Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School (HMS) is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1782, HMS is one of the oldest medical schools in the United States and is ranked first among research-oriented medical schools in the 2020 rankings of U.S. News and World Report. Unlike most other leading medical schools, HMS does not operate in conjunction with a single hospital but is directly affiliated with several teaching hospitals in the Boston area. The HMS faculty has approximately 2,900 full- and part-time voting faculty members consisting of assistant, associate, and full professors, and over 5,000 full- and part-time, non-voting instructors. The majority of the faculty receive their appointments through an affiliated teaching hospital.
Coat of arms of Harvard Medical School
|Established||September 19, 1782|
|Affiliation||See list for affiliations|
|Dean||George Q. Daley|
Harvard Medical School was founded on September 19, 1782 after President Joseph Willard presented a report with plans for a medical school to the fellows and the president of Harvard College. It is the third-oldest medical school in the United States, founded after the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The founding faculty members of Harvard Medical School were John Warren, Benjamin Waterhouse, and Aaron Dexter. Lectures were first held in the basement of Harvard Hall and then later in Holden Chapel. Students paid no tuition, but purchased tickets to five or six daily lectures. The first two students graduated in 1788.
In the following century, the medical school moved locations several times due to changing clinical relationships; a function of the fact that Harvard Medical School does not directly operate or own a teaching hospital. In 1810 the school moved to Boston at what is now downtown Washington Street. In 1816 the school was moved to Mason Street and was called the Massachusetts Medical College of Harvard University in recognition of a gift from the Great and General Court of Massachusetts. In 1847, the school was moved to Mason Street to be closer to Massachusetts General Hospital. In 1883 the school was relocated to Copley Square. Prior to this move, Charles William Eliot became Harvard's president in 1869 and found the medical school in the worst condition of any part of the university. He instituted drastic reforms that included raised admissions standards, formal degree program, and defined it as a professional school within Harvard University that laid the groundwork for its transformation into one of the leading medical schools in the world.
In 1906, the medical school moved to its current location in the Longwood Medical Area. The Longwood campus's five original marble-faced buildings of the quadrangle are used for laboratories, amphitheaters, and research space.
Harvard Medical School faculty have been associated with a number of important medical and public-health innovations:
- Introduction of smallpox vaccination to America
- First use of anesthesia for pain control during surgery
- The introduction of insulin to the US to treat diabetes
- Comprehending of the role of vitamin B12 in treating anemia
- Identification of coenzyme A and understanding of proteins
- Developing tissue culture methods for the polio virus, which paved the way for vaccines against polio
- Mapping the visual system of the brain
- Development of the first successful chemotherapy for childhood leukemia
- Development of the first implantable cardiac pacemaker
- Discovering the inheritance of immunity to infection
- Development of artificial skin for burn victims
- The first successful heart valve surgery
- The first successful human kidney transplant
- The first reattachment of a severed human limb
- Discovery of the genes that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), and Alzheimer's disease, among many others
- Establishing the importance of tumor vascular supply (angiogenesis) and seeding the field of vascular biology
- Discovery of the cause of preeclampsia.
In mid-1847, Professor Walter Channing's proposal that women be admitted to lectures and examinations was rejected by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Nonetheless, Harriot Kezia Hunt was soon after given permission to attend medical lectures, but in 1850 this permission was withdrawn.
In 1866 two women with extensive medical education elsewhere applied but were denied admission. In 1867 a single faculty member's vote blocked the admission of Susan Dimock. In 1872 Harvard declined a gift of $10,000 conditioned on medical school admitting women medical students on the same term as men. A similar offer of $50,000, by group of ten women including Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska, was declined in 1882, a committee of five was appointed to study the matter. After the medical school moved from North Grove Street to Boylston Street in 1883, professor Henry Ingersoll Bowditch's proposal that the North Grove Street premises be used for medical education for women was rejected.
In 1943 a dean's committee recommended the admission of women, the proportion of men and women being dependent solely on the qualifications of the applicants. In 1945, the first class of women was admitted; projected benefits included helping male students learn to view women as equals, increasing the number of physicians in lower-paid specialties typically shunned by men, and replacing the weakest third of all-male classes with better-qualified women. By 1972 about one fifth of Harvard medical students were women.
