Since its founding in 1839 as one of the nation’s first private medical schools, Albany Medical College has grown to become an integral part of the Albany Medical Center—the only academic health sciences center serving 25 counties in northeastern New York and western New England. Through its faculty practice plan, Albany Medical College combines resources with the 631-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital not only to provide the area’s 2.7 million residents with advanced services in a full range of specialties and subspecialties, but also to provide rich learning opportunities for its diverse academic community.
Committed to improving medical education, Albany Medical College was at the forefront of curricular reorganization to better address the needs of patients and the challenges of a rapidly changing health care system. The college not only offers a theme-based curriculum, but also offers such innovative courses as Evidence-Based Medicine; Health, Care and Society (a four-year ethics course); and Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn (a course designed to prepare medical students to become educators and life-long learners as physicians).
The collaborative community spirit at the medical college is evident in its student population, which transcends boundaries of age, experience, and professional status. The freshmen class of 2005 represents a wide range of undergraduate degrees, ages, and geographical regions. The medical college is also witnessing an increase in “nontraditional” medical students, who come from diverse undergraduate backgrounds, or are older than the average medical student. The class of 2009 ranges in age from 20 to 47 years old.
To increase the diversity of learning experiences, the medical college has formed several joint degree programs with neighboring institutions. Collaborations with such prestigious institutions as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Union College, and Siena College afford students the opportunity to become physicians with firm foundations in scientific research, leadership in medicine, or humanities.
In addition to medical education, Albany Medical College is also dedicated to biomedical research and to training future researchers. The Graduate Studies Program offers curricula leading to the doctor of philosophy and masters of science degrees, and is built upon four interdisciplinary structures: Cell Biology and Cancer Research; Cardiovascular Science; Immunology and Microbial Disease; and Neuropharmacology and Neuroscience. Additionally, two clinical centers, Nurse Anesthesiology and Physician Assistant Studies, result in masters of science degrees for nurse anesthetists and physician assistants.
Overall, extramural research funding at the college has grown considerably in the last five years as a result of our prominent faculty and their varying biomedical research interests. Productive partnerships have been formed with a strong cadre of other research organizations located in New York’s “Tech Valley.” Current collaborative efforts include the state Wadsworth Laboratories, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the General Electric Global Research Center.
Rich with history and with an eye on the future, Albany Medical College continues to successfully meld the missions of education, biomedical research, and patient care. The results are exceptional physicians and scientists who are dedicated to elevating the delivery and the quality of health care to patients within this community and beyond.
Vincent Verdile, MD
Dean, Albany Medical College
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs
Albany Medical Center