Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School

Harvard Medical School
Established 1782
Type Private
Endowment $3.0 billion[1]
Dean Jeffrey S. Flier
Academic staff
Students 1,563
705 MD
147 DMD
556 PhD
155 MD-PhD
Location Boston, Massachusetts, US
Campus Urban
Website hms.harvard.edu

Harvard Medical School (HMS) is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. It has been ranked the #1 research medical school in the United States by U.S. News & World Report every year since the magazine began publishing medical school rankings.

The school has a large and distinguished faculty to support its missions of education, research, and clinical care. These faculty hold appointments in the basic science departments on the HMS Quadrangle, and in the clinical departments located in multiple Harvard-affiliated hospitals and institutions in Boston. There are approximately 2,900 full- and part-time voting faculty members consisting of assistant, associate, and full professors, and over 5,000 full or part-time, non-voting instructors.

The current dean of the medical school is Jeffrey S. Flier, an endocrinologist and the former Chief Academic Officer of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, who succeeded neurologist Joseph B. Martin, M.D., Ph.D on September 1, 2007.[2]


  • History 1
  • Teaching affiliates 2
  • Curriculum 3
  • Student life 4
    • Second-year show 4.1
    • Societies 4.2
  • Partners Harvard Medical International 5
  • Notable alumni 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Massachusetts Medical College at Mason St. (Old building)
Harvard Medical School quadrangle in Longwood Medical Area.
Harvard Medical School quadrangle in Longwood Medical Area.

The school is the third-oldest medical school in the United States (after Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons) and was founded by John Warren on September 19, 1782, with Benjamin Waterhouse, and Aaron Dexter. The first lectures were given in the basement of Harvard Hall and then in Holden Chapel. The first class, composed of two students, graduated in 1788.

It moved from Cambridge to 49 Marlborough Street in Boston in 1810. From 1816 to 1846, the school, known as Massachusetts Medical College of Harvard University, was located on Mason Street. In 1847 the school relocated to North Grove Street, and then to Copley Square in 1883.

The school moved to its current location on Longwood Avenue in 1906, where the "Great White Quadrangle" or HMS Quad with its five white marble buildings was established.[3][4] The architect for the campus was the Boston firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.

The four major flagship teaching hospitals of Harvard Medical School are Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Children's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.[5]

Teaching affiliates


In 2015, Harvard introduced the new Pathways curriculum, an approach which combines the problem based learning approach developed at McMaster University Medical School, with more student centered electives after core clerkship.

Prior to 2015, Harvard had utilized the New Pathway curriculum, which was mainly centered around problem based learning.

Student life

Second-year show

Every winter, second year students at HMS write, direct, and perform a full-length musical parody of Harvard, their professors, and themselves. The year 2007 was the centennial performance as the Class of 2009 presented "Joseph Martin and the Amazing Technicolor White Coat"[6] to sellout crowds at Roxbury Community College on February 22, 23, and 24.[7]


Upon matriculation, medical students at Harvard Medical School are divided into five societies named after famous alumni. Each society has a master along with several associate society masters who serve as academic advisors to students.[8] In the New Pathway program, students work in small group tutorials and lab sessions within their societies. Every year, the five societies compete in "Society Olympics" for the famed "Pink Flamingo" trophy in a series of events (e.g., dance-off, dodgeball, limbo contest) that test the unorthodox talents of the students in each society. The most recent champions are London (Class of 2015), London (Class of 2014) and Cannon (Class of 2013). London (HST) has won the competition most frequently.

Partners Harvard Medical International

Harvard Medical School (HMS) has a medical-consulting arm, Partners Harvard Medical International (PHMI). PHMI has long-standing collaborative relationships with medical faculties at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut, Lebanon. Other long-standing relationships include PHMI's work with Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan. In 2007 PHMI began a 10‑year collaboration with Lebanese American University; in October 2009 LAU opened a new medical school with assistance from PHMI.[9]

