascular epidemiology.
The residency program includes 142 residents, over 20% of whom are from groups underrepresented in medicine and 15% of whom have advanced graduate degrees. The residency program also offers a nationally renowned track in primary care as well as an accelerated research track. The department offers 14 ACGME-accredited subspecialty fellowships. In addition to our GME programs, the department’s educational programs include PhD programs in Translational & Molecular Medicine, Genetics & Genomics, and Nutrition & 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 Chobanian & Avedisian SOM curriculum. Medicine faculty promote the development of foundational communications and physical diagnosis skills while providing much of the instruction in Doctoring 1 and 2 as Academy of Medical Educator faculty. As of 2023, the school is transitioning into a longitudinal integrated course, known as PISCEs (Principles Integrating Science, Clinical Medicine, and Equity), and the department provides significant leadership in this course that integrates foundational science, pathophysiology, and disease management.
During the Medicine 1 Clerkship taken during the clinical phase, 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 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 an Associate Clerkship Director and hone essential clinical skills (including intermediate- and advanced-level patient-centered communications skills, physical diagnosis, and clinical reasoning).
Advanced medical topics and skills are addressed during the final year of the clinical 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. Students have the option of rotating on traditional medicine floor teams that include attendings, residents and interns, an acting internship team with 1 resident and attending and 3 fourth-year students, or in the Medical Intensive Care Unit during their subinternship.
Finally, students enroll in the department’s many fourth-year medicine electives where they develop a more focused knowledge and clinical skill set in general internal medicine or one of the discipline’s subspecialties.