Mission Driven: Education, Research, Patient Care, and Community Partnership

Duke University School of Medicine is one of the nation’s leading institutions for health professions and biomedical education, clinical care, biomedical research, and community partnership. The school comprises more than 2,600 regular rank faculty physicians and researchers, nearly 2,000 students in a variety of health professions and graduate degree programs, and more than 6,200 staff. 

Planning for the School of Medicine began nearly a century ago in 1925 when businessman James Buchanan Duke, benefactor of Duke University and The Duke Endowment, bequeathed $4 million to establish the Duke University School of Medicine, as well as the Duke University School of Nursing and Duke University Hospital. Less than five years after the school opened in 1930, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) ranked Duke in the top quarter of medical schools in the country. In the nearly 100 years since, the School of Medicine has built an international reputation as a world-class academic medical institution. 
Duke Health encompasses the world-class academic health care and research of the Duke University Health System, Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University School of Nursing, Duke-NUS Medical School, Duke Global Health Institute, and the Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy.
Mary Klotman, MD


Duke University School of Medicine is led by Dean Mary E. Klotman, MD. She also serves as Executive Vice President for Health Affairs for Duke University and Chief Academic Officer for Duke Health. She works with a leadership team comprising 13 vice deans and a chief of staff, 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 26 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. 


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Education & Training Snapshot

Education Icon (graduation cap)

The Duke University School of Medicine offers a variety of health professions and graduate degree programs. These include the Doctor of Medicine program, recognized nationally for its unique patient-centered curriculum; the nation’s first Physician Assistant program; Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy doctorates; 16 biomedical PhD programs; an innovative Master of Biomedical Sciences, and numerous other master’s degree programs. The School of Medicine also is home to the Medical Scientist Training program which allows students to combine an MD degree with a PhD in the biomedical sciences in partnership with The Graduate School. Duke's Graduate Medical Education includes more than 160 residency and fellowship programs and more than 1,000 trainees. Explore the diversity of the school's student and trainee populations. 


About Education & Training

Biomedical PhD Students

Academic Year 2023-24

47     Biochemistry
32     Biostatistics
48     Cell and Molecular Biology
7       Cognitive Neuroscience
30     Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
10     Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
71     University Program in Genetics and Genomics
Integrative Immunobiology
26     Medical Physics
36     Molecular Cancer Biology
77     Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
62     Neurobiology
30     Pathology
38     Pharmacology
18     Population Health Sciences
4       Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program

Total Biomedical PhD Students: 623

Source: School of Medicine Finance Office, August 2023

Graduate Certificate Program Students

Academic Year 2023-24

Students in these certificate programs may be Biomedical PhD students, or graduate students in School of Medicine or other Duke professional schools.

53     Cell and Molecular Biology
63      Certificate in College Teaching
1        Cognitive Neuroscience
1       Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
34      Developmental and Stem Cell Biology
       Integrated Toxicology & Environmental Health Program

5        Global Health
32      Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Source: Duke School of Medicine Finance Office, August 2023

International Students

Academic Year 2023-24

466     Duke-NUS (Singapore)
           285   MD
           37     MD/PhD
           144    PhD
45       Duke Kunshan University

           28 MS in Global Health
           17 MS in Medical Physics

Sources: The Graduate School, August 2023
               DKU University, September 2023

Graduate Medical Education Trainees

Academic Year 2023-24

1,192   Residents and Fellows

Source: Graduate Medical Education, September 2023

Ranked Education and Training Programs

  • Anesthesiology: 3rd
  • Internal Medicine: 4th
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology: 4th, tied
  • Surgery: 4th
  • Radiology: 5th
  • Psychiatry: 8th, tied
  • Pediatrics: 10th, tied 
  • Research: 5th

Source: U.S. News & World Report, 2023

  • Physician Assistant, 1st, (U.S. News & World Report, 2023)
  • Physical Therapy, 7th, (U.S. News & World Report, 2021)

Research Snapshot

Research Icon (flask and magnifying glass)

Duke University School of Medicine is the vibrant home for the next generation of discovery. Our capacity for innovation stems from knitting together our existing strengths in fundamental basic science and deepening our growing translational capabilities, our integration with Duke’s nationally recognized clinical enterprise, Duke University Health System, and our unique scale and depth in clinical research. The combined efforts of the school’s basic and clinical faculty members in departments, centers, and institutes make Duke one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the country with $1 billion in sponsored research expenditures annually.


About Research

By the Numbers

  • Duke University School of Medicine is proud to claim 2 Nobel Laureates among its faculty.
  • 24,400 patients participated in more than 2,200 active studies (FY23)
  • In 2023, Duke University School of Medicine received more than $551 million in sponsored research grants from the National Institutes of Health to advance biomedical research, ranking seventh in the country among medical schools, according to the 2023 Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research report.
  • In 2023, Duke University received more than $701 million in total grants and contracts, including R&D, from the National Institutes of Health, ranking fifth in the country among universities and research institutions, according to the 2023 Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research report.

Patient Care Snapshot

illustration of clinician and other person

Patient care is an integral part of what makes Duke University School of Medicine a hub for pioneering research and innovation. Every day, our investigators, clinicians, and staff work together to translate research findings from the bench to the bedside, and to learn from patients as we improve their care. This collaborative spirit fuels the translation of scientific discoveries to improve human health locally and around the globe. Duke University School of Medicine, Duke University School of Nursing, and Duke University Health System, comprise Duke Health, a world-class academic health care and research center. The Health System advances Duke Health's clinical mission by delivering care across three hospitals — Duke University Hospital, Duke Regional Hospital, and Duke Raleigh Hospital — and outpatient services including Duke Primary Care and Duke Health Integrated Practices, Duke HomeCare & Hospice, Duke Health and Wellness, and multiple affiliations. 


