The school was established in 1810 as the Medical Institution of Yale College. The current name, Yale School of Medicine, was adopted in 1918.
Milton C. Winternitz, who served as dean from 1920 to 1935, was the architect of the school’s unique educational philosophy, the Yale system of medical education, which emphasizes critical thinking in a nongraded, noncompetitive environment and requires students to write a thesis based on original research.
Harvey Cushing, widely regarded as the father of American neurosurgery and a seminal figure in American medicine, joined the faculty late in his career and donated his extensive collection of books to Yale. The medical school library, which bears his name, is regarded as one of the great medical historical libraries of the world.
YSM’s historical contributions to medicine include the first X-ray performed in the United States, the first successful use of penicillin in America, the first use of cancer chemotherapy, and the introduction of fetal heart monitoring, natural childbirth and newborn rooming-in. Yale doctors designed the first artificial heart pump and the first insulin infusion pump for diabetes, and it was here that the means of transmission of the polio virus was established, paving the way for the Salk vaccine. Lyme disease was identified by two Yale physicians in 1975.
More recent milestones include the first transgenic mouse, discovery of the mechanism of protein folding, which is key to understanding neurodegenerative diseases, and discovery of the mechanism of innate immunity, with major implications for infectious disease and cancer. Additional highlights include the first reliable method for early detection of autism and identification of genes associated with hypertension, macular degeneration, dyslexia, and Tourette’s syndrome, among many others.
Yale School of Medicine is one of the world’s leading centers for biomedical research, advanced clinical care, and medical education. It ranks eighth among medical schools receiving funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and sixth in NIH dollars per faculty member. More than 1,600 Yale physicians provide care to patients from across the region and around the world. The Yale system of medical education, with its emphasis on critical thinking and independent student research, has produced leaders in every field of academic medicine.
The sixth-oldest medical school in the United States, it was chartered by the Connecticut General Assembly in 1810 as the Medical Institution of Yale College, located first on Grove Street, then at 150 York Street. Since 1924, it has occupied Sterling Hall of Medicine at 333 Cedar Street and surrounding buildings. It has awarded 9,394 medical degrees since 1814. There are 5,632 living alumni with MD degrees, 5,439 with MPH degrees, and 1,440 alumni of the Physician Associate Program with the PA-C certificate or MMSc degree, and 84 alumni of the Physician Assistant Online Program.
The School of Medicine educates future leaders in medicine, public health, and biomedical science. The MD program follows a unique educational philosophy, the Yale system of medical education, established in the 1920s. No course grades or class rankings are given in the first two years, examinations are limited, and students are expected to engage in independent investigation. Since 1839, medical students have written a thesis based on original research, reflecting that the scientific process of investigation, attentive observation, interpretation of data, and critical evaluation of literature are fundamental to the practice of medicine.
Many medical students take a tuition-free fifth year to pursue additional study. Some conduct in-depth research or explore clinical electives and subinternships. A significant number are awarded fifth-year research fellowships and earn the MHS degree.
Each year, approximately 20 students enroll in the school’s MD-PhD Program, one of the original Medical Scientist Training Programs established and funded by the NIH. Graduate students in the Combined Program in the Biomedical and Biological Sciences earn a PhD degree through the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The School of Medicine also offers joint degree programs with other professional schools including Public Health, Law, Management, Engineering, and Divinity.
YSM’s Physician Associate (PA) Program, one of the oldest PA programs in the country, and its Physician Assistant Online Program train students to become compassionate, high-quality, patient-centered PAs. The online program enables students to become PAs without relocating from their home communities.
Class of 2025 Profile
2021-2022 tuition $66,160
2021 average debt for those with debt $122,944
Online books, biomedical 41,000+
Research at the medical school covers a broad spectrum, from fundamental studies in the life sciences, including cell biology, genetics, immunobiology, microbial pathogenesis, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, biophysics and biochemistry, to translational and clinical studies aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. Important research collaborations bring together scientists on the medical campus, Science Hill, and the West Campus. The Center for Biomedical Data Science brings together computational expertise from across Yale. Funding for research at YSM has increased from $539.6 million in 2012 to $808.5 million in 2021.
