The evaluation of students for advancement from year to year involves objective criteria and subjective judgments similar to those employed in the admission process. To be considered for advancement, individuals must have satisfactorily completed all required medical college course work for that year and must demonstrate motivation, maturity, stability, sound judgment, a sense of responsibility, good moral character and other personal qualities. In addition to proper sensory perception and appropriate cognitive, motor, and organizational skills, students must display the ability to synthesize and apply knowledge, and possess other attributes deemed essential by the faculty to the making of a safe and effective physician.
The Medical College curriculum is divided into four successive academic years. At the end of each course, a student's performance in all required and elective courses is evaluated and recorded. The final grade in a course is determined by the appropriate department after evaluation of student performance in all aspects of the course work, including examinations. At the conclusion of each course, a student's overall performance, based on the results of evaluations in all of the courses in the curriculum of that year, is reviewed by a faculty Committee on Promotion and Graduation.
The purpose of the Guidelines for Promotion and Graduation is to detail as clearly as possible the procedures to be followed if a student demonstrates poor performance in courses or clerkships.
Students may be dismissed for the following reasons:
- failure to pass required course work or to remedy failures as described in the Guidelines for Promotion and Graduation,
- violation of the Code of Professional Conduct, which outlines the principles of academic integrity expected of every Cornell medical student;
- a determination by the faculty, after an opportunity for the student to be heard, of failure to meet the standards of fitness for medicine set forth in the section on qualifications for advancement and graduation.
The award of the degree of Doctor of Medicine attests to the individual's successful completion of the curriculum and qualification to practice the profession effectively and skillfully. The faculty does not believe that the degree can or should be awarded subject to any restrictions or modifications, and reserves the right to withhold the granting of a degree to any person whose ability to practice medicine safely and effectively is impaired. Graduation from Weill Medical College of Cornell University fulfills one of the requirements necessary to apply for a license as a physician in the various states. Most graduates, however, pursue further training.
Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must be at least 21 years old and be of good moral character. They must have completed successfully four full courses of at least eight months each as regular matriculated medical students. All required work of the medical curriculum must be completed and all prescribed examinations passed. Every candidate for a degree must pay, or satisfactorily arrange to pay, all accounts due to the University at least ten days before Commencement.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended prohibits the release of educational records by institutions without the specific consent of the student or graduate.
Any student or graduate may request that an official transcript of his or her Medical College record be mailed to accredited hospitals and to educational or other recognized institutions as credentials in support of an application for a position or promotion. All official transcripts are embossed with the Cornell seal and carry the instruction that they are not to be turned over to a third party. This rule exists to avoid possible loss and fraudulent use of an official document of the Medical College. Students or alumni may send their requests to the Registrar, Office of Academic Affairs, Room C-118, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Avenue, New York, NY, 10021.
Graduates of Weill Medical College are admitted unconditionally to the examination for license to practice medicine in the United States. Certified students and graduates of Weill Medical College are admitted to the three steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination which replaced the Federal Licensing Examination (FLEX) and the NBME Parts I, II, and III, as the single, uniform examination for licenses in the United States. For information, write to the USMLE Secretariat, 3930 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.
Code of Professional Conduct
Absolute integrity is expected of every Cornell medical student in all academic and clinical activities; he/she must in no way misrepresent his/her work, fraudulently or unfairly advance his/her academic status, or be a party to another student's breach of academic integrity.
The maintenance of an atmosphere of academic honor and the fulfillment of the provisions of this Code are the responsibilities of the students and faculty of Weill Medical College. Therefore, all students and faculty members shall refrain from any action that would violate the basic principles of this Code, in spirit or letter.
Visiting and Auditing Students
Visiting students are candidates for the M.D. degree at other LCME-accredited medical schools who have met the necessary requirements and have been selected and approved to take fourth-year elective courses offered by the Medical College. Application to any elective course is made through the Office of Academic Affairs. A letter of recommendation from the Academic Dean of the parent medical school and a Student Health Form must accompany the student's application. A visiting student may participate in no more than eight weeks of elective coursework during any academic year. The student's parent school must provide adequate professional liability insurance to cover the student's activities while in attendance at Weill Medical College. Tuition will not be charged.
