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Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Region: Michigan Country: USA

About MSU College of Human Medicine
Our Mission
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine is committed to educating exemplary physicians and scholars, discovering and disseminating new knowledge, and providing service at home and abroad. We enhance our communities by providing outstanding primary and specialty care, promoting the dignity and inclusion of all people, and responding to the needs of the medically underserved.
Excellence in Medical Education

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine has a national reputation for its history of innovation and excellence in medical student education.

Nearly 4,000 MD graduates of the college have experienced a unique combination of basic science education on the campus of a large, land-grant university, and clinical education in community campuses located throughout Michigan. More than 300 paid and nearly 4,000 volunteer faculty are committed to teaching core institutional values that mark College of Human Medicine graduates as unique and exemplary: respect of and care for patients, commitment to community, and the incorporation of psychological, social, and spiritual elements into care delivery.

MSU College of Human Medicine was founded in 1964 in response to Michigan's need for primary care physicians. It was the first community-integrated medical school, with a curriculum that emphasized a patient-centered philosophy and a biopsychosocial approach to caring for patients.

Founding faculty held the philosophies of William Osler and Francis Peabody, 19th-century physicians who asserted, "the secret to the care for the patient is caring for the patient," an attitude that continues to guide the school's curriculum and policies to this day.

The college continues to teach students to focus on patients' individual needs while developing an understanding of medical science and medicine's place in society. MSU College of Human Medicine encourages a cooperative and collaborative learning environment. This, combined with individual attention within a comfortable class size of approximately 150 students, helps students maintain their passion and personal well-being as they confront the rigorous demands of medical education.

A Community-Based Experience

Lisa McElroy and patientAs a community-based medical school, the College of Human Medicine is uniquely positioned to provide students with comprehensive training in clinical settings that parallel most closely the environment in which many physicians practice. During the third and fourth years of the program, students complete a series of required and elective clerkships at one of MSU's seven community-based program sites. The sites are located in Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Midland, Traverse City, and the Upper Peninsula.

Each community program is aligned with area hospitals and outpatient facilities that join MSU in creating a rich educational environment for students. All community programs offer electives in both specialty and subspecialty areas. Research opportunities are also available.


  • MSU College of Human Medicine medical education program is designed for individual students to succeed. The program is divided into three "Blocks":
  • Year 1 includes courses in basic biological and behavioral sciences, basic clinical sciences, epidemiology, clinical correlations, and mentor groups. The course format includes large group lectures, laboratories, small group discussions, and web-based projects. Students begin their training in clinical skills the first semester of enrollment and are exposed to real patients, simulated patients, and patient models.
  • Year 2 is a 32-week experience that emphasizes the application of basic biological, Traverse City students suturing epidemiological, and behavioral sciences to the understanding of human disease. Clinical sciences training is more detailed and advanced than in the first year. In addition to medical humanities, the second year includes medical ethics, health policy, and the integrative module which constitutes the social context of clinical decisions. Students are also introduced to problem-based-learning, or PBL. The main component of PBL is working in small, interdisciplinary groups applying real-world problem-solving in medicine to analyze a patient case study from multiple, interplaying medical perspectives.
  • Years 3 and 4, the clinical years, are a 77-week experience over two calendar years that feature required and elective medical clerkships with physician-supervised learning with patients at clinical health care sites at one of the college's seven community campuses.
Positive Force for Michigan
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine contributes to the wellbeing of Michigan in a number of different ways:

MSU College of Human Medicine has a significant impact on Michigan's population. With its unique community campus-based structure, College of Human Medicine physicians and medical students are positioned in seven communities (Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Midland, Traverse City, and the Upper Peninsula) throughout the state, serving some of Michigan's most underserved and vulnerable residents.


The College of Human Medicine benefits Michigan through its research initiatives, which attracted more than $31 million in external research funds last year alone. The college also creates and sustains Michigan jobs by employing more than 300 full-time faculty members and many support staff.

Health Care

The MSU patient base exceeds two million Michigan residents. A significant proportion of the college's medical students remain in Michigan to practice medicine after graduation.


The College of Human Medicine currently educates more than 600 medical students, more than half of whom are women. The diversity of the College of Human Medicine class is in the top 10 percent of medical schools in the nation.


