Yale School of Medicine

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Yale School of Medicine
Yale School of Medicine logo.svg
Coat of arms of the School
TypePrivate medical school
Academic staff
2,451 full time
2,067 adjunct
Students718 including:
  • 516 MD
  • 100 MD/PhD
  • 102 PA[1]
Location, ,
DeanRobert J. Alpern

The Yale School of Medicine is the graduate medical school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. It was founded in 1810 as The Medical Institution of Yale College, and formally opened in 1813.

The primary teaching hospital for the school is Yale-New Haven Hospital. The school is home to the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library, one of the largest modern medical libraries and also known for its historical collections. The faculty includes 62 National Academy of Sciences members, 40 Institute of Medicine investigators, and 16 Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators.[2]

U.S. News and World Report currently ranks the Yale School of Medicine 13th in the country for research, and 51st in primary care.[3] Entrance is highly selective; for the class of 2022, the school received 4,968 applications to fill its class of 104 students. The median GPA for Class of 2022 was a 3.89, with a median MCAT of 521.[4]


Yale's medical campus and The Hill neighborhood from the south

The School of Medicine offers the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree and a Master of Medical Science (M.M.Sc.) degree through the Yale Physician Associate Program and Yale Physician Assistant Online Program for prospective physician assistants. Public health degrees are administered through the Yale School of Public Health.[5]

There are also joint degree programs with other disciplines at Yale, including the M.D/Juris Doctor (J.D.) in conjunction with Yale Law School; the M.D./Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) in conjunction with the Yale School of Management; the M.D./Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) in conjunction with the Yale School of Public Health; science or engineering in conjunction with the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (M.D./Ph.D.); and the M.D./Master of Divinity (M.Div) in conjunction with Yale Divinity School. Students pursuing a tuition-free fifth year of research are eligible for the Master of Health Science degree.

The M.D. program is notable for its assessment of student achievement. In particular, the school employs the so-called "Yale System" established by Dean Winternitz in the 1920s, wherein first- and second-year students are not graded or ranked among their classmates. In addition, course examinations are anonymous, and are intended only for students' self-evaluation. Student performance is thus based on seminar participation, qualifying examinations (if a student fails, it is his or her responsibility to meet with a professor and arrange for an alternative assessment - passing grades are not released), clinical clerkship evaluations, and the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Prior to graduation, students are required to submit a thesis based on original research. A hallmark of the Yale System is the unusual flexibility that it provides; with this flexibility comes great responsibility for the student to take an active role in directing his or her education according to individual interests.

Other key features of the Yale System include:

  • commentary-based feedback from small group leaders
  • an integrated Molecules to Systems course that includes Biochemistry, Physiology, and Cell Biology and the corresponding small group conferences (Biochemistry Conference, Physiology Case Conference, Histology Lab)
  • early clinical exposure through the one and half-year Pre-Clinical Clerkship (PCC) course, in which students (in groups of 4) are assigned a physician mentor with whom they will learn the History and Physical Examination
  • a surgery-based Human Anatomy course that focuses on teaching the principles of anatomy through case-based dissections involving surgical procedures rather than rote memorization
  • a comprehensive student teaching program (Students Helping Students) in which second-year students review key concepts during optional evening sessions several times each week
  • the opportunity to take electives that include advanced cell biology and neuroscience, global health, translational research, or any topic being taught through graduate or undergraduate programs at the University

More graduates of the Yale School of Medicine enter medical scholarship (including Ph.D. degrees in Medicine) as professors of medicine than those graduates of other medical schools.


Original building of Yale School of Medicine, formerly a hotel built by James Hillhouse at the corner of Grove and Prospect Streets. Originally leased by Yale, the building was later purchased with funds from the Connecticut State Legislature.

In 18th century United States, credentials were not needed to practice medicine. Prior to the founding of the medical school, Yale graduates would train through an apprenticeship in order to become physicians. Yale President Ezra Stiles conceived the idea of training physicians at Yale and ultimately, his successor Timothy Dwight IV helped to found the medical school. The school was chartered in 1810 and opened in New Haven in 1813. Nathan Smith (medicine and surgery) and Benjamin Silliman (pharmacology) were the first faculty members. Silliman was a professor of chemistry and taught at both Yale College and the Medical School. The other two founding faculty were Jonathan Knight, anatomy, physiology and surgery and Eli Ives, pediatrics.[6]

One of Yale's earliest medical graduates was Dr. Asaph Leavitt Bissell of Hanover, New Hampshire, who graduated in 1815, a member of the school's second graduating class. Following his graduation, Dr. Bissell moved to Suffield, Connecticut, a tobacco-farming community where his parents came from, and where he practiced as a country physician for the rest of his life.[6] The saddlebags that Dr. Bissell carried in his practice, packed with paper packets and glass bottles, are today in the school's Medical Historical Library.[7]

Yale medical diploma awarded Asaph Leavitt Bissell, Class of 1815, signed by school's four professors and Timothy Dwight IV

The original building (at Grove and Prospect) later became Sheffield Hall, part of the Sheffield Scientific School (razed in 1931). In 1860, the school moved to Medical Hall on York Street, near Chapel (this building was razed in 1957). In 1925, the school moved to its current campus, neighboring the hospital. This campus includes the Sterling Hall of Medicine, Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine (1991, designed by Cesar Pelli), Anlyan Center (2003, designed by Payette and Venturi Scott Brown) and the Amistad Building (2007, designed by Herbert Newman).


Before 1845, there was no dean. Nathan Smith, followed by Jonathan Knight, provided leadership in the early years.[6]

Notable faculty[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lorimer, Linda Koch (20 July 2012). "School of Medicine". BULLETIN OF YALE UNIVERSITY. 108 (6): 213–222.
  2. ^ "Facts and Figures". Yale School of Medicine. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  3. ^ "Medical School Overview". Grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Facts and Figures 2018-2019" (PDF). Medicine.yale.edu. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Online Physician Assistant Programs | Yale School of Medicine". Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  6. ^ a b c "Home - Yale School of Medicine". Medicine.yale.edu. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  7. ^ "Yale Medicine Magazine - Yale School of Medicine". Medicine.yale.edu. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  8. ^ Altman, Lawrence (January 21, 2001), "Dr. Dorothy Horstmann, 89; Made Strides in Polio Research", The New York Times, p. 36
  9. ^ Taffel, Max (September 1953). "Samuel Clark Harvey, 1886–1953". Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. 26 (1): b1–7. PMC 2599352. PMID 13103137.
  10. ^ Curtis, John (Fall 1999 – Winter 2000), "A lifetime making mischief with DNA", Yale Medicine

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°18′10″N 72°56′10″W / 41.3027°N 72.936°W / 41.3027; -72.936