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School of Medicine Facts

Washington University School of Medicine has a rich history of success in research, education and patient care. Our faculty pioneered bedside teaching and led the transformation of empirical knowledge into clinical practice. Our alumni achieve highly sought-after residencies and fellowships, challenging research endeavors, and successful, rewarding careers in medicine, allied health and public health.

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Commencement 2015 - Facts

Prefer to see it in print?
Download the 2018 Facts brochure (pdf) »

School of Medicine at a glance (FY 2017)

  • Founded1891
  • LocationSt. Louis, MO
  • Economic impact$6.3B

  • Departments20
  • Degree programs13
  • Alumni25,074

  • NIH funding$411.4M
  • Patent filings (FY2016)209
  • Nobel winners18

  • Clinical sites49
  • Specialties76
  • Outpatient visits1.1M

Total Students1,409

  • MD, MD/PhD, MA/MD629
  • Applied Health Behavior19
  • Audiology & Communication Sciences67
  • Clinical Investigation99
  • Genetic Epidemiology18
  • Occupational Therapy299
  • Physical Therapy255
  • Population Health Sciences23

Total Employees9,785

  • Faculty2,263
  • Staff7,522

  • Residents861
  • Clinical fellows326


More about Washington University School of Medicine


David H. Perlmutter, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean
Washington University School of Medicine

Departments and department heads

Alex S. Evers, MD

Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
John A. Cooper, MD, PhD

Cell Biology and Physiology
David W. Piston, PhD

Edward Mallinckrodt Dept. of Developmental Biology
Lilianna Solnica-Krezel, PhD

James S. McDonnell Dept. of Genetics
Jeffrey D. Milbrandt, MD, PhD

John T. Milliken Dept. of Medicine
Victoria J. Fraser, MD

Molecular Microbiology
Stephen M. Beverley, PhD

David M. Holtzman, MD

Azad Bonni, MD, PhD

Ralph G. Dacey Jr., MD

Obstetrics and Gynecology
George A. Macones, MD, MSCE

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
Todd P. Margolis, MD, PhD

Orthopaedic Surgery
Regis James O’Keefe, MD, PhD

Craig A. Buchman, MD

Pathology and Immunology
Herbert W. “Skip” Virgin, MD, PhD

Edward Mallinckrodt Dept. of Pediatrics
Gary A. Silverman, MD, PhD

Charles F. Zorumski, MD

Radiation Oncology
Dennis E. Hallahan, MD

Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology
Richard L. Wahl, MD

Mary Culver Dept. of Surgery
Timothy J. Eberlein, MD

Degree programs

The School of Medicine offers master’s and doctoral degree programs in medicine, biomedical research, allied health professions and clinical and population research.

See all degree programs »


In 1891, responding to a national concern for improving doctors’ training, the Washington University administration established a medical department. In 1909, Robert Brookings, a successful businessman turned philanthropist, set about transforming the department into a modern medical school with full-time faculty, adequate endowment, modern laboratories and associated teaching hospitals.

Read the full history »


The School of Medicine has 2,263 full-time faculty members.

Outstanding faculty achievements of our current faculty include:

  • 15 fellows of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences
  • 29 elected to National Academy of Medicine
  • 102 individual and/or institutional career development awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • 62 career development awards from non-federal agencies
  • 5 investigators with NIH MERIT status, a special recognition that provides long-term, uninterrupted financial funding

In addition, 18 Nobel laureates have been associated with the School of Medicine.

Doctor of Medicine program and students

Washington University School of Medicine offers six combined MD programs in addition to the regular four-year program leading to an MD. The MD/PhD degree program, known as the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP), is the largest in the country.

See all MD degree programs »

Applications and enrollment

The MD program attracts many of the world’s best and brightest. Applications for the 2017-18 academic year include:

  • 5,032 applications
  • 40+ applications per position
  • 124 first-year students enrolled

See MD student enrollment by program and year »
See tuition for the most recent academic year »

Residency match data

Graduating seniors are highly successful in obtaining competitive residency training positions through national matching programs. Of the graduating class of 2017:

  • 36% selected a primary care field (pediatrics, internal medicine or family medicine) for residency training
  • 37% matched into highly competitive specialty fields such as dermatology, neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, otolaryngology, plastic surgery and urology

See all Match Day results »

Community engagement

School of Medicine students participate in dozens of organizations including the American Medical Student Association, the American Medical Women’s Association and the Student National Medical Association.

Students apply their talents in the community to:

Learn more about student engagement programs »

Graduate Medical Education Consortium

Washington University School of Medicine, with Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, sponsors a consortium for graduate medical education.

