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Wayne State University School of Medicine

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Wayne State University School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine
Established 1868
Type Public
Dean Jack Sobel
Students 1,000+
Location Detroit, Michigan, USA
Grading Honor / Pass / Fail
Website WSUSOM homepage

The Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) is the largest single-campus medical school in the United States. It currently hosts an enrollment of more than 1,000 medical students in undergraduate medical education, master’s degree, Ph.D., and M.D.-Ph.D. programs and courses encompass 14 areas of basic science. WSUSOM traces its roots through four predecessor institutions since its founding in 1868. According to U.S. News ranking, the school ranks 63rd in its Research activities, and 85th in primary care.[1]

The Detroit College of Medicine was founded in 1868 in a building on Detroit Board of Education. In 1933, the Board of Education joined the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery with the colleges of Liberal Arts, Education, Engineering, Pharmacy, and the Graduate School to form an institution of higher education called the Colleges of the City of Detroit. This was renamed Wayne University in 1934 and became a state-chartered institution, Wayne State University, in 1956.[2] The Interim Dean is Dr. Jack Sobel [3]


The School of Medicine’s mission is to provide first-rate medical education while leading the field through research and patient care. The faculty consists of over 2,000 physicians, many who are members of the Wayne State University Physician Group, and provide care at eleven affiliated hospitals, clinics and training sites throughout the area.

Scott Hall is the main building that centers the medical education at WSU-SOM
Detroit College of Medicine, about 1911

Although the school’s faculty offer expertise in virtually all medical fields, the institution’s areas of research emphasis include cancer, women’s and children’s health, neuroscience and population studies. Many are academic leaders at national and international levels in editorial roles. Research highlights in these areas include:

Professors at the school provided the "first evidence that glucose is a major stimulant on insulin secretion and, while and increase in the concentration of blood glucose stimulates the secretion of insulin, a decrease inhibits it and, in addition, stimulates the secretion of a blood-sugar raising factor (glucagon) by the pancreas. Subsequent experiments contributed substantially to the establishment of glucagon as a "second pancreatic hormone."[4]

The first successful open heart surgery was performed at the Detroit Medical Center by Wayne State University physician Dr. Forest Dodrill on patient Henry Opitek. He used a machine developed by himself and researchers at General Motors, the Dodrill-GMR, considered to be the first operational mechanical heart used while performing open heart surgery.[5][6][7]

Wayne State University School of Medicine is the academic affiliate of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of 26 NCI-designated Cancer Centers in the United States. WSUSOM researchers, in conjunction with Karmanos Cancer Institute, oversee more than 400 clinical trials, participate in a national program to collect and study cancer data for future research and provide about half of all national statistics on cancer in African Americans. The first drug approved for the treatment of AIDS and HIV infection, Zidovudine was synthesized here. WSUSOM and Karmanos furthered their partnership in 2009, signing an agreement to establish a new academic department at the school for Karmanos researchers and expand their already successful research and teaching partnership.

Wayne State University School of Medicine, along with Michigan State University's College of Osteopathic Medicine, is affiliated for undergraduate and graduate medical education with the hospitals of the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Health System.[8] Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak is no longer affiliated with WSUSOM as the health system is now affiliated with Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. The Detroit Medical Center includes the Children's Hospital of Michigan, the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, Detroit Receiving Hospital, Harper University Hospital, Hutzel Women's Hospital, Sinai-Grace Hospital, Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital and the DMC Surgery Hospital. Primary affiliates within the HFHS are Henry Ford Hospital, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, and Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital, a comprehensive psychiatric facility. Detroit Receiving Hospital and Henry Ford Hospital are Level 1 Trauma Centers, Children's Hospital of Michigan is a Pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center. Additionally, it coordinates teaching experiences for students and residents with 14 community hospitals through the Southeast Michigan Center for Medical Education.

Community Care

The school’s ties to the community are very strong. WSU has a stated mission to improve the overall health of the community. As part of this mission, the School has established with the help of a $6 million NIH grant the Center for Urban & African-American Health to seek new ways to redress health disparities by identifying preventive strategies and therapeutic approaches to chronic diseases that plague this population, namely obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Perhaps the most significant contribution the School provides to the community is care to area residents who are under- or uninsured. Along with the Detroit Medical Center, WSU faculty physicians provide an average of $150 million in uncompensated care annually.

WSU sponsors a number of community-service and health-awareness programs in southeastern Michigan, including mental-health screenings, Diabetes Day, the Community Health Child Immunization Project, the Detroit Cardiovascular Coalition and Brain Awareness Week. In addition to faculty-sponsored programs, WSU medical students are among the most active in the country for community outreach. The medical students, with supervision, regularly provide free medical care for homeless and unemployed patients at Detroit’s Cass Clinic. Student-sponsored outreach programs also include Senior Citizen Outreach Project, Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Program and Teen Pregnancy Education Program.


Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Year Four

Co-Curricular Program

Degree Programs

Wayne State University School of Medicine offers many graduate programs including an MD/PhD program, ten Doctor of Philosophy programs, eight Master of Science programs, and three Certification programs. It also offers a post-baccalaureate program for pre-medical students that meet its 6 eligibility criteria. As stated on the diversity and inclusion website,"The overall goal of the Post Baccalaureate Program is to increase diversity in the health professions by increasing the number of physicians from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds. [5]

PhD Programs: Anatomy and Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, Immunology and Microbiology, Medical Physics, Molecular Medicine and Genetics in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics (CMMG), Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, and Translational Neuroscience.

Master of Science Programs: Basic Medical Science, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Genetic Counseling, Medical Research, MPH Degree with Concentration in Public Health Practice, Physiology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, and Radiological Physics.

Certification Programs: Graduate Certificate in Clinical & Translational Science, Graduate Certificate in Global Pediatric Health, and a Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice.

Student Led Efforts: Clinics/Student Government/Committee Representation/Student Organizations

Student Senate:


Medical students are elected to serve 4 year terms as student representatives for the following administrative committees

Student Run Clinics:

Wayne State University has a wealth of clinics that pre-clinical students are able to take leadership roles in and volunteer at.


Wayne State University School of Medicine is ranked #63 [6] in the 2015 edition of the U.S. News & World Report research rankings.

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

  • David Gorski, associate professor of surgery, blogger on alternative medicine and pseudoscience
  • John S. Meyer, M.D., founding professor and Chairman of Neurology in 1957
  • Margo Cohen, former professor and head of Endocrinology and Metabolism; later the founder of Exocell.


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External links

  • Wayne State University SOM homepage
  • A Pilot Study of Comprehensive Ultrasound Education at the Wayne State University School of Medicine:
  • Admissions
  • Application Process
  • Selection Process
  • Entering Class of 2007 Admission Statistics
  • Wayne State University

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