In 1850 three black men, Martin Delany, Daniel Laing, Jr., and Isaac H. Snowden, were admitted to the school, but they were later expelled under pressure from faculty, and other students, who objected.
In 1968, in response to a petition signed by hundreds of medical students, the faculty established a commission on relations with the black community in Boston; at the time less than one percent of Harvard medical students were black. By 1973 the number of black students admitted had tripled, and by the next year it had quadrupled.
Harvard Medical School has gone through many curricular revisions for its MD program. In recent decades, HMS has maintained a three-phase curriculum with a classroom based pre-clerkship phase, a principal clinical experience (PCE), and a post-PCE phase.
The pre-clerkship phase has two curricular tracks. The majority of students enter in the more traditional Pathways track that focuses on active learning and earlier entry into the clinic with courses that include students from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Pathways students gain early exposure to the clinic through a longitudinal clinical skills course that lasts the duration of the pre-clerkship phase. A small portion of each class enter in the HST track, which is jointly administered with MIT. The HST track is designed to train physician-scientists with emphasis on basic physiology and quantitative understanding of biological processes through courses that include PhD students from MIT.
Admission to Harvard Medical School's MD program is highly selective. There are 165 total spots for each incoming class, with 135 spots in the Pathways curriculum and 30 spots in the HST program. While both use a single application, each curricular track independently evaluates applicants.
For the Class of 2022, roughly 7,000 candidates applied and fewer than 900 were interviewed. Approximately 3.4 percent of applicants were offered positions in the incoming class with a 72% matriculation rate.
Affiliate teaching hospitals
Harvard Medical School does not directly own or operate any hospitals and instead relies on affiliate hospitals for clinical education and patient care. While medical students can spend time at any of the affiliate centers, they primarily complete their clinical experiences at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance, or Massachusetts General Hospital.
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- Boston Children's Hospital
- Brigham and Women's Hospital
- Cambridge Health Alliance
- Dana–Farber Cancer Institute
- Hebrew SeniorLife
- Joslin Diabetes Center
- Judge Baker's Children's Center
- Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
- Massachusetts General Hospital
- McLean Hospital
- Mount Auburn Hospital
- Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
- VA Boston Healthcare System
|John R. Adler||1980||academic|
|Robert B. Aird||academic|
|Tenley Albright||figure skater|
|William French Anderson||geneticist|
|Christian B. Anfinsen||biochemist, Nobel laureate|
|Paul S. Appelbaum||1976||academic|
|Babak Azizzadeh||Facial surgery specialist and surgeon for Mary Jo Buttafuoco after she was shot by Amy Fisher in 1992.|
|Arie S. Belldegrun||director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology and is Professor and Chief of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine|
|Rebecka Belldegrun||ophthalmologist and businesswoman|
|Herbert Benson||cardiologist, author of The Relaxation Response|
|Ira Black||neuroscientist and stem cell researcher who served as the first director of the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey.|
|Yōichi Takahashi||physician, music composer|
|Walter Bradford Cannon||physiologist|
|William B. Castle||hematologist|
|George C. S. Choate||physician|
|Gilbert Chu||physician, biochemist|
|Aram Chobanian||President of Boston University (2003–2005)|
|Albert Coons||physician, immunologist, Lasker Award winner|
|Hallowell Davis (1896–1992)||researcher of hearing, contributor to the invention of the electroencephalograph.|
|Martin Delany||One of the first African Americans to attend, and the first African-American field officer in the US; expelled after a faculty vote to end the admission of blacks.|
|Fe del Mundo||pediatrician, first Filipino and possibly first woman admitted to HMS (1936)|
|Allan S. Detsky||physician|
|James Madison DeWolf||soldier; physician|
|Daniel DiLorenzo||entrepreneur; neurosurgeon; inventor|
|Lawrence Eron||infectious disease physician|
|Paul Farmer||infectious disease physician; global health|
|Jonathan Fielding||past president American College of Preventive Medicine; health administrator; academic|
