About the School

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


Comprised of 2,000 faculty physicians and researchers, the Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing and Duke University Health System create Duke Medicine. Duke University Health System is a world-class health care network. Founded in 1998 to provide efficient, responsive care, the health system offers a full network of health services and encompasses Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Primary Care, Private Diagnostic Clinic, Duke Home and Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations. 

School of Medicine Facts & Figures

Highlights important facts about the school


Timeline of academic, clinical and research achievements.


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What makes Duke University School of Medicine unique?

  • A 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 on in the country.
  • One of the oldest Medical Scientist Training Programs (MD/PhD) in the country.
  • Twenty-two clinical and basic science departments and numerous centers and institutes including the Duke Cancer Institute, Duke Human Vaccine Institute, and the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences.
  • Home to the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the world's largest academic clinical research organization.
  • One of the first and most prominent Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) sites.
  • Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore 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.

School’s 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

Ten strategic objectives serve as a roadmap for the activities of the School of Medicine leadership:

  1.  To educate clinicians and scientists who will be future leaders in improving human health through discovery, innovation and implementation of new knowledge
  2. To accelerate translation of basic and clinical discoveries to improvements in human health. 
  3. To have a collection of signature areas in research and in clinical care for which we are known world-wide
  4. To provide an infrastructure that will help our research portfolio reach its full potential, and provide fertile soil for new ideas and initiatives to grow.
  5. To take full advantage of being part of a great university through collaborations and multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary initiatives.
  6. To improve our local community through contributions to health care, education, the economy.
  7. To extend our reach and our contributions around the world.
  8. To attract the best people from the largest possible pool of talent, achieving diversity in every layer of our organization.
  9. To live within our means and find resources to support our individual and collective visions.
  10. To be accountable and transparent to our stakeholders