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Chicago Medical School (CMS) is an Allopathic medical school located in North Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the graduate schools of Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science (RFUMS).

The Chicago Medical School
MottoVita In Inventione
Motto in English
Life in Discovery
TypePrivate, non-profit
Parent institution
Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
DeanJames Record, MD, JD
3333 Green Bay Road
, , ,
42°18′00″N 87°51′32″W / 42.300°N 87.859°W / 42.300; -87.859Coordinates: 42°18′00″N 87°51′32″W / 42.300°N 87.859°W / 42.300; -87.859
CampusSuburban, 97 acres

Founded in 1912, Chicago Medical School has a long history of a broadly based, socially constructive admission process relatively unlike that of other medical colleges. Under the leadership of Dean John J. Sheinin, CMS achieved full American Medical Association approval in 1948.

Chicago Medical School currently has 763 students enrolled and over 6,500 alumni.




Chicago Medical School was founded as a night school in 1912, The Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine. The non-profit Chicago Medical School originally operated on the principle that admission should be based on merit alone. In particular, "Chicago Med" admitted women and minority applicants decades earlier than most professionals schools.[citation needed] As the school's 1912-13 bulletin states, "It is the firm belief of the Faculty of this school that there are deserving men and women, who, if given a second opportunity, will soon 'catch up' with and even surpass those students who have had earlier opportunities and advantages."[1] It delivered quality medical education to a wide range of students.

In 1917, the Chicago Hospital College of Medicine absorbed the Jenner Medical College which had been in existence since 1893 and the name was changed officially to The Chicago Medical School.[1]

Sheinin administrationEdit

In 1935, Dr. John J. Sheinin became Dean of Medicine and decided that the school must be saved. Prior to Dr. Sheinin, and due to CMS's lack of affiliation with a hospital, the school had been struggling financially. To help keep the school open in the 1940s, wealthy retired Chicago businessman Lester North Selig issued a challenge to his contemporaries in Chicago's business world: Did they or did they not support a medical school where admission was based on merit alone? By 1948, Dr. Sheinin had won accreditation for the school by consistently strengthening its curriculum, finances, and community support.

Also under Dr. Sheinin, the American Plan was developed. This policy stuck to the original policy of admission solely based on merit. Eleanor Roosevelt praised the plan in her nationally syndicated "My Day" column:

The American simply a plan of nondiscrimination. Only two considerations govern the admission rules of [Chicago Medical School]- character and scholarship merit.

One wishes that more schools and colleges and universities throughout the county would have the courage to set their standards high, but to eliminate two questions that all too often one finds on a request for admission: What is your race and what is your religion? It seems to me that these questions have no bearing on one's right to an education in whatever field of learning one has chosen to follow. They should have no bearing, either, on one's success in whatever profession that he or she is preparing for.[2]


In 1967 the institution expanded into a university, the University of Health Sciences. The Chicago Medical School became just one of several constituent schools of the University (albeit the core and original foundation) in 1968 with the establishment of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. A School of Related Health Sciences (later named the College of Health Professions) was added in 1970. From this point, the history of Chicago Medical School is inextricably intertwined with the history of the University as a whole. The University's name was changed to Finch University of Health Sciences in 1993, and in 2004 to Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. The University acquired the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine (coincidentally also founded in 1912) in 2001, and opened a College of Pharmacy in 2011.


The Chicago Medical School had accreditation issues in 2004[2] and again in 2013,[3] when it was placed on probation by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) for non-academic reasons. In February 2014, the LCME determined that the school's areas of concerns were in compliance.[4]

Community ServiceEdit

CMS has a long history of community participation and was one of the first to encourage students to perform community medical services as a natural outgrowth of a medical education.[citation needed] Students were historically required to serve in the Medical Clinic Free Dispensary and the Chicago Maternity Center in order to graduate. Currently students participate in many community service projects supporting the local community. In the view of former Dean Arthur J. Ross, III, "The current generation of students is the most altruistic, service-oriented generation ever to come through health care training- including generations older than me. It's the icing on the cake for them to study in a place that supports their service." [3]

Interprofessional Community ClinicEdit

In 2013, members of the class of 2016 established the Interprofessional Community Clinic, a free clinic that provides limited healthcare services to low-income and underserved residents of the area. The clinic is staffed by volunteer students and licensed healthcare professionals and is held after hours at the Rosalind Franklin University Health System's North Chicago location. Interprofessional teams of students evaluate, treat, and refer patients under physician supervision.


Students spend the first two years learning basic medical sciences and the last two years participating in clerkships at affiliate hospitals. The educational program combines lectures, labs, small-group discussions, team-based learning, and opportunities for peer-to-peer learning. There are eight required clerkships to be completed in the third year: medicine, surgery, family medicine/primary care, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, pediatrics, neurology, and emergency medicine. The senior requirements include four weeks in an internal medicine, emergency medicine, family medicine/primary care, or pediatrics subinternship.[5]

The medical school is an interprofessional health sciences university; thus, M.D. candidates take courses alongside students in other health professions, including podiatry and pharmacy.

Student affairsEdit

The Office of Medical Student Affairs and Diversity works closely with students to provide resources, programs, and support to ensure a smooth progression through medical school and transition to residency. With this office's support, students host traditions such as Field Day on the first Saturday after classes begin and stress reduction activities before exams.

House systemEdit

The House and Learning Communities Program facilitates the development of students in a collaborative cultural context. The program includes four Houses that link sixteen learning communities across the four years of medical school, connecting students in a network of faculty and fellow students with varying interests and levels of experience.[6] Incoming students are assigned to one of four learning communities, each led by a practicing physician who mentors the students for all four years of school. Each learning community is assigned to a House that connects students of all four years. The Houses are named after four distinguished CMS alumni: Fannie Emanuel, Marion Finkel, Herbert Lipschultz, and Caesar Portes.[7]

Fannie Emanuel, M.D., class of 1915, was CMS's first African American female graduate. She remained in Chicago for her career as a family practitioner and founder of a settlement house for all races.

Caesar Portes, M.D., class of 1928, was a notable proctologist and surgeon. He was a pioneer in cancer screening and early detection services. He was the cofounder and medical director of the George and Anna Portes Cancer Prevention Center of Chicago.

Herbert Lipschultz, M.D., class of 1948, was a beloved family physician in the northern Chicago suburbs. He was a role model and CMS professor who served as President of Skokie Board of Health.

Marion Finkel, M.D., class of 1952, was an internist and pharmaceutical researcher who moved away from Chicago following her graduation. She was hired by the Food and Drug Administration, where she directed the Office of Orphan Product Development.

Teaching hospital affiliationsEdit

Chicago Medical School is community-based, giving students an opportunity to rotate through many hospitals and hospital systems in the Chicago metropolitan area. These include:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Chicago Medical School". Rosalind Franklin University.
  2. ^ Becker, Robert (2004-06-16). "Medical school put on probation. Administration, ties to hospitals, student debt cited". Chicago Tribune.
  3. ^ "LCME". Archived from the original on 2013-11-14.
  4. ^ "Dean's Blog, March 14, 2014".
  5. ^ "Chicago Medical School Office of Undergraduate Studies".
  6. ^ "Chicago Medical School Student Affairs".
  7. ^ "Chicago Medical School Houses".

Further readingEdit

Tomkowiak, J; Lazarus, C; Ross AJ, 3rd (September 2010). "Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science". Academic Medicine. 85 (9 Suppl): S186–8. doi:10.1097/ACM.0b013e3181e8d863. PMID 20736544.

External linksEdit