The College of Human Medicine is one of only a few institutions with multiple 3 Tesla MRI scanners dedicated to research and was the first to house a state-of-the-art PET/CT scanner complete with its own cyclotron to produce the necessary isotopes for the scanner.


Female ResearcherThe College of Human Medicine is home to centers for excellence in Parkinson's disease research and women's reproductive health research. It is one of only four national Breast Cancer and Environment Research Centers and is one of only a few medical colleges engaged in community-based participatory research in cancer prevention and control to address cancer disparities.

Having secured $75 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health, the College of Human Medicine leads Michigan's research efforts for the National Children's Study, the largest human health study ever undertaken. In addition, the college administers the nation's only training grant in perinatal epidemiology and the nation's largest ongoing epidemiological study of the bio-psycho-social origins of preterm delivery.

The college also hosts two NIH-funded epidemiology research training programs on the problems associated with drug dependence, one for US citizens and permanent residents, and one for fellows from overseas, and the college administers the nation's only program project grant in neurohumoral control of veins in hypertension.

History of the College
Formula for MSU Medical School" historical film featuring Dean Andrew D. Hunt, Jr., 1966 VIDEO

The College of Human Medicine is in its 48th year of educating physicians and claims a national reputation for its social mission - producing to practice medicine inMichigan's underserved areas. Mother and child with MSU student Today the college is recognized nationally for its excellence in and commitment to patient-centered medicine. Community-based, the college conducts its clinical training throughout the state in seven communities: Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Midland, Traverse City, and the Upper Peninsula- fulfilling its mission of serving the people of this state.

From 1959-61, several reports demonstrated the need for a third medical school in Michigan focused specifically on serving the state's population through direct involvement in community health care. In 1961, the Michigan State Board of Trustees decided to begin a two-year medical program that it would strengthen and be strengthened by complementary areas of the university. The preparatory work was carried by the Institute of Medicine and Biology in the provost's office, under the direction of Bill Knisley, who played a key role in the formation of the College of Human Medicine and the building of MSU's Life Sciences Building. Several grants aided the development of the program and in 1964 the Board of Trustees named Andrew D. Hunt, MD, dean of the College of Human Medicine.

In June 1965, the Liaison Committee for Medical Education, the American Medical Association's accreditation arm, granted a letter of "reasonable assurance" to the College of Human Medicine, permitting MSU to admit its first medical students-26 in the fall of 1966 and 23 in the fall of 1967. After two years of preclinical training, these students transferred to other medical schools to complete their medical degree requirements. In 1967, the College of Human Medicine received approval to develop a four-year, degree-granting program. The first MDs graduated in 1972.

In 1973, the college introduced another learning format into its curriculum, Track II. Track II offered interested students an alternative learning method in their first and second years. Unlike Track I, which followed the traditional, discipline-based lecture format for acquiring pre-clinical skills, Track II concentrated on problem-solving, small-group learning and independent study. Both Track I and Track II followed a clinical skills sequence.

Since the MSU College of Human Medicine was created within a state-funded institution to serve Michigan's people, it was considered important and appropriate for students to obtain their clinical training in the state's communities. A formal philosophy of placing clinical training within community hospitals emerged. To implement this philosophy, the college formed a consortium of teaching hospitals in several Michigan communities, each with an assistant dean and a staff of faculty coordinators for major medical specialties. In conjunction with its founding mission to serve all the people of Michigan, a special program to address the health care needs of rural citizens began in the Upper Peninsula in 1974. Students entering the College of Human Medicine who planned to serve a rural community upon completion of their medical training could apply to complete their clinical years in the Upper Peninsula.

Clinical campus corporations in Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Midland, Traverse City, and the Upper Peninsula now cooperate with MSU in the training of medical students during their undergraduate clinical years. Nearly 4,000 physicians in these Michigan communities hold clinical Match Day Students faculty appointments and volunteer their expertise to train MSU College of Human Medicine undergraduate medical students. The college also operates several residency programs in these community hospitals. These programs have proven to be one of the most successful implementations of the college's commitment to serving the people. The Upper Peninsula Program, in particular, has led to an increase in physicians practicing in underserved areas.