Auditing students are individuals who attend lecture courses at the discretion and with the permission of the department chairman. No courses offered by clinical departments may be audited. Records will not be maintained. Students who audit courses will receive no credit, and may not take final examinations.
Student Prizes and Awards
Prizes and awards are conferred at the Convocation of the Medical College which is held in conjunction with Commencement exercises in late May of the academic year.
- The American Medical Women's Association presents the Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Award to the
woman who graduates first in her class, and the Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Achievement Citations to
those female students who graduate in the top 10% of their class. Dr. Maude Glasgow, a 1901 Cornell
University Medical College graduate, established this award in honor of her sister Janet.
- The Viola Borkon Memorial Prize was established in 1992 by Mr. Sidney Borkon, in loving memory of
his wife, Viola Borkon, who was a patient of Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld, Clinical Professor of Medicine. The
prize is awarded annually to the student who has placed at the top of the class for scholastic performance
upon completion of the pre-clinical curriculum.
- The Clarence C. Coryell Prize in Medicine was endowed by a bequest from Dr. Coryell, who graduated
from the Medical College in 1903. The prize is awarded to the student having the highest average in
medicine through the junior year.
- The Clarence C. Coryell Prize in Surgery was also endowed by a bequest from Dr. Coryell. The prize is
awarded to the student who attains the highest performance in surgery during the third and fourth years.
- The Gustavo Cudkowicz Memorial Prize in Immunobiology given for the first time in 1983, was
established by the colleagues, friends and family of the late Dr. Gustavo Cudkowicz to perpetuate his
interest in immunobiology and medical education. The prize is awarded by the Student Research
Committee for outstanding research in immunobiology.
- The Dean's Research Awards were established in 1984 with funds made available from an anonymous
donation to the Medical College. Cash awards are made to matriculated students in any class for
excellence in clinical research work submitted as theses, to the Student Research Committee.
- The Oskar Diethelm Prize for Excellence in Psychiatry was established in honor of Dr. Diethelm,
Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of Cornell University Medical College from 1936 to 1962.
The prize is awarded to the medical student who has demonstrated exceptional interest and ability in
psychiatry through research, clinical activities, or scholarly work.
- The David and Gladys Drusin Memorial Prize was established by his family and friends to recognize
both scholastic achievement in medicine and those intangible human qualities associated with a good
physician. Candidates for this prize are recommended by the Chairman of the Department of Medicine to
the Dean of the Medical College at the conclusion of the third year.
- The Franklyn Ellenbogen Prize in Hematology-Oncology was established by a gift from the Franklyn
Ellenbogen, Jr., Memorial Foundation in honor of Ralph L. Nachman, M.D., the E. Hugh Luckey
Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine. The prize is given to
a graduating student who has demonstrated significant evidence of achievement in
- The Endocrine Society Award is a new award given to a graduating senior from each U.S. medical
school who has shown special achievement and interest in the general field of endocrinology.
- The Sarah O'Laughlin Foley Prize in Clinical Medicine: Dr. William T. Foley, Clinical Professor
Emeritus of Medicine and a member of the class of 1937, established this prize in memory of his mother.
The recipient, a member of the graduating class, is selected by the Chairman of the Department of
Medicine for excellence in clinical medicine.
- The Barbara Schmalzriedt Gast Memorial Fund for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Established in 1995, gifts
from the family of the late Mrs. Gast have created this fund for an annual prize to recognize a graduate
or medical student involved in the area of rheumatoid arthritis.