Notable alumni

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
John R. Adler 1980 academic [10]
Robert B. Aird academic
Tenley Albright figure skater
David Altshuler geneticist
Harold Amos microbiologist [11]
William French Anderson geneticist
Christian B. Anfinsen biochemist, Nobel laureate
Paul S. Appelbaum 1976 academic
Jerry Avorn 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 [12]
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. [13]
Roscoe Brady biochemist
Eugene Brody 1944 psychiatrist
Henry Bryant physician
Yōichi Takahashi physician, music composer
Rafael Campo poet
Ethan Canin author
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)
Stanley Cobb neurologist
Ernest Codman physician
Albert Coons physician, immunologist, Lasker Award winner
Michael Crichton author
Harvey Cushing renowned neurosurgeon
Elliott Cutler surgeon
Hallowell Davis (1896–1992) researcher of hearing, contributor to the invention of the electroencephalograph. [14]
Martin Delany One of the first African Americans to attend, and the first African-American field officer in the United States. He was expelled after a faculty vote to end the admission of blacks. [15]
Fe del Mundo pediatrician, first Filipino and possibly first woman admitted to HMS (1936)
Allan S. Detsky physician
James Madison DeWolf soldier; physician
Peter Diamandis entrepreneur
Daniel DiLorenzo entrepreneur; neurosurgeon; inventor
Thomas Dwight anatomist
Lawrence Eron infectious disease physician
Edward Evarts neuroscientist
Sidney Farber pathologist
Paul Farmer infectious disease physician; global health
Jonathan Fielding past president American College of Preventive Medicine; health administrator; academic
Harvey V. Fineberg academic administrator
John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald Mayor of Boston (1906–08; 1910–14)
Thomas Fitzpatrick dermatologist
Judah Folkman scientist
Bill Frist U.S. Senator (1995–2007)
Atul Gawande surgeon, author
Charles Brenton Huggins physician; physiologist; Nobel laureate
George Lincoln Goodale botanist
Robert Goldwyn surgeon, editor-in-chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for 25 years [16]
Ernest Gruening Governor of the Alaska Territory (1939–53); U.S. Senator (1959–69)
I. Kathleen Hagen Murder suspect
Dean Hamer geneticist
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
David Ho infectious disease physician
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. physician; poet
William James philosopher
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
Jim Kim physician, global health leader, current President of the World Bank
Melvin Konner author and biological anthropologist
Peter D. Kramer 1976 psychiatrist
Charles Krauthammer 1975 columnist
Daniel Laing, Jr. One of the first African Americans to attend, and one of the first African American physicians. He was expelled after a faculty vote to end the admission of blacks, but finished his degree elsewhere. [15]
Philip J. Landrigan epidemiologist and pediatrician
Aristides Leão biologist
Philip Leder geneticist
Simon LeVay neuroscientist
Pam Ling castmate on The Real World: San Francisco [17]
Joseph Lovell Surgeon General of the U.S. Army (1818–36)
Karl Menninger psychiatrist
John S. Meyer physician
Randell Mills scientist
Vamsi Mootha systems biologist and geneticist
Siddhartha Mukherjee physician, author
Joseph Murray surgeon
Joel Mark Noe plastic surgeon
Amos Nourse U.S. Senator (1857)
David Page biologist
Hiram Polk academic
Geoffrey Potts academic
Morton Prince neurologist
Jayantibhai Patel Cardiothoracic surgeon
Anurita Kapur Neurosurgeon
Alexander Rich biophysicist
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.
Wilfredo Santa-Gómez author
George E. Shambaugh, Jr. Otolaryngologist
Alfred Sommer academic
Shanil Keshwani Canadian Intelligence
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
Felicia Stewart physician
Lubert Stryer academic; coauthor of Biochemistry
Yellapragada Subbarow biochemist
James B. Sumner chemist
Helen B. Taussig cardiologist; helped develop Blalock–Taussig shunt
John Templeton, Jr. president of the John Templeton Foundation
E. Donnall Thomas physician
Lewis Thomas essayist
Abby Howe Turner academic
Richard Urman physician
George Eman Vaillant psychiatrist
Mark Vonnegut author; pediatrician
Joseph Warren soldier
Andrew Weil proponent of alternative 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, [18]
David Wu Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1999–2011)
Jeffries Wyman anatomist
Yang Huanming academic
Alfred Worcester general practitioner

See also


  1. ^ "Harvard Medicine — Basic Facts". Retrieved February 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Dean of Harvard's Faculty of Medicine". 
  3. ^ "Harvard Medical School — History". Retrieved February 25, 2007. 
  4. ^ "Countway Medical Library — Records Management — Historical Notes". Archived from the original on September 1, 2006. Retrieved February 25, 2007. 
  5. ^ "The Dean's Report" (PDF). Harvard Medical Dean's Report 2007-2008. 
  6. ^ "Class of 2009 Second Year Show". Retrieved March 11, 2007. 
  7. ^ "SECOND YEAR SHOW: New Curriculum Debuts in Second Year Show". Retrieved March 11, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Medical Education at Harvard Medical School". 
  9. ^ Partners Harvard Medical International
  10. ^ "John R. Adler, MD | Stanford Medicine". med.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2015-03-26. 
  11. ^ "Dr. Harold Amos, 84; Mentor to Aspiring Minority Physicians". Los Angeles Times. 2003-03-08. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  12. ^ "Arie Belldegrun M.D. | David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA". People.healthsciences.ucla.edu. Retrieved 2013-06-27. 
  13. ^ Pearce, Jeremy. "Dr. Ira B. Black, 64, Leader in New Jersey Stem Cell Effort, Dies", The New York Times, January 12, 2006. Retrieved August 13, 2009.
  14. ^ Saxon, Wolfgang. "Hallowell Davis, 96, an Explorer Who Charted the Inner Ear, Dies", New York Times, September 10, 1992. Accessed July 19, 2010.
  15. ^ a b  
  16. ^ Murray, Joseph E. M.D., Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, October 2004, Volume 114, accessed March 20, 2011.
  17. ^ Biography page for Pam Ling at mtv.com
  18. ^ Medicine: Negro Fellow Time, 29 October 1934

External links

  • Official website