Feinberg School of Medicine

The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, located in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, in the U.S. state of Illinois and situated near Lake Michigan and the Magnificent Mile, is one of Northwestern University's 12 schools and colleges. The medical school offers a full-time Doctor of Medicine degree program, multiple joint degree programs, graduate medical education, and continuing medical education.

Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine
Parent institution
Northwestern University
EndowmentUS$2.023 Billion[1]
DeanEric G. Neilson[2]
Academic staff
Students1,719 Total[4]
639 MD
376 PhD Students
Other students
479 Post-Doctoral Fellows
1,216 Residents and Fellows
Location, ,
41.8963°N 87.6193°W / 41.8963; -87.6193

The mission of the Feinberg School of Medicine is to educate the next generation of physicians and scientists. Feinberg ranked 19th among American medical schools for research by U.S. News & World Report in 2019.[5] It also is committed to patient care and community service.[6] Through clinical affiliates Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago), Feinberg faculty provide patient care to tens of thousands of individuals every year. Feinberg and its clinical affiliates are together a $5 billion academic medical enterprise.[7][8] The school employs 4,000 faculty members.[9]


Founded as the medical department of Lind University on October 11, 1859[10] and renamed the Chicago Medical College in 1863, the school affiliated with Northwestern University in 1870. In 1906, the name was changed to Northwestern University Medical School.[11] It had occupied buildings on the near south side of Chicago from 1863[12] until the Montgomery Ward Memorial Building was constructed in Streeterville in 1926.[13]

Northwestern University Medical School was renamed the Feinberg School of Medicine in 2002, reflecting a $75 million donation from the Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation. Reuben Feinberg started to donate to the university after being hospitalized at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for a heart attack. The first donation, in 1988, was for $17 million to establish the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute. A $10 million donation was subsequently sent in 1996 to establish the Frances Evelyn Feinberg Clinical Neurosciences Institute.

Northwestern was also affiliated with a medical school for women. The Woman's Hospital Medical College was established in 1870, and later changed its name to the Woman's Medical College of Chicago. It became affiliated with Northwestern University in 1892 as Northwestern University Woman's Medical School.[14] The Women’s Medical College closed in 1902.[15]

On September 1, 2013, Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, the medical school's physician's group, joined Northwestern Memorial HealthCare (NMHC), the health system that includes Northwestern Memorial Hospital, forming a new physician's group called Northwestern Medical Group. Together, NMHC and Feinberg jointly share the brand "Northwestern Medicine." [16][17]

On May 8, 2015, exactly 90 years after Northwestern University first broke ground on the Chicago campus, Feinberg broke ground on the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Query Biomedical Research Center. When complete, the building will add 600,000 square feet and 14 stories of research space to the downtown campus.[18]

Academic Medical Center

The Feinberg School of Medicine is part of the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University. Other McGaw members include:

Feinberg medical students and McGaw residents receive their clinical training at these hospitals, where nearly all the attending staff members have faculty appointments at the Feinberg School of Medicine. Residents also train at affiliates such as John H. Stroger Jr Hospital of Cook County, Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, Swedish Covenant Hospital, MacNeal Hospital, and Methodist Hospital in Gary, Indiana.

The medical school's primary teaching hospital is Northwestern Memorial Hospital, a 2,200,000-square-foot (200,000 m2) modern hospital that was completed in 1999.

In the 2018-2019 US News and World Report list of "Honor Roll" Hospitals, listing the top 10 medical centers in the United States, Northwestern Memorial Hospital is ranked 10th, and first in Illinois,[19] Lurie Children's was ranked 7th best children's hospital in the country and first in Illinois and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab was ranked first in the country for rehabilitation.[20]


The Feinberg School of Medicine is home to 639 medical students. The class of students who graduated in 2019 are the 160th graduating class. For the 2019 entering class, 6,878 people applied for 159 seats. The median undergraduate GPA and MCAT score for successful applicants are 3.91 and 520 (37 for the old median), respectively.[21]

