Academic Catalog

School of Medicine

Dean: Wael Sakr

The Wayne State University School of Medicine has been operating and granting degrees as a college of medicine since 1868. Originally called the Detroit Medical College, it was founded by Detroit native Theodore A. McGraw, M.D.

In 1879, a second medical college, the Michigan College of Medicine, opened in Detroit. The two colleges soon united to become the Detroit College of Medicine. In 1919, the Detroit College of Medicine and Surgery, as it was then known, became an official part of the Detroit Board of Education and thus an important unit in the rapidly developing Colleges of the City of Detroit. In 1933, the name of the Colleges of the City of Detroit changed to Wayne University in honor of the American Revolutionary War hero, Gen. Anthony Wayne. Wayne University became a state institution in 1956.

The School of Medicine entered its second century with a period of substantial growth and the creation of a new campus in midtown Detroit. With the opening of the Gordon H. Scott Hall of Basic Medical Sciences in 1971, the size of the entering class was increased to 256 students. With a recent increase to 290 medical students in entering classes, the Wayne State University School of Medicine is the largest single-campus medical school in the country, and the fourth largest overall.

Mission of the School

The primary mission of the Wayne State University School of Medicine is to 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.

The School of Medicine offers educational programs leading to the following degrees:

  • Doctor of Medicine
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Master of Science

Graduate education in clinical fields, continuing medical education and post-doctoral training programs are offered. Two hundred and ninety students are admitted annually to the M.D. program and approximately 380 students are enrolled in doctoral or Master's degree study in more than twenty program and concentration areas, predominantly in the basic medical sciences. More than 2,000 learners are post-graduate trainees as medical residents, post-doctoral fellows or fellows in twenty-nine clinical research programs. The combined M.D./Ph.D. program admits highly qualified candidates each fall to participate in a rigorous seven- to eight-year program of study supported by scholarships from the University. Continuing education programs, seminars and colloquiums serve the faculty and students, as well as professionals throughout the community, as a resource for ongoing developments in the health sciences. In addition to degree programs, the School of Medicine offers courses in many basic medical science disciplines appropriate for students in other colleges and schools within the 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 health care systems is directed by faculty. Research programs are supported by more than ninety million dollars annually through 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. The research facilities of the School of Medicine are modern, well-equipped and growing with the pace of technological advances.

Clinical services provided by the faculty, post-graduates and students are rendered predominantly through the Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System institutions. Through affiliations between the Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University and the Henry Ford Health System and Wayne State University, DMC and Henry Ford serve as the primary teaching hospitals for the School of Medicine. The School is also closely affiliated with the John D. Dingell Veterans Administration Medical Center for education, research and clinical programs. The School of Medicine perceives a responsibility to the population of the Detroit metropolitan region as a whole, both as an educational institution and as a supplier of physicians who are highly-skilled providers of medical care.

Facilities: Wayne State University Medical School

Gordon H. Scott Hall provides facilities for pre-clinical and basic science education, basic science departments and research laboratories for basic and clinical programs. The dean's offices and the dean's administrators' offices are located here.

The Helen Vera Prentis Lande Medical Research Building houses research laboratories for clinical and basic science faculty.

The Vera P. Shiffman Medical Library houses a full medical reference library, as well as computer instruction facilities.

The Louis M. Elliman Clinical Research Building provides research laboratories, experimental surgical suites and specialized research facilities for the Departments of Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics and Neurology.

The C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth and Development provides research space for programs in human reproduction, growth and development.

The Hudson-Webber Cancer Research Center is the translational research flagship facility for Wayne State University cancer research in partnership with the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

The Richard J.Mazurek, M.D., Medical Education Commons plays a key role in enriching medical education by providing access to spaces and services that enhance campus life, including a convenient location for students, faculty, health professionals and guests; state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories; and educational opportunities such as a modern patient simulation technology, the Kado Clinical Skills Center.

In addition to training at the Detroit Medical Center (DMC), medical students may train at eighteen other medical facilities, as well as hundreds of local physician offices.

The Wayne State University Physician Group (WSAPG) affiliated with the Wayne State University School of Medicine. Many WSUPG physicians serve as faculty and teach medical students and hospital residents.

The School of Medicine is an active partner in nationally- and regionally-recognized research programs, and has defined several areas of noted excellence, including cancer, women's and children's medicine, cardiology and cardiovascular health, the neurosciences and ophthalmology.

Facilities: Detroit Medical Center and Other Clinical Education Partners

The Detroit Medical Center includes:

Children's Hospital of Michigan, which specializes in medical research and treatment of infants and children - in particular, pediatric hematology, oncology, cardiac surgery and the treatment of renal disease - and houses the state's poison control center.

Detroit Receiving Hospital and University Health Center, which specializes in the treatment of adult emergency and trauma cases, and includes special facilities for the care of emergency psychiatry, burn and spinal injuries. The University Health Center, connected to the hospital, is one of the country's largest multidisciplinary outpatient facilities, with twelve primary care service groups and more than twenty-five medical specialty services for ambulatory care.

