Welcome to Rush Medical College
As a student at Rush, you have joined a historic institution that has contributed greatly to the development of medicine and health care. Rush is a caring institution that serves the needs of patients, students, faculty, staff and our community. Rush is committed to excellence in all that it does.
Chartered in 1837, Rush Medical College has been a part of the Chicago landscape longer than any other health care institution. Times have changed since then, and medicine and health care have evolved. However, Rush’s best traditions continue: hands-on learning, an unparalleled commitment to community service and experiences supported by outstanding role models. Rush Medical College is a family of more than 2,600 faculty and staff, 584 medical students and 799 residents and fellows.
Rush has produced skilled leaders in medicine and science, including thousands of excellent physicians. Explore the Rush University and Rush University Medical Center websites to discover the myriad of opportunities that Rush Medical College offers in medical education, clinical care and biomedical research. Please let us know if we can help you in any way.
Cynthia A. Brincat, MD, PhD
Acting Dean of Rush Medical College
Through a supportive and dynamic learning community, Rush Medical College nurtures the development of empathic, proficient physicians dedicated to continuous learning, innovation, and excellence in clinical practice, education, research and service.
Rush Medical College will be the global leader in student-centered, future-oriented medical education.
Diversity and Inclusion Statement
Rush Medical College embraces the Rush University Medical Center Diversity Leadership Council vision for diversity and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) commitment to increasing diversity in medical schools. As a member of the AAMC, we are further guided by the AAMC’s Group on Diversity and Inclusion definitions:*
*”Diversity as a core value embodies inclusiveness, mutual respect, and multiple perspectives and serves as a catalyst for change resulting in health equity.” Recognizing the importance of addressing the issues related to those historically underrepresented in medicine and never losing sight of the ultimate goals of providing care to the underserved, promoting health equity and eliminating health disparities, Rush Medical College seeks to recruit, retain and develop a student body and physician workforce that will advance diversity across the entire professional spectrum of medical education.
*”In this context, we are mindful of all aspects of human differences, such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, geography, disability and age. Inclusion is a core element for successfully achieving diversity. Inclusion is achieved by nurturing the climate and culture of the institution through professional development, education, policy and practice. The objective is creating a climate that fosters belonging, respect and value for all and encourages engagement and connection throughout the institution and community.”
Rush Medical College, appreciating that diversity and inclusion enhances the medical education environment and ultimately the overall health of our community, strives to create and support an environment where faculty, residents, fellows, staff and medical students combine their differing backgrounds, diverse perspectives and unique skills as they work with peers to solve problems, enhance their ability to work with patients and develop new, effective ways to manage health, conduct research and deliver quality care. It is our goal to improve the health of the individuals and diverse communities we serve with a critical focus on the benefits of diversity in medicine and biomedical sciences. We believe this is an important factor in meeting our mission -not only by creating a diverse environment but also by influencing the potential for our students and physicians to succeed in our rapidly changing and diverse society.
Utilizing information provided by the Office of Integrated Medical Education and other data, Rush Medical College’s Faculty Council is committed to implementing institutional policies, procedures, programs and initiatives designed to meet these stated diversity goals.
By graduation, a Rush Medical College student will achieve the RMC Program Objectives, which are key tasks essential to success as a physician. Our curriculum is designed to support these Program Objectives. The program objectives are key tasks that students will achieve by the time of graduation. They represent RMC’s commitment to our students and are written as task statements deemed critical to becoming a successful physician. The program objectives inform curriculum development, as all session objectives are mapped to a course objective which is mapped to a program objective.
The RMC Program Objectives are organized around six roles that a physician plays and the foundational role of medical knowledge that supports them:
Identify and address social, political and cultural factors that affect the health of patients and populations to improve health equity.
Establish strong therapeutic relationships with patients and their families to cooperatively provide care that reflects their needs, values and preferences.
Contribute to the improvement of healthcare quality by participating in a culture of safety and coordinating care between the various elements of the healthcare system.
Collect, interpret and document information to make clinical decisions and carry out diagnostic and therapeutic interventions to provide high-quality patient care.
