World-renowned researchers, first-class facilities, and a wealth of educational and clinical opportunities have helped make the University of Minnesota Medical School one of the "most prestigious medical schools in the country" (Barron's Guide to Medical and Dental Schools)—rated 15th overall by the Princeton Review of the Best Medical Schools (one of a very few public institutions on the list).
Clinical clerkship opportunities
The MD degree program (also a combined MD/PhD program) at Minnesota offers students an unusual variety of clinical clerkship opportunities, most of them in urban settings with diverse patient populations:
- Hennepin County Medical Center, the major teaching hospital for the University—a downtown Minneapolis hospital with 436 beds, a Level 1 Trauma Center, and the state's most active Emergency Department. Named in America's Best Hospitals in 1995 as one of the nation's top hospitals in nine specialty areas, HCMC also is considered one of the premier hospitals for crosscultural competency.
- Fairview University Medical Center, a comprehensive primary- and specialty-care center that includes the former University Hospital.
- Abbott Northwestern, a major private city hospital.
- Regions Hospital, a regional acute-care facility, Children's Hospital, an acclaimed pediatrics center, and Veterans Administration Hospital.
- Community health clinics—including Community-University Health Center, with many low-income Southeast Asian patients, and West Side Community Health Center, which serves a sizable Chicano/Latino patient base.
- Urban Physician Associate Program—offering third-year medical students in-depth clinical exposure to diverse urban populations (a rural counterpart also is offered).
Support services for students
The Medical School offers services and resources to help students thrive academically, culturally, and personally. Of special interest:
- Medical School Office for Minority Affairs and Diversity, which works to foster a diverse community of students, staff, and faculty and to provide opportunity and support to prospective students from minority groups.
- Center of American Indian and Minority Health, offering community-based training in urban and reservation communities, plus cultural support for Native American medical students.
- Mentoring Programs, including the Senior Mentor Program (in which each new student is "adopted" by a senior medical student) and the Senior Medical Student Advisor Program (which pairs first-year students with upperclass tutors).
- Confidential Peer Assistance Program, for support and referral.
- Student National Medical Association, focusing on the needs and concerns of medical students of color.
- Student activities, such as Women in Medicine, the Student International Health Committee, the Intertribal Alliance of Medical Students, and the Minority Mentorship Program, which pairs medical students of color with high school youth.