Mission and history
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine educates aspiring physicians and scientists to serve society using a community-based, patient-centered, interprofessional and evidence-based model of education that is committed to inclusion, promotes discovery and utilizes innovative techniques.
Geisinger Commonwealth was established through the grassroots efforts of visionary individuals who foresaw what a community-based medical school would bring to the region and worked to make it a reality. Their goal was to provide more physicians and improved healthcare resources for the people of northeast and central Pennsylvania. The vision was to create a unique medical education experience that focused on caring for people in the context of their lives and in their community.
The roots of Geisinger Commonwealth began in 2004 with the Founding Seven. This group included area physicians Charles Bannon, MD, Gerald Tracy, MD, and Robert Wright, MD; businessmen and community leaders Robert Naismith, PhD, and Gerald Joyce; and attorneys Mark Perry and Michael Costello. The Northeastern Pennsylvania Medical Education Development Consortium was established by 2005. The consortium included business, medical, community and government representatives. After acquiring funding from sources including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, and other state, federal and private philanthropic sources, the Commonwealth Medical Education Corporation was formed.
The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) was incorporated in 2008 and welcomed its first class of Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree students and Master of Biomedical Sciences (MBS) degree students in August 2009.
In April 2011, TCMC opened the 185,000-square-foot Medical Sciences Building in Scranton that houses the academic and research programs.
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education granted TCMC full accreditation on June 27, 2014, and the Liaison Committee for Medical Education granted TCMC full accreditation on July 7, 2014.
TCMC integrated with Geisinger on Jan. 1, 2017, and became Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine.
Geisinger Commonwealth has administrative and educational space at hospitals in Scranton, Danville, Wilkes-Barre and Sayre, as well as in Doylestown at the Pennsylvania Biotechnology Center of Bucks County. Geisinger Commonwealth has relationships with more than 25 hospitals in northeast and central Pennsylvania that provide learning environments for the students. The college has four regional campuses: North, South, Central and Guthrie, which are integral to the college’s community-based education. Community engagement is part of the fiber of Geisinger Commonwealth. More than 1,200 volunteer clinical faculty members throughout the region provide students with early clinical experiences and training across the four years of medical education. Families throughout the region are generous in allowing students to follow them so they can appreciate the social context and the impact of illness on the lives of patients. Students are required to pursue research projects in quality improvement and community health.
We are grateful to Gerald P. Tracy, MD, for authoring an in-depth history of Geisinger Commonwealth’s first 10 years – from discussions about creating a medical college to graduating the second class of medical doctors: Read The Commonwealth Medical College: A History of the First Ten Years (2004-2014).