East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine


The James H. Quillen College of Medicine, part of East Tennessee State University, is situated on the university’s main campus. Having graduated its first class in 1982, the college is one of the most recent fully accredited medical schools in the country. The school provides a community-based program with an emphasis on the education of primary care physicians. Small class size is an important characteristic of the program. Surrounding the college is the naturally beautiful environment of east Tennessee. The communities of Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol are all a short distance from campus.


Two major curricular options are available: a Generalist Track and a Rural Primary Care Track. First- and second-year courses include the human body, human developmental biology and genetics, psychiatry, biostatistics, epidemiology, cell and tissue biology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, pathology, immunology, clinical neuroscience, pharmacology, and practicing medicine.

Year three at the college is largely devoted to full-time clerkship experiences on the medical services of the affiliated hospitals and in physician’s offices. The third year has required clerkships of 8 weeks each in internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/ gynecology, psychiatry, and family medicine.

The fourth year consists of a choice of 4 four-week electives, to include an intensive care experience, an inpatient subinternship, a specialty/subspecialty subinternship, and an ambulatory care subinternship, and a minimum of 16 weeks of electives.

Letter grades are predominant, except for clinical electives, where a Pass/Fail system is used. The basic science building, in the heart of Johnson City, contains all of the medical school’s administration as well as many classrooms, lecture rooms, labs, and offices. Many of the basic science faculty and research labs are also housed within this facility.

The school maintains a close relationship with other teaching hospitals, which includes two Level I trauma centers and one Level II trauma center, and more than 3000 patient beds for clinical teaching. The medical library has a seating capacity of 113 and houses more than 100,000 books and journals.

Unique Programs

The school participates in a summer Premedical Enrichment Program and the Tennessee Pre-professional Program for minorities. Other degree programs include an integrated MD-BS program available to ETSU students. The college also offers a combined MD-PhD as well as an MD-MS program.


The basic premedical sciences plus three communications skills courses are required for admission. Preference is given to residents of Tennessee. Admission is based upon a competitive selection process. Applicants are screened on the basis of academic achievement, MCAT scores, recommendations, extracurricular activities, and work experience. The school may request supplementary information and a personal interview on the VA campus from applicants they are seriously considering. Transfer to the second or third year is possible but extremely rare.


Affordable housing is available on and near the campus.

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