Washington University School of Medicine

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Washington University School of Medicine
WUSTL Medicine.png
Parent institution
Washington University in St. Louis
DeanDavid Perlmutter, MD
Academic staff
Students1349 (including 605 MD [183 MD/PhD] and 267 OT, 278 PT)
Location, ,
United States

BJC Institute of Health on the Washington University School of Medicine campus

Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) is the medical school of Washington University in St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1891, the School of Medicine has 1,260 students, 604 of which are pursuing a medical degree with or without a combined Doctor of Philosophy or other advanced degree. It also offers doctorate degrees in biomedical research through the Division of Biology and Biological Sciences. The School has developed large physical therapy (273 students) and occupational therapy (233 students) programs, as well as the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences (100 students) which includes a Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) degree and a Master of Science in Deaf Education (M.S.D.E.) degree.[1] There are 1,772 faculty, 1,022 residents, and 765 fellows.[citation needed]

The clinical service is provided by Washington University Physicians, a comprehensive medical and surgical practice providing treatment in more than 75 medical specialties. Washington University Physicians are the medical staff of the two teaching hospitals – Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital. They also provide inpatient and outpatient care at the St. Louis Veteran's Administration Hospital, hospitals in the BJC HealthCare system and 35 other office locations throughout the greater St Louis region.

U.S. News & World Report ranks the college high;[2] the school is currently ranked 11th for research[3] and has been ranked as high as 2nd in 2003 and 2004,[4]. The school ranks first in the nation in student selectivity.[5] As of 2019, it also receives the third most funding among all medical schools in the US from the National Institute of Health, totalling an amount of $218 million.[6] Globally, the school is ranked as the 20th and 35th best medical program in 2020 by the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for medicine and QS World University Ranking for medicine, respectively.[7][8]


18 Nobel laureates have been associated with the School of Medicine. 12 faculty members are fellows of the National Academy of Sciences; 30 belong to the Institute of Medicine. 92 faculty members hold individual career development awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 59 faculty members hold career development awards from non-federal agencies. 14 faculty members have MERIT status, a special recognition given by the National Institutes of Health that provides long-term, uninterrupted financial support to investigators. Six faculty members are Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.


Medical classes were first held at Washington University in 1891 after the St. Louis Medical College decided to affiliate with the University, establishing a Medical Department. Robert S. Brookings, a University benefactor from its earliest days, devoted much of his work and philanthropy to Washington University and made the improvement of the Medical Department one of his primary objectives. This especially became a cause for concern after an early 1900s Carnegie Foundation report derided the organization and quality of the Medical Department.[9]

Following a trend in medical education across the country, research and the creation of new knowledge became a stated objective in a 1906 course catalog for the medical department. For Brookings and the University, incorporating the Medical Department into a separate School of Medicine seemed to be the next logical step. This process began in 1914 when facilities were moved to their current location in St. Louis's Central West End neighborhood in 1914, and was completed in 1918 with the official naming of the School of Medicine.[10] The first female faculty member seems to have been biochemist and physiologist Ethel Ronzoni Bishop, who became an assistant professor in 1923.[11]

The Medical School began its escalation from regional renown in the 1940s, a decade when two groups of faculty members received Nobel Prizes, in 1944 and 1947. In 1950, a Cancer Research Building was completed, the first major addition to the School of Medicine since its 1914 move and one of several buildings added in the decade. In the 1960s the School of Medicine diversified its student body, graduating its first African-American student and substantially increasing the percentage of graduating students who are female to nearly half.[10]

In March 2020, Washington University School of Medicine announced the construction of a new $616 million, 11-story, 609,000-square-foot neuroscience research building which will sit at the eastern edge of the Medical Campus in the Cortex Innovation Community. Construction of the building is to finish in 2023.[12]


Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which is affiliated with the Medical School

Washington University Medical Center comprises 164 acres (0.5 km²) spread over about 17 city blocks, located along the eastern edge of Forest Park within the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital, part of BJC HealthCare, the teaching hospitals affiliated with the School of Medicine, are also located within the medical complex. Many of the buildings are connected via sky bridges and corridors. As of 2008, the School of Medicine occupies over 4,500,000 square feet (420,000 m2) in the complex.[13]

Washington University and BJC HealthCare have taken on many joint venture projects since their original collaboration in the 1910s. One is the Center for Advanced Medicine, which houses the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center and was completed in December 2001. At 650,000 square feet (60,000 m2), it is one of the largest buildings in the complex.[14]

The complex has several especially large buildings. In 2007, construction began on the 700,000-square-foot (65,000 m2) BJC Institutes of Health, of which Washington University's Medical School occupies several floors. It is the largest building constructed on Washington University's campus. Called the BJC Institute of Health at Washington University, it houses the University's BioMed 21 Research Initiative, five interdisciplinary research centers, laboratories, and additional space for The Genome Center.[15]

Prominent buildings, centers, and spaces at the medical campus includes Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the Central Institute for the Deaf, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Rehabilitation Institute of Saint Louis, Siteman Cancer Center, Center for Advanced Medicine, Charles F. Knight Emergency and Trauma Center, and the Eric P. Newman Education Center.

The complex is accessible via the Central West End MetroLink station, which provides transportation to the rest of Washington University's campuses.

Nobel laureates[edit]

Physiology or Medicine


Notable alumni[edit]

Other associated hospitals[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Programs". pacs.wustl.edu. Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
  2. ^ "Best Graduate Schools | Top Graduate Programs | US News Education". Grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  3. ^ "Best Medical Schools: Research". U.S. News. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  4. ^ "Historical Medical School Research Rankings" (PDF). U.S. News. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "FACTS – Washington University School of Medicine". Medicine.wustl.edu. June 30, 2011. Retrieved March 13, 2013.
  6. ^ "Top 50 NIH funded institutions of 2019". GEN News. September 2019. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  7. ^ "Best universities for medicine 2020". November 19, 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  8. ^ "Medicine". 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  9. ^ "Medical Campus Tour". Washington University in St. Louis.
  10. ^ a b Anderson, Paul; Marion Hunt. "Origins and History of the Washington University School of Medicine". Washington University Medical School, Bernard Becker Medical Library. Retrieved July 22, 2008.
  11. ^ "Ethel Bishop Ronzoni" (PDF). Washington University. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 5, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  12. ^ "Washington University to break ground on major neuroscience research hub". Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. March 6, 2020. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
  13. ^ "Facilities". Washington University in St. Louis.
  14. ^ "Washington University Medical Center". Washington University in St. Louis.
  15. ^ Ericson, Gwen (October 30, 2007). "Immense new facility to house BioMed 21 research at Washington University Medical Center". Medical Public Affairs.
  16. ^ "Missouri Women in the Health Sciences - Biographies - Rita Levi-Montalcini". Washington University in St. Louis. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  17. ^ "Ernst Wynder, 77, a Cancer Researcher, Dies". Retrieved February 14, 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°38′13″N 90°15′53″W / 38.6370°N 90.2646°W / 38.6370; -90.2646