“America’s Medical School”Established in 1972, the School of Medicine, “America’s Medical School,” at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) operates within the nation’s only federal health sciences university. The F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine was chartered by an Act of Congress to secure a steady supply of physician-leaders for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and U.S. Public Health Service, and provide a strong foundation for their medical corps. Since its first charter class in 1980 that graduated just 29 students, USU’s alumni network has grown to include more than 10,000 health practitioners and scientists. Every medical student at USU is commissioned an officer in the US Air Force, Army, Navy, or Public Health Service upon enrolling, whether entering directly from undergraduate schooling or following years of military service. All medical and graduate students pay no tuition or fees, and medical students receive full salary and benefits.
Through the “Molecules to Military Medicine” curriculum the School of Medicine emphasizes the promise of expertise and duty that physicians make to the military healthcare system and to their patients. Our students strive to understand human nature and human teams, whether at the most granular level of the genome, or at the macro level of the 9.2 million member military health care system. Our curriculum combines the study of basic science and the clinical practice of medicine while maintaining its military foundations all four years. Whether learning in a classroom or laboratory, participating in a field exercise, or engaging in clinical training at Walter Reed National Medical Center or another Military Treatment Facility throughout the country, our USU graduates have developed the tools to be strong officers and leaders, to be clinically proficient, to demonstrate cross-cultural proficiency, and to develop new knowledge and practices for the MHS. We follow our students from medical school to graduate medical education through their years of practice in the MHS, giving USU a unique opportunity to study the reciprocity of education and practice over decades. It is this unique role within a health system, the unique curriculum and training, and a commitment to serve the nation that establishes USU as the leadership academy of the Military Health System.
The School of Medicine houses 19 basic and clinical sciences departments, with an exceptional graduate education program that offers masters and PhD programs in public health, tropical medicine, health administration and policy, medical and clinical psychology, and health professions education. There are military-relevant interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs in neuroscience, molecular and cell biology, and emerging infectious diseases. The School of Medicine works with the Daniel K. Inouye Graduate School of Nursing, the Postgraduate Dental College, the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute to create research programs with hundreds of active research protocols currently at USU, and support a variety of interdisciplinary centers. Each center specializes in an area highly significant to military health, such as traumatic brain injury, deployment psychology, post-traumatic stress, and infectious disease clinical research. The USU centers play a vital role in advancing the mission of the School of Medicine by producing powerful research that shapes military medicine and develops solutions to pressing challenges faced within the Military Health System.
USU is dedicated to ensuring that the U.S. military has a “medically ready force,” embodied through our motto of “learning to care for those in harm’s way.” Every student, faculty, and staff member works to defend the health security of the United States by contributing to the creation of new clinical and scientific innovations, and the growth of those preparing to serve whenever and wherever needed. By producing significant clinical and scientific research and prioritizing both effective and compassionate care, USU serves as a driving force in the advancement of medicine and public health throughout the world.
Louis Pangaro, MD, MACP