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Southern Illinois University School of Medicine


Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
Established 1970
Type Public
Provost J. Kevin Dorsey, M.D., Ph.D.
Dean J. Kevin Dorsey, M.D., Ph.D.
Academic staff 325[1]
Admin. staff 249[1]
Students 285[1]
Location Springfield, Illinois, USA
Residents 325
SIU programs are located in 23 buildings in Springfield; 5 buildings in Carbondale; and Family Medicine Centers in Carbondale, Decatur, Quincy, Springfield and West Frankfort.

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is a medical school located in Springfield, the capital of the U.S. state of Illinois. It is part of the Southern Illinois University system, which includes a campus in Edwardsville as well as the flagship in Carbondale. The medical school was founded in 1970 and achieved full accreditation in 1972.[2] It was originally founded to relieve a chronic shortage of physicians in downstate Illinois.


SIU is the only medical school in Illinois with its main campus outside of Chicago or its suburbs (although the University of Illinois maintains satellites in Champaign-Urbana, Peoria and Rockford). SIU was early to incorporate problem-based learning (PBL) into their curricula (see below) and "standardized patients" for medical student testing purposes. Being able to interact with standardized patients now comprises the majority of one of the four major exams that all US allopathic medical students must pass (the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills).[3] SIU students begin care of patients in a clinical setting within the first two weeks of classes. By the end of their first trimester, they are tested on their ability to obtain medical histories from, examine, and diagnose the diseases simulated by standardized patients. Such education measures and SIU's large primary care faculty led US News and World Report to rank SIU in the top 10 medical schools in the country for primary care in the early 1990s.[4] SIU students also receive in depth training in medicolegal issues thanks to the medical school's close relationship with the Southern Illinois University School of Law and the retention of attorneys on its Springfield faculty in the Department of Medical Humanities.[5]


The main education building on the Springfield campus.

The School of Medicine has more than 300 full-time faculty members as well as more than 900 part-time and volunteer faculty members.

Students spend the first year at the main campus of Southern Illinois University in Carbondale before moving to Springfield.

SIU-Med employs problem-based learning, which involves using small groups of students, along with a faculty mentor. The students are presented with a clinical scenario and must approach it as if they were trying to diagnose and treat a real patient. Each clinical scenario is accessed on a secure website that provides information about the patient. When the students face basic science and clinical problems that they do not know, they incorporate these issues into a list and divide the list amongst themselves for self-directed learning. At their next faculty-supervised meeting, the students teach each other what they have learned, with input also provided on the topics by the faculty member. Each case also has set learning issues, so that all students in all the small groups within the class learn the objectives planned by the faculty in both basic and clinical science for that particular case. Each case is designed to be completed over three meetings lasting around 9 hours in total. This style of learning is also used with traditional lectures and laboratory sessions over the first two years of medical school. Since it is more interactive, it is thought to promote better problem-solving skills useful in real life situations than traditional lecture-based learning, and it is now used by many medical schools.

Patient Care

Training programs in Springfield are supported primarily by the city's two large tertiary care hospitals – Memorial Medical Center (507 beds) and St. John’s Hospital (431 beds). Combined, these hospitals have more than 45,000 admissions and more than 123,000 emergency room visits annually. Services include the only Level 1 trauma center in the area between Peoria and St. Louis and a regional burn center.

To complement the hospital-based setting, SIU HealthCare, the ambulatory clinics of SIU School of Medicine, employ nearly 250 full-time physicians who supervise more than 477,000 clinic visits per year in our primary and specialty care clinics as well as approximately 145,000 hospital visits. The patient base of the Springfield region includes more than 500,000 people in at least 10 counties.


Simmons Cancer Institute.

Research at SIU School of Medicine, as of 2012, consists of more than 244 projects underway in 100-plus laboratories. As of this same year, SIU was supported by over $33 million in funding by agencies including the National Institutes of Health. One of the leading areas of research at SIU is in oncology, with the Simmons Cancer Institute being the largest oncology facility in Illinois outside of Chicago. Ongoing research includes projects on basic molecular mechanism of tumorigenesis, identifying molecular biomarkers for early detection of cancer, and identifying targets for molecular level cancer treatment. The Simmons Cancer Institute has dedicated clinics for patients with breast, colorectal, gynecologic, head and neck, hematologic, skin, pediatric, prostate, and lung cancer. The Springfield Combined Laboratory Facility is a five-story building that houses immunology and virology laboratories and a biomedical research imaging suite. The Springfield and Carbondale campuses have multiple other medical research buildings.

Notable Faculty

  • Dr. Jerry Kruse, Executive Associate Dean/CEO, SIU Health Care
  • Dr. Tom Robbins, Professor and Director, Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU
  • Dr. Carl Faingold, Chairman of Department of Pharmacology and SIU Distinguished Scholar
  • Dr. Kathleen Campbell, Professor of Otolaryngology
  • Dr. Don Caspary, Professor of Pharmacoloy and SIU Distinguished Scholar
  • Dr. Rodger Elble, Professor of Neurology

Residency programs

SIU School of Medicine offers residency programs in dermatology, emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, medicine and psychiatry, neurology, neurological surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, otolaryngology, pediatrics, plastic and reconstructive surgery, psychiatry, radiology, urology and vascular surgery.[6] It has fellowships in adult reconstruction, andrology, child psychiatry, colorectal surgery, endocrinology, hand surgery, head and neck oncology, infectious diseases, minimally invasive gynecologic surgery, pulmonary medicine, spine surgery, sports medicine and vascular surgery.[7]

Library and budget

The SIU School of Medicine Medical Library houses more than 153,000 volumes, 2,700 print and electronic periodicals, 1,500 audiovisual programs, and a collection of historical medical documents. SIU's total annual budget is approximately $168 million; about 24 percent is from state appropriations.[8]


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  4. ^ U.S. News & World Report; 3/18/96, Vol. 120 Issue 11, p96
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External links

  • Official website
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