|Harvey V. Fineberg||academic administrator|
|Elliott S. Fisher||1981||director of The Dartmouth Institute|
|John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald||Mayor of Boston (1906–08; 1910–14)|
|Bill Frist||U.S. Senator (1995–2007)|
|Atul Gawande||surgeon, author|
|Charles Brenton Huggins||physician; physiologist; Nobel laureate|
|Laurie H. Glimcher||1976||President and CEO, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute|
|George Lincoln Goodale||botanist|
|Robert Goldwyn||surgeon, editor-in-chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for 25 years|
|Ernest Gruening||Governor of the Alaska Territory (1939–53); U.S. Senator (1959–69)|
|I. Kathleen Hagen||Murder suspect|
|Alice Hamilton||first female faculty member at Harvard Medical School.|
|J. Hartwell Harrison||surgeon - first kidney transplant, editor-in-chief of Campbell's Urology (4th ed.)|
|Michael R. Harrison||pediatrician|
|Bernadine Healy||Director of the National Institutes of Health (1991–93); CEO of the American Red Cross (1999–2001)|
|Ronald A. Heifetz||academic|
|Lawrence Joseph Henderson||biochemist|
|Edward H. Hill||1867||founder of Central Maine Medical Center|
|David Ho||infectious disease physician|
|Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.||physician; poet|
|Sachin H. Jain||2008||CEO, CareMore Health System; Obama administration official|
|Mildred Fay Jefferson Pro||Life Activist; first African American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School.|
|Clay Johnston||Dean of the Dell Medical School at UT Austin|
|Elliott P. Joslin||diabetolologist|
|Nathan Cooley Keep||physician who founded the Harvard School of Dental Medicine|
|Jonny Kim||Navy SEAL, ER physician, Astronaut|
|Jim Kim||physician, global health leader, current President of the World Bank|
|Melvin Konner||author and biological anthropologist|
|Peter D. Kramer||1976||psychiatrist|
|Daniel Laing, Jr.||One of the first African Americans to attend, and one of the first African American physicians; expelled after a faculty vote to end the admission of blacks, but finished his degree elsewhere.|
|Theodore K. Lawless||dermatologist, medical researcher, and philanthropist|
|Philip J. Landrigan||epidemiologist and pediatrician|
|Pam Ling||castmate on The Real World: San Francisco|
|Joseph Lovell||Surgeon General of the U.S. Army (1818–36)|
|John S. Meyer||physician|
|Vamsi Mootha||systems biologist and geneticist|
|Siddhartha Mukherjee||physician, author|
|Woody Myers||Indiana state health commissioner|
|Joel Mark Noe||plastic surgeon|
|Amos Nourse||U.S. Senator (1857)|
|Borna Nyaoke-Anoke||AIDS researcher|
|Oswald Hope Robertson||medical scientist|
|Richard Starr Ross||Dean Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; former President of the American Heart Association.|
|George E. Shambaugh, Jr.||Otolaryngologist|
|Philip Solomon (psychiatrist)||academic|
|Paul Spangler||Naval surgeon and record-setting Senior long distance runner|
|Samuel L. Stanley||5th President of Stony Brook University, academic, physician, biomedical researcher|
|Jill Stein||1979||physician; activist; politician|
|Lubert Stryer||academic; coauthor of Biochemistry|
|James B. Sumner||chemist|
|Orvar Swenson||1937||pediatric surgeon; performed first surgery for Hirschsprung's disease|
|Helen B. Taussig||cardiologist; helped develop Blalock–Taussig shunt|
|John Templeton, Jr.||president of the John Templeton Foundation|
|E. Donnall Thomas||physician|
|Abby Howe Turner||academic|
|George Eman Vaillant||psychiatrist|
|Mark Vonnegut||author; pediatrician|
|Amy Wax||1981||Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School|
|Andrew Weil||proponent of alternative medicine and integrative medicine|
|Paul Dudley White||cardiologist|
|Robert J. White||neurosurgeon (Performed first monkey head transplant in the 1970s)|
|Patrisha Zobel de Ayala||Chairman of World Medical Association, surgeon, anesthesiologist, neurologist, medical researcher|
|Charles F. Winslow||early atomic theorist|
|Leonard Wood||Chief of Staff of the United States Army ; Governor-General of the Philippines|
|Louis Tompkins Wright||researcher, practitioner, first black Fellow of the American College of Surgeons,|
|David Wu||Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1999–2011)|
|Alfred Worcester||general practitioner|
|Patrick Tyrance||1997||Orthopedic surgeon and former Academic All American linebacker, for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football and picked by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1991 NFL draft|
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