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Why Vanderbilt?

From cutting-edge curriculum to vibrant social mission, here’s what makes Vanderbilt University School of Medicine an exceptional place to start your medical journey.


Curriculum 2.0: Individualized training to match your unique calling

At Vanderbilt, you’ll be the author of your own personalized medical education. Our curriculum trains you in the essentials you’ll need to navigate the field and gives you plenty of time to explore through immersive experiences

  • Our 13-month preclinical curriculum sends you into immersive clinical experiences an entire year earlier than traditional sequences, but that doesn’t mean your first year is overwhelming. Our curriculum centers on case-based learning in small groups, ensuring that the material covered in lectures and labs translates immediately into clinical settings.
  • Small-group learning communities bring you into clinical experiences from the first week of curriculum onward, including work with standardized patients and simulations in our Center for Experiential Learning and Assessment.
  • Grow your clinical competence through six core clerkships in your M2 year at our world-class medical center, just a few yards away from your classrooms and labs.
  • After completing the 13-month preclinical curriculum and the core clerkship rotations, personalize your Immersion (M3 and M4) years with a combination of
    • Elective and away rotations
    • Mentored research projects
    • Acting internships
    • Integrated Science Courses

These experiences will introduce you to leaders in the field and help you narrow down your specialty choices as you prepare to take the next step in your medical journey.

  • Consider a fully-funded research year out through our Medical Scholars program: we’ll cover your living expenses so you can dedicate yourself to full-time research for a year.

social mission

Social Mission: A campus of changemakers

Changemaking doesn’t need to wait until you earn your degree. Our community is dedicated to shaping a healthcare system that provides excellent care to all patients— and our students are a crucial part of that mission.

  • Serve at our student-run free clinic. Shade Tree Clinic provides quality general and specialty care at no cost for uninsured or underinsured patients in Nashville, as well as nutrition education programs, a food pantry, and a pharmacy.
  • Join the Social Mission Committee, which is engaged in current initiatives like:
    • The Student Advocacy Guide
      A helpful document full of logistical advice on how to advocate for your patients in a clinical setting
    • Evening Mentorship Series
      Engaging discussions on a variety of topics hosted by a panel of faculty mentors
    • Climate Change Lunch Talks
      Environmentally focused discussions organized by the Education Executive Directors of SMC
  • Learn alongside your peers with the robust antiracism and cultural competency training built into the foundations of our curriculum.
  • Be a part of our institutional journey towards antiracism through the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.


Wellness Culture: Support for wherever you are

At VUSM, we believe wellness is crucial to your success. We recognize that a thriving healthcare system starts with thriving med students.

  • Belong to a family like no other through our advising college communities. Our small, close-knit communities foster friendship, mentorship, and so much more.
  • Receive personalized support every step of the way. Our dedicated portfolio coaches guide you through academic transition into med school, while our Careers in Medicine team equips you with all the tools needed to make your specialty decision.
  • Lead on the Wellness Committee, redefining mental and physical wellness in med school settings.

medical center

Our Medical Center: Cutting-edge care, just feet away

If you’re looking for an institution that pushes boundaries in both general and specialty care, you’ve come to the right place.


Nashville: A vibrant city you’ll love to call home during your medical journey

Study medicine in a city where innovation and excellence are the norm. Just a mile from downtown Nashville, our campus gives you the best of both worlds.