Sinai-Grace Hospital, a full-service hospital offering a wide range of outpatient services.

Harper Hospital, which specializes in oncology, cardiology general surgery and a number of additional surgical specialties and sub-specialties.

Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, located in a northern suburb, provides community hospital inpatient and outpatient services.

Hutzel Hospital, which includes among its areas of excellence obstetrics, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, ophthalmology, neonatology, perinatology and orthopedic surgery.

Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, which uses an interdisciplinary approach to help physically disabled people reach their maximum level of independence.

Kresge Eye Institute, which is a major center for research and treatment of eye diseases.

Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, which provides comprehensive cancer prevention, screening, diagnostics, treatment and supportive care to more than 10,000 new patients annually, and is a National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Gershenson Radiation Oncology Center, which provides technologically advanced radiation oncology services for all DMC facilities. Unique services include neutron therapy, Gamma Knife procedures and total body irradiation.

Henry Ford Hospital is a 802-bed tertiary care hospital, education and research complex located in Detroit's New Center area. The hospital is a multi-organ transplantation center and Level 1 trauma center. Henry Ford Hospital is listed in "Best Hospitals in America" Its doctors are routinely named among America's best. Henry Ford Hospital received the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige award, the nation's highest honor for innovation and performance excellence in health care.

Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center has 632 beds, and is a full-service teaching hospital in partnership Wayne State University that has served southeast Michigan for more than fifty years. OHMC is the tertiary hub for the three community hospitals of the Oakwood Healthcare System, providing high-level clinical care in a setting designed around the individuality of each patient. OHMC offers state-of-the art emergency medicine, general medicine and outpatient surgery, diagnostic imaging, labor and delivery/neonatal intensive care, pediatrics, intensive care and coronary units. Also opened in 2005, is the Fitzgerald Pavilion, the latest in fully integrated surgical suites. This $110 million expansion brings the next generation of surgery to southeast Michigan and offers the best surgical care.

The John D. Dingell VA Medical Center is a 108-bed full service medical center that provides primary, secondary and tertiary care. The medical center provides acute medical, surgical, psychiatric, neurological, and dermatological inpatient care. Primary care, medical and surgical specialties are also provided, as are mental health clinics that include substance abuse treatment, a day treatment center and a community-based psychiatric program with the goal of maintaining patients in their home community. The medical center also operates a 109-bed nursing home care unit and a Health Care for Homeless Veterans program.

St. John Health is comprised of seven hospitals plus more than 125 medical facilities in southeast Michigan offering heart, cancer, obstetrics, neurosciences, orthopedics, physical rehabilitation, behavioral medicine, surgery, emergency and urgent care.

Crittenton Hospital Medical Center provides a full continuum of clinical programs nationally ranked for quality excellence and a medical staff of nearly 500 physicians, representing a wide range of medical specialties providing primary, secondary and tertiary-level care. Crittenton has newly-renovated facilities and cutting-edge technology for providing patients with the most advanced medical care on both an inpatient and outpatient basis. Crittenton provides a campus for residents from Wayne State University's School of Medicine who are specializing in Family Medicine and Otolaryngology.

Shiffman Medical Library and Medical Learning Resource Centers

The Shiffman Medical Library serves as the health sciences library for Wayne State University, including the School of Medicine, and the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The library encourages all Wayne State University students to take advantage of the wide range of health information resources and reference assistance available. In addition, the library provides open and restricted access computing areas for WSU students, faculty and staff. In keeping with its ongoing outreach mission, the library welcomes community residents  conducting research, seeking health information and for other educational purposes. Online and remote access to digital information resources of the Shiffman Medical Library and all university libraries require a WSU AccessID. Contact the library at or 313-577-1088, or consult the School of Medicine website for instructions on accessing electronic biomedical information.

When not in use, a twenty-seat computer training lab is set aside for study. The library makes available course materials that are placed on reserve at its service desk, which also provides copies of textbooks, media and a variety of other resources.

Student Affairs

Services include: career and supportive counseling; crisis intervention; liaison for referrals; 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.

Services for Students

Health Services: Students are required to have personal comprehensive health insurance coverage through the School of Medicine health insurance plan. Students may qualify for the waiver program.

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

Academic Resources Counseling: Referrals for academic support can be made by the student's assigned counselor to the Office of Learning and Teaching where an academic specialist is available to all students seeking to improve and/or enhance academic performance. Individual tutoring services and group review sessions are available. The mission of the School of Medicine's Office of Learning and Teaching is to provide educational services and programs for medical students who need academic support to improve their academic progress and for students to enhance their academic achievements. This Office also provides programming for Step 1 and Step 2 CK and CS support.

Medicine Degrees and Certificates (Graduate Programs)

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 that offer Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy degrees. For descriptions of these degree programs, see the Wayne State University Graduate Bulletin.

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