Stanford University School of Medicine

Stanford University School of Medicine

Stanford University School of Medicine

Stanford Med Logo

Mission Improve health through leadership, discoveries, and innovation.
Established 1908
University Stanford University
School Type Private
Dean Philip A. Pizzo
Faculty 801
Students 472
Location Stanford, CA, USA
Campus Suburban

Stanford University School of Medicine is a leading medical school located at Stanford University Medical Center in Stanford, California. Originally based in San Francisco, California as Cooper Medical College, it is the oldest continuously running medical school in the western United States. The medical school moved to the Stanford Campus in 1959.

Clinical rotations occur at several hospital sites. In addition to the Stanford University Medical Center (Stanford Hospital and Clinics) and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford has formal affiliations with Kaiser Permanente, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and the Palo Alto VA. Stanford medical students also manage two free clinics: Arbor Free Clinic in Menlo Park and Pacific Free Clinic in San Jose. Stanford is a cutting-edge center for translational and biomedical research (both basic science and clinical) and emphasizes medical innovation, novel methods, discoveries, and interventions in its integrated curriculum.



The School of Medicine's mission is to be a premier research-intensive medical school that improves health through leadership, collaborative discoveries, and innovations in patient care, education, and research.

Rankings and admissions

In the 2012 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Stanford was ranked 5th in the nation.[1] Admissions to Stanford is highly competitive. The acceptance rate is the second lowest in the country at 2.6% (only the Mayo Medical School is lower, with an acceptance rate of 2.5%).[2] In 2008, 6,567 people applied and 463 were interviewed for 86 spots. Matriculates had an average GPA of 3.76 and median MCAT score of 35. Additionally, Stanford University Medical Center (the medical school's major teaching affiliate) is ranked 17th out of 4,825 hospitals evaluated, making it the second highest ranked hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area, according to U.S. News' Best Hospitals 2011-2012.

Along with the School of Humanities and Science, the Stanford School of Medicine also runs the Biosciences Ph.D. Program which was ranked 1st in 2009 among graduate programs in the Biological Sciences by the US News and World Report[3]; for the incoming class in 2009, the program had an 11% acceptance rate.[4] In specialties, according to U.S. News for 2011, Stanford is #1 in genetics, genomics, and bioinformatics; #2 in biochemistry, biophysics, and structural biology, immunology, cell biology, molecular biology and neuroscience, #3 in infectious disease, and microbiology.


In 1855, Illinois physician Elias Samuel Cooper moved to San Francisco in the wake of the California Gold Rush. Cooper opened the first medical school on the West Coast in 1858, on Mission Street near 3rd Street in San Francisco. The school underwent many changes until Cooper's nephew, Levi Cooper Lane, established a new campus at the intersection of Webster and Sacramento Streets in 1882; at that time, the school was christened Cooper Medical College.[5]

In 1908, Stanford University adopted the Cooper Medical College as its affiliated medical institution. The school expanded and built up a reputation for excellence and providing cutting edge clinical care. In the 1950s, the Stanford Board of Trustees decided to move the school to the Stanford main campus in Palo Alto. Since then the faculty and students at the School of Medicine have made numerous contributions to both clinical and basic science innovations, cementing Stanford's international reputation as a leader in medicine.

In the 1980s the Medical Center launched a major expansion program. A new hospital was added in 1989 with 20 new operating rooms, state of the art intensive care and inpatient units, and other technological additions. The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital was completed in 1991, adding even more diversity to the Center.

The recently completed Clark Center (Bio-X Program) houses interdisciplinary research endeavors and serves to reinforce Stanford's commitment to providing the best possible patient care through innovation. The focus of the program is to combine bioengineering, chemical engineering, physics, and entrepreneurship with medical research and clinical education to pioneer the future of medicine through translating discoveries.

As of 2009, Stanford School of Medicine is undergoing rapid construction to further expand teaching and clinical opportunities. Slated to open in Spring 2010 is the Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, which will serve as the gateway to the School of Medicine as well as a new model of medical education by combining biomedical research with clinical education and information technology. Also opening in Spring of 2010 is the Lorry Lokey Stem Cell Research Building, which will be the largest stem cell and regenerative medicine facility in North America. The Stem Cell Research Building is expected to collaborated with the newly opened Stanford Cancer Center to form the Ludwig Center for Cancer Stem Cell Research and Medicine, which will allow researchers to take an interdisciplinary approach to the study of human cancer stem cells. Furthermore, the Stanford University Medical Center will undergo a renewal and expansion project to be started in late 2010. This project will rebuild Stanford Hospital & Clinics and the Emergency Department, modernize and expand Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, replace the School of Medicine facilities to accommodate modern technology, and renovate Hoover Pavilion, the original Palo Alto Hospital, to accommodate community physicians whose practices will need to be relocate.

Looking forward, Stanford looks to create an entirely new model of medical education, one that will enhance the university’s ability to act as a transformational agent in health care and biomedical research. This unique approach embraces cross-disciplinary teaching modalities, breakthrough technologies, and innovative ways to advance training in both clinical skills and scientific investigation throughout the medical school curriculum. In addition, Stanford aims to deepen public understanding of academic medicine by demonstrating how discoveries made in laboratories and clinics lead to profound improvements in human health.

