Am a Owner

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Region: Ohio Country: USA

A Proud History

The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has trained medical students, served the community and been at the forefront of discovery in Cleveland for more than 165 years.

Founded in 1843

Located in downtown Cleveland, the Medical Department of Western Reserve College (also known as Cleveland Medical College) was founded in 1843. By 1865, the medical school's graduates included Nancy Talbot Clarke, the second woman to graduate from an American medical school, six of the first seven female physicians in the United States and the third African American to graduate from medical school.

The Western Reserve College Medical Department's reputation as a leader in medical education continued to grow. In a 1911 survey of 155 North American medical schools commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Abraham Flexner reported that the Western Reserve University medical school was second only to Johns Hopkins University.

Revolutionized Education

Forty years later, the Western Reserve University School of Medicine revolutionized medical education with a new curriculum that integrated the basic and clinical sciences and conformed to students' needs. Created by faculty members Dr. Joseph Wearn, Dr. T. Hale Ham and Dr. John L. Caughey Jr., the curriculum of 1952 became the most progressive medical curriculum in the country at the time. Central themes included the following ideas: teaching should be based on problem solving; students should accept responsibility for their own education; basic principles of medicine should be emphasized; curriculum should be designed as a continuum by faculty subject committees not by departments; teaching should be interdisciplinary; and basic sciences should be integrated with clinical sciences. The tenets of the 1952 curriculum remain basic principles of today's Western Reserve2 curriculum.

Research Powerhouse

In addition to being one of the foremost medical schools, the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has established itself as a research powerhouse. The School of Medicine's research program began in 1887 with the construction of the H. K. Cushing Laboratory and the Physiological Laboratory in downtown Cleveland. Since then, faculty and alumni have accomplished major achievements in the medical field. Highlights include development of the modern technique for human blood transfusions, the process of chlorinating drinking water and an early heart-lung machine used during open-heart surgery; discovery of the Hageman factor in blood clotting and of the gene for osteoarthritis; the first surgical treatments of coronary artery disease; and creation of the world's first human artificial chromosome.

Largest Biomedical Research Institution in Ohio

Today, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is one of the nation's top 25 medical schools and the largest biomedical research institution in Ohio. Among its former and current faculty and alumni are eight Nobel laureates, six members of the Institute of Medicine, two members of the National Academy of Sciences, two U.S. Surgeon Generals and the first woman director of the Center for Disease Control.

Student Body

  • More than 5,700 applications were received by the School of Medicine for the 2008-2009 year.
  • For the 2007-2008 year, the School of Medicine had 1,475 full-time and part-time students with 698 in M.D. degree programs and 777 in M.S./Ph.D. programs.
  • Of approximately 140 graduates each year, 96 percent pass Step 1 and 97 percent pass Step 2 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
Faculty and Research
  • The School of Medicine has more than 3,800 faculty members.
  • There are 620 full-time faculty members working on National Institute of Health research grants and 595 NIH-funded studies.
  • The total NIH annual research funds granted to the School of Medicine in 2008 was $243,512,609.
Programs and Departments
  • The School of Medicine offers 25 graduate degree options, including M.D., dual M.D./Ph.D. degrees and combined M.S./Ph.D. programs.
  • The School of Medicine has 54 academic departments and 28 research centers and institutes.
  • The School of Medicine is ranked as one of the nation's top 20 medical schools by U.S. News & World Report's Guide to Graduate Education. Additionally, the Departments of Family Medicine and Pediatrics are ranked 13th in the country.
  • The largest medical research institution in Ohio, the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University was ranked 15th highest in research funding by the National Institutes of Health in 2007.
  • During 2007, the economic impact of the School of Medicine and its affiliates on the State of Ohio equaled $5.82 billion and accounted for more than 65,000 Ohio jobs.
Historical Highlights
  • In 1843, five faculty members and sixty-seven students began the first medical lectures at the Medical Department of Western Reserve College (also known as the Cleveland Medical College).
  • In 1852, the medical school became the second allopathic medical school to graduate a woman, Nancy Talbot Clarke.
  • Six of the first seven women in the United States to receive medical degrees from recognized allopathic medical schools graduated from Western Reserve University (as it was called then) between 1850 and 1856.
  • The School of Medicine was one of the first in the country to employ instructors devoted to full-time teaching and research.
  • In 1896, the first affiliation agreement was approved between Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland (Lakeside Hospital).
  • The Western Reserve University School of Medicine revolutionized medical education in 1952 with the most progressive curriculum in the country which integrated the basic and clinical sciences.
  • In 2002, the School of Medicine became only the third medical school in history to receive the best review possible from the Liaison Committee on National Education, the national body responsible for accrediting the medical schools.
  • In 2006, the School of Medicine's University Program instituted a new integrated curriculum of medicine and public health awareness, which emphasizes the both the biology of disease and social and behavioral context of illness.
Medical Firsts
  • 1905 Development of the modern technique for human blood transfusion using a cannula to connect
  • blood vessels by surgeon George Crile
  • 1912 Pioneering the process of chlorinating drinking water by Professor Roger Perkins
  • 1915 First simulated milk formula for infants, by alumnus and pediatrics professor Henry Gerstenberger
  • 1927 Discovery of the cause of ptomaine food poisoning and development of an antiserum by
  • immunologist Enrique Ecker and colleagues
  • 1935 First surgical treatment of coronary artery disease by Professor Claude Beck
  • 1950s Development of the first heart-lung machine for use in open heart surgeries by Professor
  • Frederick Cross
  • 1961 First successful genetic alteration of human cells in a test tube by Professor Austin Weisburger
  • 1969 William Insull, M.D., describes the role of cholesterol in blood vessel disease
  • 1975 Discovery that human rennin, an enzyme produced by the kidney, is involved in hypertension
  • 1990 Discovery of the gene for osteoarthritis by a national team led by rheumatologist Roland Moskowitz
  • 1991 First triple organ transplant in Ohio-a kidney, liver and pancreas-by James A. Schulak, M.D., and colleagues
  • 1997 Creation of the world's first artificial human chromosome by a team led by Professor Huntington Willard
Additional medical firsts include:
  • First large-scale medical research project on humans in a study linking iodine with goiter prevention
  • Discovery of early treatment of strep throat infections to prevent rheumatic fever
  • Discovery of the Hageman factor in blood clotting, a major discovery in blood coagulation research
  • First description of how staphylococcus infections were transmitted, leading to required hand-washing between patients in infant nurseries
  • First description of what was later named Reye's syndrome
  • Research leading to FDA approval of clozapine, the most advanced treatment for schizophrenia at the time
Dean's Message
A renowned physician and medical researcher, Pamela B. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., became dean of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in September 2007. In addition, she holds the Arline H. and Curtis F. Garvin Research Professorship and is professor of pediatrics, physiology and biophysics and professor of molecular biology and microbiology at the university. Previously, she served as chief of the pediatric pulmonary division at Rainbow Babies and Childrens' Hospital and director of the Willard A. Bernbaum Cystic Fibrosis Research Center at Case Western Reserve.