Demonstrate a commitment to carrying out professional responsibilities and upholding the legal and ethical principles that support medical practice.
Use evidence-based principles to continually enhance one’s own practice, inform care of your patients and develop the skills to contribute to the scientific knowledge of the field.
Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical and social-behavioral sciences, and the application of this knowledge to patient care.
Professionalism Statement and Standards
“Professionalism is the basis of the medicine’s contract with society.” So begins the Preamble to the American Board of Internal Medicine’s Physician Charter, a widely recognized and endorsed document detailing the roles and responsibilities of the modern physician in practice towards their patients, profession and society. It has been recognized for decades in American undergraduate medical education that not only does professionalism need to be modeled in the clinical setting, but taught and assessed throughout training, starting from entry to medical school. Developing and refining behaviors consistent with exemplary medical professionalism is an acquired skill, which requires teaching from the time of entry into medical school.
The expectations for trainees, whether in the undergraduate medical program or graduate medical program, are closely aligned. Furthermore, the expectations of students should be similar, but level-appropriate, to those for attending physicians with regards to medical professionalism and ethically sound behavior.
This document specifically defines (1) the value of professionalism in the Rush Medical College (RMC) curriculum, (2) professionalism standards for RMC students and (3) methods for reporting concerns about student professionalism.
Professionalism in the RMC Curriculum
The Professional Role curriculum is designed to introduce students to both the fundamentals of medical professionalism and medical ethics, as well as provide guidance on both exemplary professional behavior and unprofessional student behavior. The teaching in the four-year curriculum is parallel to the routine professional expectations RMC has of students in both clinical practice, administrative responsibilities and interpersonal interactions.
Professionalism Standards for RMC Students
The following expectations are based on medical professionalism guidelines as set forth by the American Board of Internal Medicine Physician Charter. Students are expected to strive to model the highest standards of professionalism as members of the Rush community. Student professionalism is regularly assessed throughout the curriculum in end-of-course evaluations, including narrative evaluations. Students are expected to demonstrate professionalism in the following ways as outlined in the RMC Expectations for the Learning Environment:
- Being adequately prepared for learning activities in the classroom, laboratory, research and clinical settings
- Attending and participating in learning activities in an engaged, punctual and reliable manner
- Completing all course and administrative requirements as defined by the Office of Integrated Medical Education (OIME), course directors and faculty in a timely manner
- Dressing and conducting themselves appropriately to the activity in which they are participating, in a manner becoming of a member of the Rush community
Feedback and Evaluation
- Actively and appropriately seeking feedback to improve their own performance, accepting constructive feedback openly and without hostility, accepting responsibility for missteps
- Reflecting on their performance and educational experiences to inform their self-directed learning and study
- Recognizing personal limitations in knowledge, skills, and attitudes, and seeking help from faculty and peers as appropriate
- Providing constructive feedback and evaluation about the learning environment and educational experiences
- Treating faculty, residents, staff and fellow students with respect and collegiality, both in person and via social media and other digital platforms
- Resolving conflicts in an appropriate and professional manner
- Treating patients with kindness, compassion and respect, both in person and via social media and other digital platforms
- Respecting and preserving patient confidentiality as appropriate for patient care through the electronic health record and other digital platforms, and in person
Personal Integrity and Academic Honesty
- Adhering to the RMC Honor Code, Rush University Honor Code, and the Rush University Medical Center Code of Conduct
- Adhering to the ethical standards of our profession as described by the American Medical Association
- Acting as models of honesty and integrity at all times, in all interactions with patients, faculty and colleagues
- Addressing witnessed errors, rule violations and unprofessional behavior in a direct and respectful manner, including the reporting of such behaviors to the appropriate authority
- Refraining from use of illicit substances, in accordance with the law
- Avoiding use of legal or prescribed substances to the point of impairment or dependency
Methods for Reporting Professionalism Concerns
Various RMC personnel and committees work closely together in the evaluation and remediation of student professionalism concerns. Professionalism concerns can be reported through the following mechanisms:
- RMC Honor Code Council: The Honor Code Council is a group of peer-elected medical students who review reports of potential Honor Code violations and recommend action as appropriate. As per the Honor Code Council Policies and Procedures, reports cannot be anonymous; they must contain the name of both the reporter and the student named in the violation. If an Honor Code violation is found to have occurred, or if the Council is unable to reach a conclusion, the report is passed directly to the Committee on Student Evaluation & Promotion (COSEP) for further evaluation and the final decision on action.
- Special Committee on the RMC Environment (SCORE): SCORE is another student-run organization which evaluates a wide range of reports regarding the learning environment. SCORE reporting can be anonymous, as per the SCORE Policies and Procedures, although submitters are encouraged to identify themselves to the committee. Occasionally, students submit reports of unprofessional behavior of other students to SCORE. If SCORE deems appropriate, these reports may be passed on to OIME for further evaluation, and subsequently reported to COSEP.
- RMC Early Concern Note (ECN): Any faculty member may submit an Early Concern Note if they observe or learn of a minor professionalism lapse. ECNs are reported to the OIME and are reviewed by either the assistant dean of preclerkship or the assistant dean of clerkship curriculum. The relevant dean will discuss the issue with the student. If the professionalism lapse is significant or is considered to be a part of a pattern of behavior, it may be referred to COSEP for evaluation, as deemed appropriate by the relevant dean.
- Student Evaluations: Student professionalism is routinely assessed via clerkship director evaluations, narrative evaluations and student performance evaluations. If there are reports of unprofessional behavior on any of these evaluations, these reports will be evaluated and addressed in the same manner as ECNs.
- Rush University Student Complaint Portal: Any Rush University student can report complaints through the Rush University Student Complaint Portal. Rush University will review or refer the complaints submitted through this portal to determine the appropriate follow-up.
- In addition to the above methods, faculty, staff and students are encouraged to report any concerns regarding professionalism to the relevant course/clerkship director or any OIME dean. Major lapses in professionalism should be immediately reported to any OIME dean.
This document stands as a comprehensive overview of the role of professionalism in the Rush Medical College curriculum and in student assessment and promotions. This document will be reviewed and updated periodically by the professional role leader of the Rush Medical College.
Graduation Requirements (Class of 2026)
The following are prerequisites to the granting of the Doctor of Medicine, or MD, degree by Rush University for students graduating in 2026.
- The student must have successfully completed the medical college curriculum or its equivalent, in accordance with the requirements of the medical college and COSEP
- The student must pass USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge by deadlines set by OIME
- The student must complete requirements for graduation within a maximum of 58 months of active enrollment (excluding leave of absence) beginning from the time of matriculation
- As a part of any remediation plan, COSEP may require additional weeks of instruction depending upon the progress made by an RMC student
- By Nov. 30 of the calendar year prior to the year of expected graduation, students must: (a) have passed all required M3 core clerkships and (b) be scheduled for all elective clerkship requirements
- Approval for graduation by a vote from COSEP
Notification of Failure to Meet Graduation Requirements: If the student is reasonably expected not to be able to fulfill the graduation requirements, OIME will notify the residency program director(s) where the student has matched. If the inability to graduate is determined prior to the Match, the student and OIME must notify the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) that the student is withdrawing from the Match. The student must notify all the programs to which they applied that they are withdrawing from the Match.
Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements to be considered for admission to the MD program:
- U.S. citizenship, permanent residency of the United States or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university accredited in the United States or a Canadian-based institution
- Completion of the specified RMC prerequisite courses
- Completion of the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT)
- As applicable, for post-baccalaureate coursework: Submission of grades through AMCAS for at least 24 hours of post-baccalaureate coursework achieving a strong academic foundation in the basic sciences
Information on the admissions process can be found on the Rush Medical College admissions webpage.
The curriculum at Rush Medical College is academically challenging, rigorous and integrates all basic sciences and clinical components in a flipped classroom method without lectures. It is learner centered, competency based and requires mastery of academic content.
