Comprehensive and Compassionate Care Starts Here

Patient Care

Improving the health of our patients is at the core of everything we do at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S). Clinicians must learn to provide compassionate and effective care while respecting the dignity and experience of those they treat. Our faculty embody these principles through their innovative teaching and mentoring and, most importantly, by example.

Patient care that acknowledges the patient as person plays a fundamental role in our academic programs. Our innovative and patient-focused MD degree program introduces patient interaction early in a student's training and places a strong emphasis on patient stories.

Our offerings in narrative medicine, a discipline pioneered here at Columbia, help students learn the importance of empathy and reflection as an essential part of the role of clinician. All first-year medical students at Columbia are required to complete an intensive half semester seminar in the humanities. Additionally, VP&S offers a monthlong intensive fourth-year elective in narrative medicine to develop narrative skills that will support attentive patient care.

The Mary & Michael Jaharis Simulation Center is a state-of-the-art facility that serves as the hub for simulation-based medical and surgical education and training. Our students spend approximately 60 hours in the simulation center during their four-year curriculum. In addition to using high-tech tools for learning and practicing procedures, students learn through interactions with standardized patients—skilled actors playing the role of patients in a variety of scenarios.

VP&S student run clinics provide hands-on experience caring for patients in the underserved communities near Columbia University Irving Medical Center. Our global programs offer additional opportunities for students to broaden their worldview and explore different clinical environments and challenges. The MD program's prestigious Columbia-Bassett track focuses on patient-centered care in a large, mostly rural population.

Our world-renowned residency and fellowship programs expose young clinicians to an extraordinary range of disease at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, one of the busiest teaching hospitals in NYC. And as one of the nation's leading centers for research and clinical trials, VP&S plays a major part in transforming and advancing the future of medical care for all.