A highly-published researcher, Dr. Davis holds seven U.S. patents and is a founding scientist of Copernicus Therapeutics Inc., a biotechnology company that creates novel pharmaceutical targeting and delivery systems. She has served on various committees and boards including the Advisory Council to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Dr. Davis also is recipient of the Rosenthal Prize for Academic Pediatrics, the American Thoracic Society's Elizabeth A. Rich Award and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Doris Tulcin Award and is a member of the Cleveland Medical Hall of Fame.

As dean of one of the top medical schools in the nation, Dr. Davis is committed to excellence in medical education, biomedical research and clinical care. By building on the School's current strengths, such as the newly revamped Western Reserve2 curriculum, and strategically investing in emerging areas, such as the field of clinical and translational research where the School received a $64 million grant from the National Science Foundation, she plans to enhance the School's national and international stature as a research-intensive medical school and continue to provide innovative, educational medical programs.

Though the School of Medicine continues to evolve, its mission remains unchanged: to educate future physicians who will care for patients with competence, creativity and compassion, in a setting that fosters collegiality, leadership, and excellence in scholarship and research.

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine Degree Programs :


  • Master Degree
  • MD Anaesthesiology
  • MD Anatomy
  • MD Biochemistry
  • MD Community Medicine
  • MD Dermatology
  • MD Emergency Medicine
  • MD General Medicine
  • MD Microbiology
  • MD Paediatrics
  • MD Pathology
  • MD Pharmacology
  • MD Physiology
  • MD Psychiatry
  • MD Radiodiagnosis
  • MD Skin & V.D
  • MD TB & Chest Diseases
  • MS Anatomy
  • MS ENT
  • MS General Surgery
  • MS Ophthalmology
  • MS Orthopaedics
  • M.D/Master of Arts in Bioethics
  • M.D/Master of Public Health
  • M.D/Master of Science in Applied Anatomy
  • M.D/Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering
  • M.D/Master of Science in Biomedical Investigation
  • M.D/Ph.D. in Health Services Research
  • Doctorate/PhD
  • Ph.D Anatomy
  • Ph.D Biochemistry
  • Ph.D Microbiology
  • Ph.D Pathology
  • Ph.D Pharmacology


  • Doctorate/PhD
  • Ph.D Physiology

Video Presentation

Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Contact Details

Address: Office of Admissions, T308, 2109 Adelbert Rd., Cleveland, OH 44106-4920



Find Your Degree!

News Letter Subscribe

Subscribe to the subject Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine