About the School:
Founded in 1868, the Wayne State University School of Medicine is the largest single-campus medical school in the nation with more than 1,000 medical students. In addition to undergraduate medical education, the school offers master's degree, Ph.D. and M.D.-Ph.D. programs in 14 areas of basic science to about 400 students annually.
The school's ties to the community are strong. As the only medical school in Detroit, 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.
The School of Medicine combines its state-of-the-science facilities, renowned faculty and diverse patient population to provide outstanding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate education. Students attending the School of Medicine will be provided with an enriched educational experience and develop ideal professional values, attitudes, skills, and behaviors during the passage from medical student to practicing physician. The curriculum reflects the school's commitment to prepare medical students who will be efficient medical professionals the humanistic and scientific aspects of health care.
As a nationally recognized research facility, the Wayne State University School of Medicine thrives on its research excellence, offering students the opportunity to achieve a first-rate medical education while leading the field through research. Throughout the school's 25 basic and clinical departments, the efforts of the talented faculty are reflected upon the students as they gain the experience and knowledge necessary to succeed in the medical profession.
Areas of particular research excellence within the School of Medicine include the neurosciences and advanced imaging, women's and child health, cancer, and urban and African-American health studies. Strong programmatic emphasis is placed upon the integration of the basic and clinical sciences through interdisciplinary research, which has led to the creation of several university designated institutes and centers. Because of these developments, students are provided with the ability to perform cutting-edge research, learn about the most advanced health care practices and obtain experience in other research related activities in the School of Medicine.
To the School of Medicine Family: Valerie Parisi, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Our administration and faculty had the pleasure earlier this month of welcoming the 290 students of the Class of 2016 to the Wayne State University School of Medicine during the traditional White Coat Ceremony.
Surrounded by family and friends, the freshmen were coated and recited the Oath of Commitment on Aug. 3 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center in Detroit. No matter how many years we have participated in this event, as physicians and educators we are not immune to the infectious anticipation and excitement demonstrated by these new doctors-in-training. Their passion and enthusiasm in embarking upon a new adventure reinvigorates our own inner fire as faculty, refueling our dedication and commitment to our school's core mission of educating the finest physicians. This is one contagion that we certainly welcome.
Of course, each class that is entrusted to us is special and diverse, and in that respect our newest class is no different. The class is made up of 130 women and 160 men who hold undergraduate and graduate degrees from 83 colleges and universities. Four students come to us with doctoral degrees and 43 with master's degrees. They were born in 24 different countries and hail from 18 states and Canada. Those who are Michigan natives come to us from 23 different counties across the state.
While the short white coat they receive during the ceremony symbolizes a sort of baptism that sets all of our incoming students on an equal footing, it won't take long before they distinguish themselves individually. The Class of 2016 includes an Eagle Scout, a carpenter and at least one business owner. There is a certified nurse assistant, someone who worked with Habitat for Humanity, a Special Olympics volunteer and an emergency medical technician. Some are instructors and coaches for sailing, swimming, basketball and tennis, as well as a soccer referee. There is one who has served as a volunteer on medical missions to Sierra Leone, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Appalachian region. Each will find abundant opportunities at our school to bring their extracurricular talents to the fore while studying the science of medicine.
Time passes quickly; each incoming class rapidly becomes a graduating class, and each makes its mark. One might say that each class remakes our School of Medicine, refashioning some aspects to meet the needs of the times. In this way, they renew us as faculty members, while at the same time strengthening our school's more than 140-year proud tradition of producing the finest and most compassionate physicians.
While we expect great things from our newest students, we need to keep in mind that they expect great things from us. Medicine needs to be learned and practiced with the passion these new students bring, but that passion requires direction, cultivation and refinement to successfully benefit the science and patients. These future physicians are just starting out on a path that they will eventually make their own. Before they begin that odyssey, our faculty will lead them to well-charted trails for a solid foundation for that journey.
We have a formidable reputation for educating passionate and compassionate physicians. Our committed and talented faculty will certainly live up to - and in many cases exceed - those expectations as they lead this next class into the world of medicine.
History of School
The Wayne State University School of Medicine has a distinguished history of producing the nation's finest physicians and researchers. That reputation continues to be built upon today, making the university not only a center for medical education, but the source of groundbreaking clinical research put into practice around the world.
Originally founded as the Detroit Medical College in 1868, the School of Medicine was developed by five Detroit physicians ages 29 to 35 who believed the growing city required and deserved its own medical teaching institution.
To speed the school's development, Harper University Hospital donated land and two buildings to the fledgling institution. The first 12 faculty members and 48 students began classes in 1868. Those first students came from Michigan, 11 others states and Ontario. Most were laborers and farmers. Tuition, including room and board, was $140 a year.
At the time, no license was required to practice medicine and no government regulations guided medical school curricula. Students could complete coursework in a single year, followed by a clinical apprenticeship.
Today, with more than 1,000 medical students, the Wayne State University School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the nation on one campus. Nearly two-thirds of all its graduates remain in Michigan to practice medicine. Nearly 40 percent of all practicing physicians in southeast Michigan received all or some of their training at the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Graduates who leave the state share the preeminent knowledge they acquired at the School of Medicine with patients throughout the nation and around the world.
As a testament to the expertise of the School of Medicine's educators and healers, one of every three "Best Doctors in America" in the metropolitan Detroit area is a faculty member. One in five is an alum of the Wayne State University School of Medicine.
The School of Medicine continues to thrive and expand, bringing academic medical expertise to the seven million people in southeast Michigan and beyond with highly skilled physicians, and serving as a regional and international center of scientific and medical exploration.
Wayne State University School of Medicine
See why Wayne State University's School of Medicine, the largest single-campus medical school in the nation, is one of the most respected.
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