About the School

Established in 1930, Duke University School of Medicine is the youngest of the nation’s top medical schools. Ranked third among medical schools in the nation, the School takes pride in being an inclusive community of outstanding learners, investigators, clinicians, and staff where interdisciplinary collaboration is embraced and great ideas accelerate translation of fundamental scientific discoveries to improve human health locally and around the globe. 

Composed of more than 2,500 faculty physicians and researchers, more than 1,300 students, and more than 6,000 staff, the Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing and Duke University Health System comprise Duke Health. a world-class academic medical center. The Health System encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Primary Care, Duke Home and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations. 

Facts & Figures  |  School Strategic Plan 


Core Values

  • Excellence in education, research and patient care
  • Respect for and inclusion of people from all backgrounds
  • Commitment to service, solving real world problems
  • Sense of urgency in transforming discoveries into improved human health
  • Professionalism and integrity demonstrated in all aspects of performance and effort

Mary Klotman, MD

School Leadership

Duke University School of Medicine is led by Mary E. Klotman, M.D., Dean and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. Dean Klotman works with a leadership team comprising 12 vice deans, a strategic planning officer, chief diversity and a communications officer, as well as department chairs and center and institute directors. Associate and assistant deans also assist the dean with the oversight and management of the School of Medicine.


Departments, Centers, and Institutes

The Duke University School of Medicine comprises 24 clinical and basic science departments. The school’s strong emphasis on research to improve clinical outcomes encourages collaborations among faculty members, departments and other schools at the university, and has resulted in the development of numerous centers and institutes.


What makes Duke University School of Medicine unique?

  • Seal: Best Medical Schools Nationally Ranked #3 in research 2020-21
    Ranked No. 3 for research among 122 medical schools in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of graduate programs.
  • unique curriculum for MD students that allows students to study the core basic sciences for one year instead of two, giving them the opportunity to devote their entire third year to a scholarly research project. Students care for patients during their second year, a full year earlier than their peers.
  • The nation’s first Physician Assistant Program created at Duke in 1965 and ranked number one in the country.
  • One of the country’s first Medical Scientist Training Programs (MD/PhD).
  • Home to the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the world's largest academic clinical research organization.
  • Ranked 10th in the nation for NIH Funding.
  • One of the first Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) sites designated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Duke-NUS Medical School, which offers Duke’s unique curriculum to students in Singapore.
  • Close proximity and collaboration with Duke’s other professional schools, including the Pratt School of Engineering, Fuqua School of Business, Divinity School, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Sanford School of Public Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment, and Law School.

Our Commitment to Creating an Anti-Racist Environment

In June 2020, the School of Medicine, in alignment with Duke University and Duke Health, announced its Moments to Movement initiative to acknowledge and dismantle systemic racism, and institute an inclusive, anti-racist environment and policies. One year later, in June 2021, Dean Mary Klotman launched a comprehensive strategic plan designed by four key stakeholder constituent groups: faculty, health professions students, graduate students and postdocs, and staffto build longitudinal strategies to dismantle racism in our local environment and the broader community and to advance knowledge and mitigation strategies to address the health impacts of racial inequity.

Moments to Movement Strategic Plan


Our Continued COVID-19 Response

As the coronavirus pandemic waned and then resurged throughout our communities and nation in 2021, Duke University School of Medicine has continued to innovate to meet immediate needs, prevent and treat the virus in our communities, and prepare for future pandemics. Consistent with its history in patient care and research, Duke is leading and contributing at a local, national and international level, and partnering with clinical and scientific colleagues all over the world to share resources, knowledge and experience to battle the pandemic.

COVID-19 Response


Duke Science and Technology

Duke University in 2019 initiated a university-wide effort to elevate and sustain excellence in the sciences with new funding for research, recruitment of nationally recognized scholars, and retainment of highly regarded scientific leaders at Duke. Launched with a $100 million investment from The Duke Endowment — divided equally between the university and the School of Medicine — Duke Science and Technology (DST) positions Duke to maximize the potential of revolutionary advances in fields such as genomics, data science, and artificial intelligence.

The effort focuses on three broad thematic pillars: Resilience: Fortifying the Body and Brain, which seeks to harness the body’s intrinsic mechanisms to fight disease; Computing, involving fields such as artificial intelligence and machine learning; and Materials Science, which seeks to engineer new materials to solve challenges in disparate fields.

The School of Medicine’s primary DST responsibility is to advance the Body and Brain Resilience pillar, focusing on four broad areas where Duke has significant strengths: brain, cancer, immunology, and viruses. Five DST Scholars have been recruited as faculty in the School of Medicine.

Duke Science and Technology


Community Engagement

Duke Health strives to improve the health of people and neighborhoods and promote good will as ambassadors of the communities we serve. In fiscal year 2020, the Duke University Health System provided $753 million in total community benefit and investment, including $133 million in financial assistance for 275,752 patients needing health care. Duke provided over $12 million in direct contributions to community-based organizations working to support affordable housing, education, community health, and other needs.

Community Engagement

Duke in Durham

Duke in Durham

Duke University is located in Durham as part of the Research Triangle Park, along with Raleigh and Chapel Hill. The Triangle is commonly recognized for its availability of jobs, diversity, relatively low cost of living, affordable housing, safe communities, culture, and nationally-ranked food scene. Each city in the Triangle is anchored by major universities: Duke University and N.C. Central University in Durham; N.C. State University in Raleigh; and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill. In 2021, U.S. World & News Report ranked the Raleigh and Durham area the #2 Best Place to Live nationwide. 

Duke in Durham