- The Louis Gibofsky Memorial Prize was established by Mr. Louis Gibofsky's wife and son, Dr. Allan
Gibofsky of the Class of 1973. A cash prize is offered to the medical student who, in the judgment of the
Student Research Committee, submits the best research paper in nephrology, dialysis, transplantation, or
- The Good Physician Award was established by the late Dr. Philip M. Stimson, Emeritus Clinical
Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Class of 1914. An engraved tray is awarded to that member
of the graduating class who, by vote of the class, best exemplifies the intangible qualities of "the Good
- The Charles L. Horn Prize is awarded to a member of the graduating class who has demonstrated
outstanding qualities of leadership and service to the medical community.
- The Herman L. Jacobius Prize in Pathology was established in 1945 by a gift from Dr. Lawrence
Jacobius in memory of his son, Dr. Herman L. Jacobius '39, who gave his life in the Netherlands in
World War II. The prize is awarded to the student of the third- or fourth-year class who, in the opinion of
the Department of Pathology, merits recognition for high scholastic attainment and outstanding
performance in pathology.
- The Richard N. Kohl Prize for Excellence in Psychiatry was established in 1993 by a bequest from the
late Dr. Richard Kohl, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry. The award, made upon the recommendation of
the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry, is given to a member of the graduating class who has
demonstrated the greatest proficiency in psychiatry.
- The George Ladas Prize for Efficiency in Gynecology was established in 1980 by George Ladas, Class
of 1927, in memory of his mother. The prize is awarded to the senior medical student who has
demonstrated the greatest proficiency in gynecology.
- The Dr. Harold Lamport Biomedical Research Prize was established at several medical schools by Mrs.
Lamport in memory of her husband, Distinguished Service Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at
Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Given by the Student Research Committee for a thesis reporting
original biomedical research, the prize is awarded to a medical student while a candidate solely for an
- The Jay Lawrence Award for Clinical Proficiency in Infectious Diseases was established in 1988 by
Mrs. Lawrence in memory of her husband. Selected by the Chief of Infectious Diseases and Dr. Charles
R. Steinberg, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, the prize is awarded to a member of the
graduating class who has demonstrated excellence in clinical infectious diseases.
- The Elise Strang L'Esperance Prize in Public Health is awarded to the woman student in the graduating
class who best reflects the attributes and values of Dr. L'Esperance, who served on the faculty of Cornell
University Medical College for over forty years.
- The Robert M. Lintz Prize for Efficiency in Rheumatic Diseases was established by Dr. Robert M. Lintz
'27 to be awarded to a member of the graduating class for achievement in rheumatic diseases.
- The Medical Society of the State of New York's program is designed to recognize a graduating student at
each medical school in the state for outstanding community service, whether related or unrelated to the
field of medicine.
- The George S. Meister Prize in Pediatrics was established in memory of Dr. Meister, Class of 1926, as
an expression of the esteem in which he was held. The prize is derived from a fund contributed to by the
members of his family, close friends and associates, classmates in chemical engineering from New York
University and his classmates at Cornell University Medical College. First awarded in 1967, the prize is
given each year for special achievement in pediatrics to a member of the graduating class selected by the
Department of Pediatrics.
- The Alfred Moritz Michaelis Prize in General Medicine: A prize for "general efficiency" in the
Department of Medicine is given in memory of Alfred Moritz Michaelis, Class of 1925, who died
shortly after his graduation.
- The James A. Moore Scholarship was established in 1981 by former associates and members of the
Department of Otorhinolaryngology in honor of their chairman, Dr. Moore, upon his retirement. The
award is presented to a student who excels in the field of otorhinolaryngology.
- The Gustave J. Noback Memorial Prize in Anatomy was established in 1962 by Miss Berthe Manent, a
graduate of The New York Hospital School of Nursing, in memory of Dr. Gustave J. Noback. Dr.
Noback will be remembered for his great kindness and generosity to all his students, and also for his
work in research and sculpture. The recipient, a student who has performed outstanding work in the field
of anatomy, is chosen by the Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy.