The group operates more than 90 training programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and approximately 40 non-accredited specialties that continue the institutions’ long histories of successfully training outstanding residents and clinical fellows in medical education, research and patient care.

Both the GME Consortium and all of its sponsored training programs are in good standing with the ACGME and are fully committed to providing a quality educational experience to the residents and clinical fellows training in these programs.

Visit the Graduate Medical Education Consortium website »

Gifts, grants and research support

Grants and contracts totaling more than $554.5 million supported faculty research efforts at the School of Medicine during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017. Substantial additional support was provided directly to faculty investigators by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Gifts and grants from thousands of private sources, including alumni, individuals, foundations, corporations and other organizations, totaled $156 million.

The School of Medicine received $411.4 million from the National Institutes of Health in the 2017 fiscal year.

Revenue and economic impact

Fiscal year 2017 revenue: $2.1 billion
Includes research support and patient services

Regional economic impact: $6.3 billion
Washington University Medical Campus

Research highlights

The many firsts at the School of Medicine include:

  • Served as a major contributor of genome sequence data to the Human Genome Project
  • Developed screening tests used worldwide to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease
  • Created the first positron emission tomography (PET) scanner, used to image the brain and other organs at work
  • Helped pioneer the use of insulin to treat diabetes
  • Developed the first surgical prevention of cancer based on genetic testing – in work on medullary thyroid cancer
  • Published the first evidence linking smoking and lung cancer
  • Performed the world’s first nerve transplant using nerve tissue from a cadaver donor
  • Proposed the now-common practice of taking aspirin to help prevent heart attacks
  • Developed a blood test that quickly and safely identifies whether a patient needs invasive treatment for a heart attack
  • Demonstrated that severely malnourished children given antibiotics along with a therapeutic peanut-butter based food are far more likely to recover and survive than children who only receive the therapeutic food

Ongoing clinical research includes:

  • Participating in a national network to determine new ways to prevent preterm birth
  • Developing new ways to diagnose and treat stroke as part of a national network of leading stroke treatment centers
  • Making groundbreaking contributions to decoding the genetics of cancer and developing personalized treatments
  • Leading an international collaboration to study inherited forms of Alzheimer’s disease and spearheading the first drug prevention trial
  • Pioneering minimally invasive surgical treatments for heart arrhythmias and heart valve replacement
  • Participating in the National Children’s Study, the largest U.S. study of child and human health ever conducted
  • Leading research, teaching and community engagement to improve population health through Washington University’s Institute for Public Health
  • Investigating changes to the brain in soldiers exposed to roadside bomb blasts and athletes who have suffered repeated concussions to understand their long-term mental and physical consequences
  • Leading research to improve care for heart failure and cardiovascular disease, including clinical trials to evaluate mechanical assist devices and studies to look at the link between diabetes and aggressive heart disease

Ongoing basic science research includes:

  • Spearheading research to understand and prevent the devastating consequences of Zika virus infection
  • Leading an international effort to map major brain circuits to understand how the mind works and the roots of brain disease
  • Pioneering studies on the links between obesity and malnutrition with the community of microbes that live in the gut
  • Identifying biomarkers in the brain and spinal cord to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms develop
  • Developing and using nanoparticles for molecular imaging and targeted drug delivery for cancer and heart, lung and vascular diseases
  • Exploring the genetic influences at play in alcohol, smoking and drug addiction


As of 2017, the 25,074 School of Medicine alumni include:

  • Medical: 8,032
  • Former House Staff: 8,033
  • Health Administration Program (1946-2008): 1,258
  • Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences: 2.015
  • Program in Occupational Therapy: 2,220
  • Program in Physical Therapy: 2,827
  • Nursing Program (1905–69): 689

Each year, MD, OT, PT and PACS alumni engage in providing philanthropic and volunteer support for their primary degree-granting programs.

Scholarships and professorships
Friends and alumni of the School of Medicine provide gifts through the William Greenleaf Eliot Society to support the academic and research priorities of the school.

Washington University Medical Center Alumni Association (WUMCAA)
WUMCAA sponsors various programs for MD alumni, former house staff and current medical students.

Distinguished Alumni Scholarship Program
This program provides full scholarships to four incoming medical students each year.

The Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences

Organized in 1973, the Division of Biology and Biomedical Sciences (DBBS) is a graduate educational consortium of faculty affiliated with 37 basic science and clinical departments in the School of Medicine, the School of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences. DBBS programs are designed to provide a broad, collaborative, interdisciplinary approach to graduate education, emphasizing investigation into many of today’s most important biological questions.

Graduate study in the DBBS is highly individualized and focuses on the needs and interests of students, each of whom is free to choose a mentor for laboratory and dissertation research from among faculty members in the division. Nearly 85 percent of MSTP graduates who have completed their residencies are actively involved in research programs at leading institutions.

