Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

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Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Vanderbilt School of Medicine logo.svg
Established 1875
Type Private
Endowment US$551 Million[1]
Dean Jeff Balser
Academic staff
2,718 (1,630 full-time, 996 part-time/voluntary, and 92 emeritus)
Students 1029 Total
434 MD
501 PhD
88 MD-PhD
Location Nashville, TN, USA
Campus Urban

Vanderbilt University School of Medicine is a medical school located in Nashville, Tennessee. Currently tied for 14th on the list of accredited medical schools in the U.S News & World Report 2016 rankings, the school of medicine has a reputation as a center of research and high-quality clinical care. Vanderbilt School of Medicine is ranked No. 10 among U.S. medical schools for funding from the National Institutes of Health. Located in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center on the southeastern side of the Vanderbilt University campus, the School of Medicine claims two Nobel laureates: Earl W. Sutherland Jr., in 1971, for his discovery of the metabolic regulating compound cyclic AMP, and Stanley Cohen, in 1986, for his discovery with a colleague of epidermal growth factor.

Researchers from across the United States and abroad ranked Vanderbilt the 5th best place in the U.S. to work in science, according to a 2006 survey conducted by The Scientist magazine. In 2009, Vanderbilt University landed on Fortune's list of the 100 best U.S. companies to work for, the first academic institution to do so.


The first diplomas issued by Vanderbilt University were to 61 Doctors of Medicine in February 1875, thanks to an arrangement that recognized the University of Nashville's medical school as serving both institutions. Thus, Vanderbilt embraced a fully organized and functioning medical school even before its own campus was ready for classes in October of that year. The arrangement continued for 20 more years, until the school was reorganized under control of the Board of Trust. In the early days, the School of Medicine was owned and operated as a private property of the practicing physicians who composed the faculty and received the fees paid by students—a system typical of medical education in the United States at the time. Vanderbilt made no financial contribution to the school's support and exercised no control over admission requirements, the curriculum, or standards for graduation. After reorganization under the Vanderbilt Board in 1895, admission requirements were raised, the course was lengthened, and the system of instruction was changed to include laboratory work in the basic sciences.

The famous report of Abraham Flexner, published by the Carnegie Foundation in 1910 and afterward credited with revolutionizing medical education in America, singled out Vanderbilt as "the institution to which the responsibility for medical education in Tennessee should just now be left".[citation needed] Large grants from Andrew Carnegie and his foundation, and from the Rockefeller-financed General Education Board, enabled Vanderbilt to carry out the recommendations of the Flexner Report. (These two philanthropies, with the addition of the Ford Foundation in recent years, have contributed altogether more than $20,000,000 to the School of Medicine since 1911). The full benefits of reorganization were realized in 1925 when the school moved from the old South Campus across town to the main campus, thus integrating instruction in the medical sciences with the rest of the university.

As of March 2014, the institution is being sued by the federal government in a whistle-blower case for a decade-long Medicare fraud scheme.[2] In May 2015, a federal court ruled Vanderbilt University Medical Center was in violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act for laying off 200 employee without adequate notice and will have to pay out $400,000 pending an appeal.[3]

Medical Center[edit]

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center is a vital component of the university and is the only Level I Trauma Center in Middle Tennessee.[4] The following units comprise VUMC:[5]

The 11-story Doctor's Office Tower of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, which was completed in 2004.
  • Vanderbilt University Hospital
  • Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
  • Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
  • The Vanderbilt Clinic
  • Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center
  • Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital
  • Eskind Biomedical Library
  • Vanderbilt Sports Medicine
  • Dayani Human Performance Center
  • Vanderbilt Page Campbell Heart Institute
  • Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

With over 21,500 employees (including 2,876 full-time faculty), Vanderbilt is the largest private employer in Middle Tennessee and the second largest in the state (after FedEx, headquartered in Memphis). Approximately 74% of the university's faculty and staff are employed by the Medical Center.[4]

In 2008, the medical center was placed on the Honor Roll of U.S. News & World Report's annual rating of the nation's best hospitals, and 17 of the faculty were members of one of the National Academies. In 2004, the university reported that 24.1% of non-Medical Center faculty were women, while 14.4% were of a racial or ethnic minority.


In recent years, Vanderbilt has continued to increase the level of funding from grant-awarding agencies such as the NIH.

"From 2001 to 2005 Vanderbilt had a compound annual growth rate of 17.8% in NIH grants, the fastest growing academic medical program in the country. Eight VUMC departments ranked in the top 10 in their respective categories and twelve placed in the top 20, including: Molecular Physiology and Biophysics (1, Physiology), Cell and Developmental Biology/Cancer Biology (5), Medicine (6), Pharmacology (6), Pediatrics (8), Anesthesiology (9), Biochemistry (10), Radiology (10) Biostatistics (13), Surgery (14), Microbiology (17) and Otolaryngology (18).[6] Support for competitive research grants from all external sources was more than $346 million for the fiscal year 2005-2006. Major translational research initiatives are moving discoveries from the bench to the bedside and will transform health care and health care delivery."[7]


  • Levi Watkins (1944-2015) - pioneer in cardiac surgery; co-invented the automatic implantable defibrillator


  1. ^ "Vanderbilt Medicine - Basic Facts". Retrieved February 25, 2007. 
  2. ^ "Vandy Stuck With Whistleblowing Docs' FCA Claims". 
  3. ^ Barchenger, Stacey. The Tennessean  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b Vanderbilt University News Service (January 2008). "RE:VU: Quick Facts about Vanderbilt". Vanderbilt University. Retrieved 2008-01-10. 
  5. ^ "Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Visitors". Vanderbilt University. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links[edit]