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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.

Incoming MD students pledge an oath at their White Coat Ceremony
Prefer to get the Facts in print?
View the 2020 Facts brochure (pdf) »

School of Medicine at a glance (FY 2019)

  • Founded1891
  • LocationSt. Louis, MO
  • Economic impact$6.7B

  • Departments20
  • Degree programs13
  • Alumni26,948

  • NIH funding$485.7M
  • Patent filings (FY2019)320
  • Nobel winners19

  • Clinical sites49
  • Specialties76
  • Outpatient visits1.2M

Total Students1,448

  • MD, MD/PhD, MA/MD603
  • Applied Health Behavior19
  • Audiology & Communication Sciences77
  • Clinical Investigation113
  • Genetic Epidemiology & Biostatistics30
  • Occupational Therapy321
  • Physical Therapy261
  • Population Health Sciences24

Total Employees10,990

  • Faculty2,471
  • Staff8,519

  • Residents859
  • Clinical fellows376

More about Washington University School of Medicine

Leadership

Medical school dean

David H. Perlmutter, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs
George and Carol Bauer Dean


Medical school officers, WUMC board members and National Council

Visit the Bulletin website »

Departments and department heads

Washington University School of Medicine has 20 academic departments, all of which support the school’s tripartite mission of conducting outstanding patient care, education and research.

See departments and department heads »

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 »

History

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 »

Faculty

The School of Medicine has 2,471 full-time faculty members.

Outstanding achievements of our current faculty include:

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

In addition, 19 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 2019-20 academic year include:

  • 4,766 applications
  • 47 applications per position
  • 101 first-year students enrolled

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

Residency match data

Program graduates are highly successful in obtaining competitive residency training positions through national matching programs, and residency program directors rate our graduates very highly as compared to other trainees in their cohort.

See 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 $686.4 million supported faculty research efforts at the School of Medicine during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. 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 $247 million.

The School of Medicine received $485.7 million from the National Institutes of Health in the 2019 fiscal year.

Revenue and economic impact

Fiscal year 2019 revenue: $2.7 billion
Includes research support and patient services

Regional economic impact: $6.7 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, providing the foundation for personalized medicine
  • 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

See more research firsts and ongoing research highlights »

Alumni

As of 2019, the 26,948 School of Medicine alumni include:

  • Medical: 9,869
  • Former House Staff: 8,027
  • Health Administration Program (1946-2008): 1,187
  • Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences: 1,730
  • Program in Occupational Therapy: 2,584
  • Program in Physical Therapy: 2,880
  • Nursing Program (1905–69): 671

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: 698
  • DBBS students enrolled in MD/PhD: 202
  • Faculty members: 544
  • Departments: 37

Washington University Medical Campus

With more than 25,000 employees and 2,021 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.

Facilities

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.

See campus maps »
See construction projects »

Recently opened facilities include:

Washington University Physicians clinical care

Washington University Physicians, the school’s full-time clinical faculty, is one of the five largest academic clinical practices in the nation.

By the numbers:

  • Clinical faculty: 1,680
  • Specialties and subspecialties: 76
  • Clinical sites: 49
  • Outpatient visits (2019): 1,196,813
  • Hospital discharges (BJH/SLCH, 2019): 91,179
  • Patient services revenue (WUSM, 2019 fiscal year): $1.4 billion

Affiliated hospitals and centers

Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital are our primary teaching hospitals, and Washington University Physicians see patients at additional sites throughout the St. Louis region. Our corporate partners include BJC HealthCare, a consortium of healthcare providers that includes several of our teaching hospitals.

See our partner hospitals and centers »