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Medical Schools in Tennessee with Degree Program Overviews

Research medical schools in Tennessee, which currently has five schools offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

In addition to MD programs, many schools offer dual-degree programs, allowing students to earn degrees in medicine while simultaneously earning graduate degrees in such fields as public health, business administration, jurisprudence, or divinity. The first two years of a medical degree program include didactic study and lab coursework. During the final two years of the program, students participate in clinical rotations, treating patients under the supervision of a licensed physician.


East Tennessee State University

Located in Johnson City, East Tennessee State University offers a medical degree as well as a joint medical degree and doctoral degree. Students can choose between a generalist track and rural primary care track. The rural primary care track helps students prepare for the challenges of working in rural communities. Students can learn lifesaving techniques in the Patient Simulation Lab, a computer-driven facility with audio and video capabilities. To qualify for admission, incoming students must have completed at least 90 credits of undergraduate coursework, including courses in chemistry, biology and physics.

Lincoln Memorial University

The DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate offers a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine program. The American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation accredits this 4-year program, which teaches students about genetics, physiology and medical biochemistry in their first year. Students participate in interactive instruction and didactic lectures during their second year before beginning clinical internships in the third year. Students get a mix of hospital and office training throughout their clinical experiences, and students are assigned to a clinical site.

Meharry Medical College

At historically black Meharry Medical College in Nashville, students have access to multiple community outreach programs and facilities, including community health and health education centers. The university also has a collaboration with Vanderbilt University. Medical students can participate in research areas like women's health, health disparities and neuroscience. They are randomly assigned to six different clinical rotations during their third year and complete eight clinical rotations (four weeks each) during their senior year.

The University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee provides medical instruction on all three of its campuses: Memphis, Chattanooga and Knoxville. The first two years of study take place in Memphis, and students complete their clinical practice by rotating among all three campuses. The third year features a series of 8-week clinical internships that cover a variety of specialties, such as pediatrics, surgery and family medicine. The final year includes multiple 4-week clerkships, which are followed by 28 weeks of electives and optional learning opportunities. Students can also participate in student research programs and work on small projects with faculty members. The school offers opportunities for students to engage in community outreach as part of the Consortium for Health Education, Economic Empowerment and Research (CHEER).

Vanderbilt University

Located in Nashville, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine was ranked the 14th best medical research school by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. While the coursework is similar to that of other programs, the curriculum focuses on communication skills, professionalism and cultural awareness. Students can choose from several extracurricular research areas, including biomedical education and epidemiology. The school also has a mentor program between research faculty members and aspiring physicians.

In addition to the standard Doctor of Medicine (MD) program, students have a variety of dual degree options. The joint MD/Doctor of Jurisprudence allows students to earn a law degree to complement their medical studies in only six years. Other joint options include an MD/Master of Business Administration and MD/Master of Public Health.

Career Requirements

To become licensed to practice medicine in the U.S., aspiring doctors must earn medical degrees, pass the necessary exams and complete residency programs. Requirements for licensing and residency programs may vary if doctors choose particular areas of specialty. The following information includes brief descriptions of medical degree programs offered at five public and private schools within Tennessee.

School Comparison: At a Glance

School Name School Type & Setting Medical Degrees Offered Tuition & Fees
East Tennessee State University 4-year; public; small city Doctor of Medicine,
Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health
In-state: $32,025/year for years 1-2 and 4, $42,594 for year 3; Out-of-state: $63,211/year for years 1-2 and 4, $84,072 for year 3 (2015-2016)*
Lincoln Memorial University 4-year; private, not-for-profit; fringe rural Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine $47,700 for years 1-3, $45,650 for year 4 (2016-2017)*
Meharry Medical College 4-year; private, not-for-profit; large city Doctor of Medicine,
Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Philosophy
$53,636 for year 1, $52,878 for year 2, $52,555 for year 3, $51,677 for year 4 (2015-2016)*
The University of Tennessee 4-year; public; city Doctor of Medicine,
Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Philosophy
In-state: $34,397/year for years 1-2, $34,340/year for years 3-4 (for 9+ hours/semester); out-of-state: $66,827/year for years 1-2, $66,770/year for years 3-4 (for 9+ hours/semester) (2016)*
Vanderbilt University 4-year; private, not-for-profit; large city Doctor of Medicine,
Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health,
Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Jurisprudence,
Doctor of Medicine/Master of Business Administration,
Doctor of Medicine/Master of Divinity
$50,540/year for years 1-2, $50,640 for year 3, $50,565 for year 4 (2016-2017)*

Source: *Schools' websites.

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