New curriculum

The new curriculum was implemented in fall, 2003. As a consequence of the new curriculum, classroom lectures are reduced from 30 hrs/week to 12-22 hrs/week, and there are no classes on Wednesdays. For the first two years, the grading scheme is completely pass/fail, and there is no AOA or other forms of an honor system as to encourage cooperation among students. In the clinical years, evaluation will be through a criterion-based system and just like the first two years using a pass/fail evaluation scheme. Each student can choose from 1 of 12 scholarly concentrations/majors, and students at Stanford learn to think and act as scientists, a unique angle in medical education.

Notable research/achievements

  • 1956 - First use in Western hemisphere of linear accelerator to treat cancer
  • 1960 - First kidney transplant in California
  • 1964 - Demonstration of electrical stimulation of auditory nerve in deaf patients, paving the way for cochlear implants
  • 1968 - First adult human heart transplant in the United States
  • 1970 - Leonard Herzenberg develops the fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS) which revolutionizes the study of cancer cells and will be essential for purification of adult stem cells
  • 1974 - Isolation of genome of a virus that causes hepatitis B and a common form of liver cancer
  • 1979 - Discovery of dynorphin, a brain chemical 200 times more powerful than morphine
  • 1981 - First successful human combined heart/lung transplant in the world (fourth attempted worldwide)
  • 1984 - Isolation of a gene coding for part of the T-cell receptor, a key to the immune system’s function
  • 1988 - Isolation of pure hematopoietic stem cells from mice
  • 1993 - First clinical trial testing methods for preventing eating disorders in adolescents
  • 1996 - Discovery that the p53 protein, known to be involved in controlling cancerous tumors, works as an “emergency brake” on cancer development
  • 2000 - Solution of the structure of the RNA polymerase protein, a pivotal molecule that copies genes from DNA to RNA
  • 2005 - Discovery of obestatin, a hormone that suppresses appetite

Notable alumni

Notable faculty

References in popular culture

  • Dr. Cristina Yang, a character on the popular medical television drama Grey's Anatomy is a Stanford alumna and 'graduated first in her class', despite Stanford's medical school not actually having grades or rankings
  • Nick Rubashkin- Stanford Alum and Co-Editor of What I Learned in Medical School-personal stories of young doctors
  • Bob Kelso, Chief of Medicine on the NBC comedy Scrubs graduated '12th in his class' at Stanford.
  • At the end of Good Will Hunting, the character Skylar leaves Boston to enter medical school at Stanford.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Stanford University School of Earth Sciences — The School of Earth Sciences (often referred to as the SES, or at Stanford as just The School ) is one of three schools at Stanford awarding both graduate and undergraduate degrees. Stanford s first faculty member was a professor of geology as… …   Wikipedia

  • Stanford University Medical Center — (Stanford Hospital Clinics) is one of four hospitals affiliated with Stanford University and Stanford University School of Medicine, along with the Lucile Packard Children s Hospital, the Veteran s Administration Hospital in Palo Alto, and Santa… …   Wikipedia

  • Stanford University — Infobox University image size= 165px caption = Seal of Leland Stanford Junior University name = Leland Stanford Junior University motto = de. Die Luft der Freiheit weht (German) [cite speech|title=Die Luft der Freiheit weht On and… …   Wikipedia

  • Stanford University — Université Stanford Université Stanford Devise Die Luft der Freiheit weht (allemand) Le vent de la liberté souffle Nom original Leland Stanford Junior University Informations Fondation 1891 Type Université privée Localisation Palo Alto …   Wikipédia en Français

  • University of Washington School of Medicine — Infobox University name = University of Washington School of Medicine established = 1946 type = Public dean = Paul G. Ramsey city = Seattle state = Washington country = United States students = 810 faculty = 1,800 (full time) 4,900 (volunteer)… …   Wikipedia

  • Stanford Law School — Infobox Law School name = Stanford Law School established = 1893 type = Private endowment = parent endowment = $17.2 Billion head = Larry Kramer city = Stanford state = California country = USA students = 534… …   Wikipedia

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business — Infobox University name = Stanford Graduate School of Business image size = 188px caption = latin name = motto = established = 1925 closed = type = Private affiliation = endowment = $1,005.1 million From the school s official Report to Investors… …   Wikipedia

  • Mount Sinai School of Medicine — Established 1963 Type Private Religious affiliation Nonsectarian …   Wikipedia

  • Willamette University College of Medicine — Infobox University name = Willamette University College of Medicine native name = latin name = motto = established = 1867 type = Defunct as of 1913 city =Salem state =Oregon country =USA campus = free label = Fate free = Merged with University of …   Wikipedia

  • List of Stanford University people — This is a list of encyclopedic persons (students, alumni, faculty or academic affiliates) associated with Stanford University in the United States. University presidents #David Starr Jordan (1891 – 1913) #John Casper Branner (1913 – 1915) #Ray… …   Wikipedia