Skip to Main Content


Photo by Anthony DeCarlo
Medical students wore masks and socially distanced during the 2020 White Coat Ceremony, which was live-streamed for guests who were unable to attend due to the pandemic.
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, 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.

Students by Degree Program

MD Program1
1 Of 550 enrolled students in the MD Program, 56 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.
Subprogram Total Students
MD 373
MD-PhD 143
Total MD students 550

Subprogram Total Students
Physician Associate Program 119
Physician Assistant Online Program 129
Total MMSc (PA-C) students 248

All Programs
Program Total Students
MD program 550
MMSc (PA-C) 248
MPH 383
PhD 373
Total students, all programs 1,554