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Medical students

KU School of Medicine has enjoyed a longstanding reputation for training physicians who excel in their knowledge of medicine and delivery of expert health care.

Five years ago, our curriculum was redesigned using an interdisciplinary, patient-centered model, incorporating a strong clinical foundation into the basic sciences and facilitating the development of exceptional critical thinkers who can analyze problems, formulate effective plans of action, and provide optimal clinical care. Active, self-directed learning is encouraged through a variety of teaching tools, including small group discussions, problem-based learning, electronic procedure simulators, virtual microscopy labs, and standardized patients. The different learning styles of adults are further accommodated through tablet computers and podcasting.

As the nation faces a serious shortage of practicing physicians, new medical schools are being developed, and existing medical schools are exploring ways in which they can increase the number of physicians graduated each year. To this end, the School of Medicine has expanded programs in Salina and Wichita.

The core basic science content (years 1 and 2) are identical to that of the Kansas City campus with the benefit of additional opportunities for early patient care experiences that will enhance learning the basic sciences. While curricular requirements for years 3 and 4 will be the same on all three campuses, the Salina campus focus is on delivery of health care in rural and secondary care centers. The Wichita campus focus is on primary-care medicine in community-based hospitals, and the Kansas City campus offers the full range of clinical opportunities available to students studying in an academic, tertiary health-care center. Student resources, support services and enrichment opportunities (e.g., electives, research, and international study) are similar across all three campuses. Learn more about all three campuses in our tour videos.


For more than 35 years, the School of Medicine's Wichita campus has utilized dedicated volunteer and full-time faculty in all specialties to successfully provide learning opportunities for third- and fourth-year medical students. Because of its community-based setting, the Wichita program underscores the vital importance of primary-care medicine in community health and offers hands-on experiences in a variety of hospital environments.

The program is now expanded to allow students to conduct their entire four years of education on the Wichita campus. For years 1 and 2, lectures are delivered by interactive television and podcasting. Laboratory courses are offered through web-based systems, and small group learning will be taught by both clinical and basic science faculty. The use of cadaver labs will be provided through a partnership with Wichita State University. Patient-centered learning, clinical skills training, and longitudinal clinical experiences will be emphasized.

Learn more about KU School of Medicine-Wichita.


The School of Medicine's presence in Salina dates back to 2001, when the rural residency track program began. In 2011, the School of Medicine-Salina campus opened, expanding the school's efforts to address the shortage of physicians in rural Kansas.

In 2018, the school moved into the state-of-the-art Health Education Center in downtown Salina. The building includes an anatomy lab, procedural skills lab, clinical skills exam rooms and a simulation lab that provides an interprofessional learning setting for students from the schools of Medicine and Nursing. In addition to classrooms and study spaces, the Health Education Center offers amenities like a student lounge and fitness center.

With eight students admitted each year, the Salina campus is the smallest four-year medical education site in the country. Students in Salina have unique opportunities to gain hands-on experience in all clinical specialties, working side-by-side with faculty and attending physicians. In the first two years, students participate in on-site and distance education, with most lectures delivered via interactive television and podcasting. During the third and fourth years, students complete clinical clerkships at Salina Regional Health Center, and other hospitals and physician offices in Salina and the surrounding region.

The Salina program provides a unique opportunity to earn one's medical degree in a non-metropolitan area. The program is ideal for the Kansas student who is a self-motivated, independent learner, who would enjoy working with a small group of his or her peers for the duration of medical school, and who has a strong desire to practice primary-care medicine in rural Kansas.

Learn more about KU School of Medicine-Salina.

Last modified: Jan 07, 2021