To ensure applicants have the necessary academic foundation for the study of the human body, the below prerequisite courses are required. Ideally, an applicant will have completed the four prerequisites prior to application submission, but the Admissions Selection Committee will accept courses in progress documented on a transcript. Successful completion of the prerequisites is required by matriculation. Substitutions are not allowed.
• Algebra (or a higher-level math; statistics is not accepted)
• Cellular Biology
• Human Physiology
Additionally, we recommend applicants seek exposure and engagement in the humanities and social sciences.
Criminal Background Check and Drug Screening
During Admission & Matriculation
As a medical school located in Illinois, Rush Medical College enforces the Medical School Matriculant Criminal History Records Check Act which states the following: a medical school located in Illinois must require that each matriculant submit to a fingerprint-based criminal history records check for violent felony convictions and any adjudication of the matriculant as a sex offender conducted by the Department of State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of the medical school admissions process. This criminal background check will occur through the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) once an applicant has been offered an acceptance of admission.
In preparation for clinical rotations at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, all Rush Medical College students are also required to submit a urine sample under conditions arranged by Rush Medical College for a drug screening. This is completed during orientation through a process coordinated by the Student Health Service (Lifetime Medical Associates). Upon completion of the testing process, a report will be released to Rush Medical College.
All positive results on the criminal background check, the sex offender assessment and/or the drug screen are reviewed by the Office of Integrated Medical Education (OIME) in consultation with the Office of Legal Affairs and may result in the applicant’s file being presented to the Committee on Student Evaluation and Promotion (COSEP) for review and action. COSEP may recommend the Rush Medical College may rescind the student’s acceptance.
- Current students may be required to submit to either a criminal background check and/or drug screening for a clinical experience (Rush or non-Rush) which requires such verification.
- Enrolled students must inform OIME of any criminal convictions (other than a minor traffic offense) while enrolled at Rush Medical College.
- Students returning from a leave of absence must inform OIME of any criminal convictions (other than a minor traffic offense) while on leave of absence.
Refusal to comply with a required criminal background check and/or drug screening will result in a student’s file being presented to COSEP for review. A positive result from any criminal background check or drug screening will result in the student’s file being presented to the COSEP for review. Notification of criminal conviction (other than a minor traffic offense) or failure to notify OIME of criminal conviction (other than a minor traffic offense) will result in the student’s file being presented to the COSEP for review.
Rush University Immunization Requirements
Proof of immunity per Illinois state law College Immunization Code (effective August 2016): Immunization regulations for the state of Illinois require new students at Rush University born after Jan. 1, 1957, to show proof of immunity to measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and meningococcal conjugate, and all new admissions under the age of 22 shall show proof of having at least one dose of the vaccine on or after 16 years of age.
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: Students participating in onsite activities must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, or must request a medical or religious exemption. For more information, please review Rush University’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.
Influenza Vaccination Requirement: Students must also show proof of vaccination for influenza, with a vaccination date of Aug. 1, or later, or must request a medical or religious exemption. For more information, please review Rush Personnel Influenza Immunization Plan.
Additional RMC Immunization Requirements
To prepare for work in clinical settings, Rush Medical College students must meet special compliance requirements. Immunization requirements follow national and regional recommendations for health care workers. The requirements include a documentation of positive serum titers to measles, mumps, rubella, Hepatitis B and varicella. Students also must have annual TB screening (Quantiferon Gold or PPD) and documentation of tetanus (Tdap) vaccination within the past 10 years.
Documenting Immunization Compliance
All immunization compliance-related activities are covered by the student health insurance plan. The Medical Student Health Program (MSHP) at Lifetime Medical Associates is responsible for all compliance testing, vaccinations and management of exposures. Lifetime Medical Associates will administer a QuantiFERON Gold test (QFT-G) to all medical students during orientation.
For additional help with immunization compliance, please call the office to schedule an appointment, and bring a copy of your student health insurance card with you. Always let the front desk staff at Lifetime Medical know that you are a Rush Medical College Rush Medical College student and that you need an appointment for a compliance-related visit.