In 2012, Feinberg's entering medical students began a new curriculum, organized into three phases and emphasizing integration of four main curricular elements: science in medicine, clinical medicine, health & society, and professional development. The goal of the renewal process is to build a more learner-centered educational program that (1) fully integrates scientific principles in a clinical context; (2) stimulates inquiry and investigation; (3) has an assessment system that comprehensively evaluates student achievement in each of the core competencies; (4) reinforces a culture of learning, teamwork, and excellence; (5) is flexible and able to meet the unique needs of individual students as they learn and differentiate.[22]

For medical students, the school offers four-year dual degree programs, which combine the Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree with a Master of Public Health (MPH), a Master of Arts in Medical Humanities and Bioethics (MA), a Master of Science in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety (MS), or a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Students electing to pursue the additional degrees enroll in evening classes and graduate with both degrees. Two MD/PhD programs are offered, one in combination with Northwestern University's Graduate School (Medical Scientist Training Program) and one with the University's Institute for Neuroscience.

The school also offers graduate degree programs, some in combination with other Northwestern University professional schools:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in basic science programs such as Biological Sciences and Clinical Psychology, and public health programs such as Health and Biomedical Informatics, Health Services and Outcomes Research, Epidemiology, and Translational Outcomes Science
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Master of Medical Science (MMSc) in Physician Assistant Studies
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Science (MS) in programs such as Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Clinical Investigation, Genetic Counseling, Regulatory Compliance, or Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety
  • Master of Medical Informatics (MMI)
  • Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO)

Additionally, the school offers a BS/MD degree through the Honors Program in Medical Education (HPME), a seven-year combined undergraduate and medical school program.


According to public financial data for Feinberg, support for competitive research grants from all external sources totaled $534 million in academic year 2018-2019.[23] In 2018, Feinberg ranked 15th for NIH funding among American medical schools.[24] The medical school houses more than 30 Core Facilities, including a Bioinformatics Consulting Core, Genomics Core and Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Core.[25]

Faculty in the Research program at Feinberg study and mentor in a range of areas, including cancer biology, cell biology, chemical biology, drug discovery, developmental biology, evolutionary biology, genetics, genomics, medical biology, immunology, microbial pathogenesis, neurobiology, pharmacology, structural biology, biochemistry, epigenetics, epidemiology, behavioral sciences, preventive medicine, epidemiology, health outcomes, quality improvement, and translational sciences.

Recent Growth

In June 2019, the University opened a $560 million, 625,000 square-foot biomedical research building on the Chicago campus. The new building, the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center, is connected to the existing Robert H. Lurie Medical Research Center. A second phase of build out will eventually total 1.2 million square feet in the new building when complete.[26] Additionally, more than 250,000 square feet of space in existing campus buildings has been converted to new laboratory space.[27]

Nobel Laureates

  • John Eccles, an Australian neurophysiologist and philosopher, received the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Andrew Huxley and Alan Lloyd Hodgkin for their fundamental work on the synapse. Eccles was a professor at Feinberg from 1966 to 1968.
  • Robert Furchgott, a graduate of the class of 1940, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998 for his co-discovery of the role of nitric oxide as a signaling molecule.[28]
  • Ferid Murad, an American pharmacologist and cell biologist, received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1998, along with Robert F. Furchgott and Louis J. Ignarro, for demonstrating that nitroglycerin and related drugs worked by releasing nitric oxide into the body, which relaxed smooth muscle by elevating intracellular cyclic GMP. Murad was an adjunct professor at Feinberg from 1988 to 1998.


In 2019, Feinberg was ranked 19th among American medical research schools by U.S. News & World Report.[29] The school is ranked 15th in the National Institutes of Health funding rankings among all American Medical Schools.[30]

The school's major affiliated teaching hospitals rank in U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals 2017-2018 as follows:[31]

  • Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, ranked 1st in the nation for physical medicine and rehabilitation hospitals
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, ranked 7th in the nation for children's hospitals
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital, ranked 10th in the nation of America's Best Hospitals

Notable alumni


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