The school’s core research resources are built around the newest technologies:
Clinical investigation at Yale bridges the gap between the basic and translational sciences and the practice of medicine. Research is focused on the factors that affect health and illness in populations, the evaluation of therapeutic interventions, and the assessment of health outcomes based on analysis of large data sets. The School of Medicine sponsors a wide range of clinical trials, with more than 2,122 active trials in 2021, over 11,000 “Help Us Discover” unique volunteers enrolled (visit yalestudies.org), and 29,887 active subjects. The school offers superb training for clinical investigators in a number of settings, including the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation, the National Clinician Scholars Program at Yale (the evolution of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program), the Yale School of Public Health, and the Investigative Medicine Program, along with discipline-specific training initiatives in selected departments.The Yale Center for Clinical Investigation facilitates the training of clinical and translational scientists and provides infrastructure for innovative and collaborative research directed at improving patient care. It funds up to 20 YCCI Scholars yearly and supports investigators in the areas of biostatistics, bioinformatics, study design, core technologies, regulatory review, patient recruitment, and community-based research.
The National Clinician Scholars Program at Yale was established in 2016 to prepare future clinician leaders to improve health and health care. Graduates of the two-year interprofessional fellowship earn a master of health sciences (MHS) degree.
Yale School of Public Health offers training and conducts research in biostatistics, chronic disease epidemiology, environmental health sciences, epidemiology of microbial diseases, and health policy and administration.
The Investigative Medicine Program awards a PhD degree to holders of MD degrees who pursue training in either laboratory-based or clinically based human investigation.
An affiliation agreement between the medical school and Grace-New Haven Hospital in 1965 created Yale New Haven Hospital (YNHH), which expanded in 1993 with the opening of the Children’s Hospital, and again in 2000 with the acquisition of the Psychiatric Hospital. The 14-story Smilow Cancer Hospital opened in 2009, and in 2012 YNHH acquired the Hospital of Saint Raphael, adding 533 beds and making it one of the largest hospitals in the United States. The medical campus has grown over the years to include the institutions listed.
Four miles away in West Haven, the affiliated VA Connecticut Healthcare System maintains active clinical, research, and education programs in conjunction with many medical school departments.
new construction/ acquisitions
The School of Medicine is located on the main campus of Yale University, one of the world’s great institutions of higher learning. With a residential college system modeled after those of Cambridge and Oxford, the undergraduate school is complemented by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and 12 professional schools, including Architecture, Art, Divinity, Drama, Engineering and Applied Science, Forestry and Environmental Studies, Law, Management, Music, Nursing, and Medicine, which includes the School of Public Health. In 2007, Yale acquired the 136-acre West Campus in West Haven.
Established in 1638, New Haven was the first planned municipality in America, organized geographically in nine squares, including a picturesque town green. Today, New Haven is a vibrant coastal city located on Long Island Sound between New York and Boston. Cultural opportunities abound, from dance, theater, and music to the treasures of Yale’s art and natural history museums.
2020 Population 134,023
University Profile (Yale totals include YSM)Faculty
A majority of students volunteer, and the COVID-19 pandemic did not diminish that undertaking. Students significantly bolstered endeavors to support COVID-19 vaccine education and out-reach, help reduce social isolation of older adults, support outreach to non-COVID-19 patients, and serve as patient navigators for refugees. Many ongoing community service projects for which students customarily volunteer include:
Yale Institute for Global Health is a university-wide effort led by the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health that serves as the focal point for research, education, and engagement with global partners to improve the health of individuals and populations worldwide.
Yale Office of International Affairs offers support to faculty in establishing and maintaining collaborations abroad, drawing on existing relationships on six continents. It maintains an online faculty research database.Norwegian University of Science and Technology is a partnership that provides support for the exchange of students, fellows, and faculty in such areas as cancer, immunology, neuroscience, and public health.
International students at Yale
Facts and Figures
1 Of 546 enrolled students, 60 students are currently on extended study pursuing a joint degree, completing a fully funded year of research, or a combination of research and clinical rotations.
2 All members of the Class of 2025 self-identified as female or male.
3 Students who identify as underrepresented in medicine.
4 Faculty, associates, and fellows data as of 6/30/21.
5 Includes faculty across Yale University.
6 NIH ranking is for the federal fiscal year ending 9/30/21.
7 Per faculty rank averaged over 2020 and 2021.
8 Yale New Haven Hospital data as of 9/30/21; includes the Children’s Hospital, Psychiatric Hospital, Smilow Cancer Hospital, and the former Hospital of Saint Raphael, which was acquired by YNHH on 9/12/12. Licensed beds include bassinets.
9 Number of patients treated and released from the ED. This does not include those ED visitors who were admitted.
10 Further breakdown can be found on the Education page.
11 Due to COVID travel restrictions, some students worked remotely with agencies abroad, some did U.S.-based internships, while others worked abroad in their home countries (unable to return due to COVID travel restrictions).
12 Research income does not equal award amounts because research dollars are not always spent in the same period in which they are awarded.
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