- The Gustave J. Noback Memorial Fund for Advanced Study and Teaching in the Field of Anatomy was
established by a second fund from Miss Berthe Manent to help meet the needs of young men and women
entering the field. The recipient of this prize is also chosen by the Chairman of the Department of Cell
Biology and Anatomy.
- The Arthur Palmer Prize for Efficiency in Otorhinolaryngology was established by members of the
Department of Otorhinolaryngology in honor of Dr. Palmer, who served as acting chairman of the
department from 1927 to 1938. The award is given to the student in the graduating class who has the best
- The Joan Severino Parisi Prize in Internal Medicine was established in 1989 by Dr. Alfred F. Parisi,
Class of 1963, in loving memory of his wife, Joan Severino Parisi. The prize is awarded to the
graduating senior who, in the judgment of the faculty, has demonstrated both a warm and caring
relationship for patients and a high level of scholastic achievement in Internal Medicine.
- The Robert F. Pitts Prize was established by a generous gift from the late Robert F. Pitts, former
chairman of the Department of Physiology and past president of the American Physiological Society.
The prize is awarded for a research thesis in physiology presented to a committee headed by the
Chairman of the Department of Physiology and consisting of the Dean and the Chairman of the Student
Research Committee as well as the Chairmen of the Departments of Physiology at Harvard Medical
School and Yale University School of Medicine.
- The John Metcalf Polk Prizes were established in honor of the son of the first dean of the Medical
College, John Metcalf Polk, a graduate of the Class of 1899, who remained at the College as an
instructor until his death in 1904. These prizes, the highest scholastic honors a student can achieve at the
Medical College, are awarded to the three students who place at the top of the class for scholastic
performance in all four years.
- The Dean William Mecklenburg Polk Memorial Prize was established in memory of William
Mecklenburg Polk, M.D., L.L.D., first dean of the Medical College, who served from 1898 until 1918.
- The Moselle and Milton Pollack Prize in Medical Ethics was established by a gift from the Pollacks,
long term patients of Dr. Charles R. Steinberg. Judge Pollack has had a distinguished career on the
Federal Bench and has an abiding interest in professional ethics. The prize is granted to the medical
student who has demonstrated exceptional interest and ability in the field of Medical Ethics.
- The Ralph I. Poucher Prize for Proficiency in Obstetrics and Gynecology was established in 1989 by
Mrs. David D. Thompson in memory of her father. The prize is awarded to a graduating woman student
for proficiency in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- The George G. Reader Prize in Public Health was endowed in 1992 by friends and colleagues of Dr.
George Reader '43, who served as Chairman of the Department of Public Health from 1972 to 1992. A
cash prize is given to the graduating student who, in the judgment of the Department's faculty, shows the
most promise in the field of public health.
- The Gustav Seeligmann Prize for Efficiency in Obstetrics was established by an anonymous donor in
recognition of the work of Dr. Gustav Seeligmann, instructor at the Medical College and a prominent
New York obstetrician in the early 1900's. The prize is awarded to the member of the graduating class
who has achieved the best record in obstetrics.
- The Sondra Lee Shaw Memorial Prize was established by Mrs. Joan S. Friedman in memory of her
sister, Dr. Sondra Lee Shaw ' 52. This prize is awarded by the Student Research Committee to the
student who has produced an outstanding research paper in the field of neurology, pharmacology related
to the nervous system, or behavioral science.
- The Paul Sherlock Prize in Internal Medicine was established by the members of the Alpha Omega
Alpha honor society of the Class of 1985 and the Alumni Association to honor Dr. Paul Sherlock, Class
of 1954, a popular and respected teacher until his death in 1985. The award is presented to the
graduating student who is pursuing a career in Internal Medicine and who has demonstrated exceptional
integrity and compassion in caring for patients, as exemplified by Dr. Sherlock.
