Message from the Dean

The Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) and the health sciences schools that make up the Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) are longstanding and progressive organizations dedicated to all aspects of medical research, care, and education. Each day our faculty, staff, and students work toward our overall mission—to care, to discover, to educate, and to serve our own community and the world.

Anil Rustgi
Anil Rustgi, MD, Interim Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine

We are proud to be a part of the Washington Heights community, one of New York City’s most diverse neighborhoods, for nearly 100 years. As the second oldest medical school in the United States, VP&S became part of the nation's first academic medical center in 1928 when VP&S and Presbyterian Hospital (now NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital) moved to a 20-acre campus in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood. We celebrate the diversity of our community as part of the fabric of our medical center and partner with organizations to build meaningful programs across Washington Heights and surrounding areas while also caring for people across New York City and from around the world.

When the novel coronavirus hit New York City this year, our faculty, staff, and students turned their energy into action. Throughout this incredibly challenging time, the core values of CUIMC shone through. Our patients come first, and in the face of a global pandemic, everyone rallied to provide the safest, highest standard of care for all of our patients. Our VP&S Class of 2020 graduated early and began their careers in the middle of the pandemic. Our researchers refocused their work toward therapies, prevention, and a vaccine for the new virus.

Building upon the past and present, we are poised to take bold steps. VP&S is ranked consistently among the best medical schools in the nation and CUIMC is regarded as being among the top academic medical centers in the world. Our researchers represent the top in their fields and work together across disciplines to translate basic science discoveries into innovative clinical trials and innovative, compassionate clinical care. Our dedicated faculty support the training, education, and mentorship of the next generation of leaders. Our students have MCAT scores and grade point averages among the highest in the country. As an institution, we prioritize advocacy in government and in society for our patients and community. While our neighborhood is a vibrant example of diversity, recent events have rightly forced us to acknowledge that the same diversity is not always reflected in academia, and we are taking steps to improve diversity and inclusion across CUIMC.

Whether you are interested in VP&S as a new or prospective student, a potential faculty or staff member, a patient, or someone just wanting to learn more about us, I invite you to discover more about our medical school, medical center, and the individuals dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of patient care, research, education, training, and involvement in the world around us.

Anil Rustgi, MD​
Interim Executive Vice President and Dean of the Faculties of Health Sciences and Medicine