Since its creation, the college's curriculum has continued to evolve and the college has become nationally and internationally known as a leader in university-based, community-integrated medical education. In addition to excelling in clinical education, the college excels in research and development. College faculty members are well represented among the university's top research grant recipients. Furthermore, an MD/PhD program invites promising scholars to combine basic science research with clinical physician training.

In the fall of 1992, the college implemented a new curriculum that integrates elements of Tracks I and II. This new curriculum not only teaches students the rudiments of medicine that they can apply to their future careers, but also prepares them to be lifelong learners, a necessary quality for physicians who want to be leaders in the 21st century. The new curriculum is divided into three Blocks: Blocks I and II are completed in East Lansing or Grand Rapids and Block III at one of the College of Human Medicine's seven communities. Block I focuses on nomenclature and basic concepts in the biological sciences, while Block II utilizes Block I knowledge in a year of problem-based learning. Block III brings the education and skills from Blocks I and II into practical focus in the communities.

Dean Marsha Rappley In 2006, Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., became the first graduate of the College of Human Medicine to become dean of the medical school.

In 2004, the Blue Ribbon Committee on Physician Workforce commissioned a study of Michigan's physician workforce for the future. Based on the study's recommendation that Michigan make systemic changes to its medical education system to attract and retain enough physicians to meet future needs of Michigan's citizens, MSU College of Human Medicine developed plans for expanding the number of students it will graduate. It was determined that Grand Rapids would be a viable site for the expansion of the college. The health science corridor was growing, but it lacked a medical college to anchor its research enterprise. In addition, private funding was available to support the expansion.

In October 2007, MSU announced a building project budget of $90 million for the construction of a new medical education building along the health sciences corridor in downtown Grand Rapids.

Spectrum Health committed $55 million that included principal and interest payments on the building for 25 years. Private donations would cover the remaining building costs. As of May 2010, $39.1 million was raised through a joint fundraising initiative by MSU and Grand Action. This included first naming gifts of $20 million donated by area business leaders, including alumni Ambassador Peter F. and Joan Secchia, for whom the Secchia Center is named.

Beginning in 2007, the college increased its enrollment from 106 first-year students to 156 students in preparation for its 2010 expansion with the opening of the Secchia Center. A ground-breaking event was held in mid 2008, with construction completion for the Secchia Center summer 2010.

The MSU College of Human Medicine is fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. With nearly 4,000 graduates, College of Human Medicine alumni now practice in nearly every county in Michigan, in nearly every state in the nation, and in several foreign countries. As it continues to train physicians of the highest quality, the College of Human Medicine looks forward to the medical opportunities of the next millennium.

Medical Education
MSU College of Human Medicine is recognized as one of the nation's leaders for community-based medical education.

The goals of the medical education program at the college are to educate students who will:
  • Serve the health care needs of people in the state of Michigan, including those in rural and inner-city areas
  • Be caring, compassionate, and humane in their care of patients
  • Respect human differences
  • Commit to ethical practices and lifelong learning
The College of Human Medicine is a community-based medical school which means clinical practice, undergraduate and graduate medical education, and research takes place across seven campuses through affiliations with local hospitals, physicians, and other health care providers. Our campuses are located in Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Midland Regional, Traverse City and the Upper Peninsula Region. Each campus has a community assistant dean overseeing medical education. In addition, they all have their own research director and infrastructure through which research is conducted independent of the College of Human Medicine as well as with college units and investigators. Each is a vital component of the unified College of Human Medicine research system.

In 1991, a completely new, four-year medical student program was unveiled. With some modification, this curriculum continues today. The program is divided into Blocks: Block I comprising the first year, a 37-week experience; Block II, the second year, a 32-week experience; and Block III, the clinical years, a 77-week experience over two calendar years, scheduled at one of the seven community campuses.

Michigan State University College of Human 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


  • Bachelor Degree
  • Bachelor of Science (Nursing)
  • Post Basic Bachelor Of Science (Nursing)
  • Master Degree
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctorate/PhD
  • Ph.D. Nursing

Video Presentation

"Clinical Skillz Year 1": Med Follies 2012 - MSU College of Human Medicine

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Class of 2015

Contact Details

Address: 1355 Bogue St. Room A-239, East Lansing, MI 48824



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