Since the University of Michigan Medical School opened its doors in 1850 — under the leadership of Abram Sager, M.D., who convinced the University’s regents to approve the establishment of a medical department, the predecessor to our current school — our faculty and staff have excelled in the fulfillment of our mission:
To educate students, physicians, and biomedical scholars and to provide a spectrum of comprehensive knowledge, research, patient care and service of the highest quality to the people of the state of Michigan and beyond.
No dean fulfills this mission alone. Our current dean, James O. Woolliscroft, M.D., was appointed on July 1, 2007. He shares responsibility for leading the school with an outstanding team of dedicated faculty who serve as deans and department chairs, sit on the school’s Executive Committee that represents the 3,160 faculty who are part of the Medical School, as well as talented senior staff who support the faculty.
Collectively, they have enhanced Michigan’s reputation as one of the top medical schools in the United States — an academic powerhouse that consistently earns high marks for patient care and ranks near the top of all schools in National Institutes of Health research awards.
Since the first class of Michigan medical students paid a mere $5 for two years of study, education has been a hallmark of the Medical School. Our commitment to training the leaders of tomorrow is woven throughout our 163-year history:
- Michigan was one of the first major medical schools to admit female and minority students.
- Michigan was the first medical school in the United States to recognize the importance of, and to build, a university hospital for physician instruction.
- Michigan was a pioneer in the introduction of the modern science-based curriculum, and was among the first schools to change the role of the student from passive observer to active participant in the learning process through high-caliber laboratory instruction and clerkships.
Dean Woolliscroft is committed to education in all forms, and to ensuring that Michigan remains a place where our students learn from the very best educators. This includes the development of a new medical student curriculum that will better prepare our graduates to practice medicine in a rapidly changing health care environment.
With a bow to our rich history, our Medical School leaders — and the entire community of Medicine at Michigan — are focused on creating the future of healthcare through discovery.