Academic Catalog

School of Medicine

Dean: Wael Sakr

The Wayne State University School of Medicine faculty and staff will graduate a diverse group of physicians and biomedical scientists who will transform the promise of equal health into a reality for all. We will educate a diverse student body in an urban setting and within a culture of inclusion, through high-quality education, clinical excellence, pioneering research, local investment in our community and innovative technology, to prepare physician and biomedical scientific leaders to achieve health and wellness for our society. We are privileged to serve our community, state, nation, and the world as innovators in medicine, health, prevention and wellness.

The school offers educational programs leading to the Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Science and Master of Public Health degrees. Graduate education in clinical fields, postdoctoral study and continuing medical education programs, as well as a joint M.D.-Ph.D. degree, also are offered. About 300 students are admitted annually to the medical degree program and approximately 400 students are enrolled in doctoral or master's degree study in 19 program areas, including the medical degree/doctoral combined-degree program. More than 900 students are post-graduate trainees as medical residents, post-doctoral fellows, or fellows in 29 clinical research programs. Continuing education programs, seminars and colloquiums serve the faculty and students, as well as professionals throughout the community as a resource for current and ongoing developments in the health sciences. In addition to degree programs, the school offers courses in many basic medical science disciplines appropriate for students in other colleges and schools of Wayne State University. Non-degree enrollment in basic science courses at the graduate level is permitted on a limited basis for qualified students.

Research focusing on human health is the foundation of activities in the School of Medicine. Fundamental and applied research in biomedical sciences, clinical specialties and heath care systems is directed by the faculty. Research programs are supported by more than $120 million annually in research grants, contracts and gifts. Members of the faculty serve on scientific boards, panels, study groups and in professional leadership roles in health care regionally, nationally and internationally.  Clinical services provided by the faculty, post-graduates and students are rendered throughout Detroit’s hospitals. The school also is affiliated with these hospitals for the purpose of conducting undergraduate and graduate medical education.

History of the School

In 1868, five physicians who witnessed the crude medical treatment on Civil War battlefields dedicated themselves to advancing health education and care, and founded the Detroit Medical College in Detroit. Originally named the Detroit Medical College, it was founded by five physicians who served in the U.S. Civil War, and upon their return determined that the city of Detroit deserved a medical school.

Today, nearly 150 years after its establishment, the Wayne State University School of Medicine is still fueled by the passion for its community and dedication to urban clinical excellence. Through social responsiveness and a continuous focus on innovation in education, research and clinical care, the School of Medicine continues to graduate a diverse group of health care leaders and advocates who go on to transform the promise of equal health care for all into a reality.


Programs in the Wayne State University School of Medicine are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, representing the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges (the medical doctor program); the Liaison Committee of Graduate Medical Education of the Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education and various Residency Review Committees (residency programs); and the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (Continuing Medical Education).

Graduate Degrees and Certificates

There are two major types of academic programs in the School of Medicine, those leading to the M.D. degree and postgraduate medical education; and those programs in the basic medical sciences which offer Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

Shiffman Medical Library and Learning Resources Centers

Library resources are made available to graduate students through a variety of services from the Shiffman Medical Library in the Richard J. Mazurek Medical Education Commons. They include reference and research support, document delivery / interlibrary loan, and instruction. Orientation programs, small group workshops and individualized instruction featuring the latest information resources are available to graduate students throughout their program. Key services in support of graduate education include: reference service, remote and on-site electronic access to the major biomedical databases including PubMed, Scopus, Science Citation Index, various clinical decision support tools such as ClinicalKey, and UpToDate, and an array of electronic tools for effective information management. Materials not available in the WSU Libraries are obtained for graduate students free of charge. Access to library collections from research institution across the country including the National Library of Medicine, University of Michigan, Michigan State University and various specialized collections is also available to graduate students.

The library's goal is to support each graduate student's individualized needs through graduation and for self-directed, life-long learning. Librarians are available for consultation, for help in identifying useful literature and using the latest file management programs to organize the references at any point during their program. Librarians can also provide students with time-saving tips to prepare manuscripts. Shiffman Library offers access to a number of databases to assist students in acquiring external funding. The library staff is committed to acquiring the materials needed to support the array of graduate programs offered by the affiliated colleges. A computer lab is available in the library for graduate students use. The lab contains five desktop workstations, one adaptive workstation, a standalone scanner, and a fully wired teacher's lectern.

Please contact the library for more information about current and planned services. The staff of the Shiffman Library is committed to enabling transparent discovery and access to the best possible resources that expeditiously and effectively meet student and faculty needs.

Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs is under the supervision of an associate dean. Services include: career and supportive counseling; crisis intervention; liaison for referrals; academic advising; guidance for residency application; support for student government and organization activities as well as oversight of Special Events, the Health and Wellness Program and the Medical Student Faculty Mentoring Program. The staff is committed to assisting students in every way possible as the students work toward M.D. degrees. These programs are part of the School’s commitment to provide each matriculant with support services so that the rigorous educational program can be presented within as comfortable an environment as possible.

Counseling: Appointments for confidential supportive and career counseling can be arranged through the Office of Student Affairs.

Mentoring: Faculty mentors are provided through the Office of Student Affairs for the purpose of giving guidance and support to the medical students throughout their medical school careers.

Health and Wellness: The Health and Wellness Program was developed so that each student optimizes healthy coping strategies, finds good balance and achieves academic success throughout medical school.

Office of Development and Alumni Affairs

Office: 540 E. Canfield, 1369 Scott Hall; Detroit, MI 48201
The Wayne State University School of Medicine Office of Development and Alumni Affairs and the Medical Alumni Association exist to support the advancement of the School of Medicine by establishing and cultivating mutually beneficial, lifelong relationships between alumni, students and the School of Medicine. The Office of Development and Alumni Affairs and the Medical Alumni Association work collaboratively to develop services, benefits, programs and communications designed to foster awareness, generate pride, encourage involvement and increase engagement and financial support.

We are proud to serve and represent the broad array of more than 22,000 alumni who were educated and trained at the WSUSOM – Physicians, Researchers, Residents and Fellows.  


Office of Marketing and Communications

Office: 540 E. Canfield, 1320 Scott Hall, Detroit, MI 48201

This office is responsible for the marketing, communications and public relations programs for the Wayne State University School of Medicine. The office leads strategy on a wide array of communications initiatives aimed at raising the stature of the Wayne State University School of Medicine and its prominence in medical education, research, care and community engagement. The office takes an integrated approach, leveraging resources and collaborating across our campus and community to enhance the School of Medicine brand in Detroit and beyond. Some areas of focus include media relations, digital communications, advertising and outreach, collateral publications and editorial services.

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