- The G. Thomas Shires II Prize in Surgery was established by the Department of Surgery in 1995. It is
awarded to a graduating medical student who exemplifies the qualities of an academic surgeon interested
in patient care, science, and education. Dr. Shires exhibited these qualities throughout his surgical career
as a physician, scientist, educator, and Chairman of four major Departments of Surgery in the United
- The Mitchell Spivak Memorial Prize in Pediatrics was established in memory of the father of Dr. Jerry
Spivak, Class 1964, and is awarded to the member of the graduating class who has achieved the best
record in pediatrics.
- The Faith Stewart-Gordon Prize for Excellence in Rehabilitation Medicine is awarded to the student who
demonstrates a sincere interest in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and shows the most promise to
excel in that field.
- The T. Campbell Thompson Prize for Excellence in Orthopedic Surgery was established to recognize Dr.
Thompson for his interest in teaching and leadership in the field of orthopedic surgery. Dr. Thompson
was Surgeon-in- Chief of the Hospital for Special Surgery from 1955 to 1963. The prize is awarded to
the member of the graduating class who has shown greatest proficiency in orthopedic surgery. The
selection is made by the Dean upon recommendation of the faculty and staff of the Hospital for Special
- The Alan Van Poznak Award for Excellence in Anesthesiology was established in 1990 by the
Department of Anesthesiology in recognition of Dr. Alan Van Poznak's contribution and dedication to
the medical education of Cornell University Medical College students.
- The Alan von Kreuter Cancer Research Prize was established in 1991 in memory of Alan von Kreuter,
whose daughter Betsy and son-in-law Juan Carlos Felix graduated from the Graduate School of Medical
Sciences in 1988, and Medical College in 1984, respectively. Candidates for this prize are recommended
by the Student Research Committee to the Dean of the Medical College. The prize is awarded to a
medical student for outstanding research in the basic mechanisms of cancer and related diseases.
- The Weiss Prize for Excellence in Clinical Medicine was established by Mr. and Mrs. Roger Weiss in
1979 as an expression of the high esteem in which they hold their physician, Dr. Harvey Klein, William
S. Paley Professor of Clinical Medicine. The award is given to a member of the graduating class who, in
the opinion of a committee chaired by Dr. Klein and including the Chairman of the Department of
Medicine, best exemplifies the qualities necessary for the attainment of outstanding bedside clinical
competence in the field of internal medicine.
- The Anthony Seth Werner, M.D., Memorial Prize was established by Dr. Aaron S. Werner in memory of
his son, Dr. Anthony Seth Werner, who, at the time of his death in 1968, was Assistant Professor in the
Department of Medicine. The prize is awarded to a member of the graduating class for excellence in the
study of infectious diseases.
- The Harold G. Wolff Research Prize, established in memory of the late Chief of Neurology at The New
York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, is given to the medical student who has completed the most
outstanding piece of original research in the neurological or behavioral sciences.
- Class of 1952 Resident Physician Prize: This award was established in 1993 by the Class of 1952 at its
40th Reunion, and is given, by vote of the graduating class, to a New York Hospital resident physician
who has demonstrated excellence and dedication to the instruction of medical students.
- The House Staff Teaching Award is given by the graduating class to the Cornell-affiliated house officer
who best demonstrates clinical excellence and dedication to teaching.
- The Senior List was established by the Class of 1994 to recognize 16 faculty members who have made a
commitment to and demonstrated excellence in teaching. Lapel pins are given to the faculty members on
the Senior List and their names are inscribed in a plaque displayed in The Wood Library.
- The Medical Student Executive Council has established two awards for excellence in teaching in the
basic science courses.
- The Elliot Hochstein Teaching Award was established by the Class of 1971 and Alpha Omega Alpha in
recognition of the late Dr. Elliot Hochstein's compassion, skill and distinction as a physician and teacher.
- The NBI Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Humanism in Medicine Awards were established by this
newly established grantmaking organization that believes that a key component of medical education is
compassionate and humanistic care of patients. By vote of a committee of faculty members and students,
these awards are presented to recognize and honor one faculty member and one graduating student who
demonstrate the highest standard of compassion and sensitivity in their interaction with patients.
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