LIFETIME MEDICAL ASSOCIATIES (LMA)
Suwon (Vicki) Nopachai, MD, Director of Student Health
Westgate Building (1645 W. Jackson St.), Suite 215
8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday
If proof of immunization is required for an outside elective, required health forms may be emailed to the associate director of MSHP (Amanda Cockrell, LNP at Amanda_L_Cockrell@rush.edu), faxed to (312) 942-3551 or dropped off in the clinic. Prior to Lifetime Medical Associates releasing this information, students must have a release of information form on file.
Technical (Non-Academic) Standards
Rush Medical College offers an undifferentiated MD degree affirming the general knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and the capacity to enter residency training and qualify for medical licensure.
A candidate for the MD degree must have abilities and skills in six areas: observation, communication, motor, intellectual (conceptual, integrative and quantitative), behavioral and social, and demonstrate ethics and professionalism.
Essential abilities and characteristics required for completion of the MD degree consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and emotional characteristics to assure that candidates for admission, promotion and graduation are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of medical training, with or without reasonable accommodation.
Rush University is committed to diversity and to attracting and educating students who will make the population of health care professionals representative of the national population.
Our I CARE core values (innovation, collaboration, accountability, respect and excellence) translate into our work with all students, including those with disabilities. Rush actively collaborates with students to develop innovative ways to ensure accessibility and creates a respectful accountable culture through our confidential and specialized disability support. Rush is committed to excellence in accessibility. We encourage students with disabilities to disclose and seek accommodations.
Observation: Students should be able to obtain information from demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences. Students should be able to assess a patient and evaluate findings accurately. These skills require the use of vision, hearing and touch, or the functional equivalent.
Communication: Students should be able to communicate with patients in to elicit information, detect changes in mood and activity, and to establish a therapeutic relationship. Students should be able to communicate via English effectively and sensitively with patients and all members of the health care team both in person and in writing.
Motor: Students should, after a reasonable period of time, possess the capacity to perform a physical examination and perform diagnostic maneuvers. Students should be able to execute some motor movements required to provide general care to patients and provide or direct the provision of emergency treatment of patients. Such actions require some coordination of both gross and fine muscular movements balance and equilibrium.
Intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities: Students should be able to assimilate detailed and complex information presented in both didactic and clinical coursework and engage in problem solving. Students are expected to possess the ability to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, synthesize and transmit information. In addition, students should be able to comprehend three-dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures and to adapt to different learning environments and modalities.
Behavioral and social abilities: Students should possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients, fellow students, faculty and staff. Students should be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to function effectively under stress. They should be able to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients. Compassion, integrity, concern for others, interpersonal skills, professionalism, interest and motivation are all personal qualities that are expected during the education processes.
Ethics and professionalism: Students should maintain and display ethical and moral behaviors commensurate with the role of a physician in all interactions with patients, faculty, staff, students and the public. The student is expected to understand the legal and ethical aspects of the practice of medicine and function within the law and ethical standards of the medical profession.
The technical standards delineated above must be met with or without accommodation. Students who, after review of the technical standards, determine they require reasonable accommodation to fully engage in the program should contact the Office of Student Disability Services to confidentially discuss their accommodations needs. Given the clinical nature of our programs, time may be needed to create and implement the accommodations. Accommodations are never retroactive; therefore, timely requests are essential and encouraged. Contact the Office of Student Disability Services to learn more about accommodations at Rush University.
Marie Ferro-Lusk, MBA, MSW, LSW, Manager, Office of Student Disability Services
Rush University, 600 S. Paulina St., Suite 440, Chicago, IL 60612
(773) 942-5237, Marie_S_Ferro-Lusk@rush.edu
Process: Requests for accommodation by individuals with a disability as defined by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Americans with Disability Act will be considered on the basis of their abilities and the extent to which reasonable accommodation, if required, can be provided. The Rush University policy for students with disabilities describes the process for requesting an accommodation and is available in the catalog and on the website.