By the numbers:

  • Total DBBS students: 670
  • DBBS students enrolled in MD/PhD: 192
  • Faculty members: 515
  • Departments: 38

Washington University Medical Center

With nearly 23,000 employees and 1,800 beds, the Washington University Medical Campus includes Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center.


In the aggregate, the School of Medicine occupies more than 5.5 million gross square feet on campus, with approximately half of that space used for research and instructional endeavors.

Facilities that have opened recently include:

Current building and renovation projects at the School of Medicine include the ten-year Campus Renewal Project, which is a joint undertaking of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals and the School of Medicine.

Washington University Physicians clinical activities

Washington University Physicians are full-time faculty at the School of Medicine. The clinical practice group — one of the five largest academic clinical practices in the nation — is made up of over 1,300 university-employed physicians representing more than 76 specialties and providing comprehensive care at more than 47 clinical sites in the St. Louis region.

By the numbers:

  • Clinical faculty: 1,503
  • Specialties and subspecialties: 76
  • Clinical sites: 49
  • Outpatient visits (2017): 1,121,579
  • Hospital discharges (BJH/SLCH, 2017): 84,839
  • Patient services revenue (WUSM, 2017 fiscal year): $1.1 billion


Barnes-Jewish Hospital, with 1,365 staffed beds, is the largest hospital in Missouri. With a premier reputation in patient care, medical education and community service, the hospital has been ranked among an elite group of the nation’s best academic hospitals on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll for 25 consecutive years. In 2003 it was the first adult hospital in Missouri to be awarded Magnet status, nursing’s highest honor for clinical excellence, and was awarded Magnet recognition again in 2008. Barnes-Jewish Hospital provides clinical experience for medical students in all clinical departments except pediatrics. The medical staff is composed exclusively of Washington University full-time or voluntary School of Medicine faculty physicians.

St. Louis Children’s Hospital, also staffed exclusively by Washington University faculty physicians, is on the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. It provides a full range of services for children and their families across a 300-mile service area and beyond, and it’s the region’s only children’s hospital ranked in all 10 pediatric specialties. The school’s comprehensive pediatric specialty services at Children’s Hospital include one of the country’s top pediatric transplant programs and the region’s only American College of Surgeons (ACS) verified Pediatric Level 1 Trauma Center. St. Louis Children’s Hospital provides extensive community outreach services, including a Critical Care Transport Team, mobile health care unites, affiliations with regional hospitals and physicians, support groups and a free child health information line staffed by pediatric registered nurses.

Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is a 77-bed facility with a medical staff of more than 700 physicians, offering a model that is a mix of Washington University, BJC Medical Group and private-practice physicians; its Washington University physicians number 489. The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center has an outpatient center on the campus with more treatment space and a linear accelerator for advanced radiation therapy. Washington University-employed faculty physicians now staff the emergency room and hospitalist service at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital and provide pediatric outpatient services there in association with St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine is composed of the combined cancer-related programs of Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Siteman is an international leader in cancer treatment, research, prevention, education and community outreach. It is the only cancer center in Missouri to hold the prestigious Comprehensive Care Center designation from the National Cancer Institute and membership in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Siteman offers the expertise of more than 450 Washington University research scientists and physicians who provide care for about 10,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. At any time, Siteman has more than 240 therapeutic clinical trials under way. In addition to its main facilities at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis’s Central West End, Siteman has satellite facilities at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in west St. Louis County, at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Charles County, and in south St. Louis County.

The Rehabilitation Institute of St. Louis is a state-of-the-art, 96-bed rehabilitation hospital created in 2001 through a partnership between BJC HealthCare and HealthSouth and an affiliation with Washington University School of Medicine. As the first freestanding acute rehabilitation hospital in the St. Louis area, it is a leader in rehabilitative care, research, education and community service. It provides a full range of inpatient, outpatient and community rehabilitation services focused on limiting disability and restoring function to patients.

Shriner’s Hospital for Children – St. Louis opened at the Washington University Medical Center in 2015. The Central West End location replaced the organization’s 50-year-old hospital in Frontenac. Staffed largely by Washington University Physicians, Shriners Hospital provides outstanding care for children with orthopedic and neuromusculoskeletal conditions. In 2017, Washington University Physicians saw 9,292 outpatient visits.

At other area hospitals, Washington University faculty physicians provide some limited specialty services.

  • Christian Hospital
  • Missouri Baptist Medical Center
  • Progress West HealthCare Center
  • Veterans Administration Medical Center
  • Phelps County Regional Medical Center (Rolla, MO)
  • Parkland Health Centers (Bonne Terre, Mo., and Farmington, MO)