About Patient Care

Patients Served

Inpatient Discharges, FY23

41,710    Duke University Hospital
15,466    Duke Regional Hospital
10,222    Duke Raleigh Hospital

67,398     Total Duke University Health System combined

Admissions, FY23

41,549    Duke University Hospital    
15,866    Duke Regional Hospital    
10,204    Duke Raleigh Hospital   

67,619   Total Duke University Health System combined

Outpatient Visits, FY23

1,244,363    Duke University Hospital    
236,000       Duke Regional Hospital        
397,299       Duke Raleigh Hospital        
925,553       Duke Primary Care
2,105,362    Private Diagnostic Clinic (PDC)

4,908,577     Total Duke University Health System and PDC combined

Source: Duke University Health System, August 2023

Faculty & Staff Snapshot


2,686     Regular Rank Faculty
245        Basic Science Faculty
2,420     Clinical Science Faculty
21          Other Faculty (in Centers, Institutes, Administration)

Source: School of Medicine Finance Office, July 1, 2023

Faculty Engaged in Education and Research 

1,367     Faculty

Source: School of Medicine Finance Office, FY23

School of Medicine Staff and Postdocs

6,226       Staff
354          Postdocs

Source: School of Medicine Finance Office, July 1, 2023

Duke University Health System Employees

26,278     Staff

Source: Duke University Health System, July 1, 2023

Faculty Memberships

(Faculty with a primary or secondary appointment in the School of Medicine)

2          Nobel Laureates
15        American Academy of Arts and Sciences
49        American Association for the Advancement of Science
73        American Society for Clinical Investigation
48        Association of American Physicians
1          Howard Hughes Freeman Hrabowski Scholar 
4          Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigators
25        National Academy of Medicine
14        National Academy of Sciences
174      Faculty holding distinguished professorships

Data as of August 2023


Faculty Resources

Faculty Diversity Snapshot

Duke University School of Medicine works to attract and retain a diverse cadre of talent who positively impact how we teach, learn, and serve in an increasingly diverse world. The school is committed to enhancing racial diversity and equity, inclusion, and respect for our faculty, staff, trainees, and students.   

While there is still significant work to be done, the school wants to acknowledge where progress has been made. Furthermore, the School of Medicine knows that representation alone is not the full story and will continue to promote and ensure an equitable and inclusive environment across the Duke community.

By the Numbers

  • From 2019 to 2023, Black or African American representation among regular rank faculty grew by 32%, from 107 faculty in 2019 to 141 faculty in 2023.  
  • Women’s representation on the faculty has shown steady growth over the years, increasing by 15% from 1,046 in 2019 to 1,200 in 2023. 

Source: Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, July 1, 2023 

Alumni Snapshot

Nearly 13,000 health professions alumni from the Duke University School of Medicine span across the country and world, with the largest contingency located in North Carolina, California, and Florida. School of Medicine alumni provide critical philanthropic support for the School of Medicine research and education missions, including financial assistance for students and funding for research initiatives and endowed professorships. The Duke Medical Alumni Association supports and promotes the interests of the Duke University School of Medicine and its extended community and nurtures lifelong relationships and learning. 

Health Professions Education Program Alumni (Living)

6,035      Doctor of Medicine (MD)
364         Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD)
2,136      Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (DPT)
2,847      Physician Assistant Program (MHS, PA)
93           Pathologists’ Assistant Program (MHS)
24           Clinical Leadership (MHS)
704         Clinical Research Training Program (MHS)
335         Master of Biomedical Sciences
289         Master of Biostatistics
344         Master of Management in Clinical Informatics
261         Master of Science in Medical Physics
24           Master of Science in Population Health Sciences

Total Living Alumni: 12,937

Source: Duke Medical Alumni Association, August 25, 2023

Community Partnership Snapshot

durham icon illustration

The Duke University School of Medicine is committed to serving others in the local community and beyond, and has expanded its reach to involve the community in all its missions, including patient care, educational programs, and research initiatives. We partner with numerous community organizations to improve health care and address social drivers of health among our neighbors in Durham and across North Carolina. 

Our community partnerships include:  

  • Wellness centers located in Durham public schools that support underprivileged students.  
  • A collaboration focused on promoting health equity within the Black community, addressing disparities, and enhancing clinical research engagement.  
  • In 13 senior housing sites, partnered with Lincoln Community Health Center, an initiative that delivers primary care, case management, and therapeutic services to elderly and disabled individuals.  
  • A bilingual program for uninsured Durham residents emphasizing in-home health education on chronic diseases, coupled with patient advocacy and support. 

By the Numbers

$945 million: Community Health Benefit, FY22

Duke University Health System contributed $945 million to benefit the community across North Carolina, including $145 million in financial assistance for residents needing health care.

$13 million: Direct Contributions, FY22

Duke provided more than $13 million in cash and in-kind support for community groups to help eliminate health care disparities and improve access to high-quality medical care, including:

  • $8 million for Lincoln Community Health Center and its satellite community clinics, which provide accessible, affordable, high-quality outpatient health care services to the medically underserved
  • $3 million for Durham County’s Emergency Medical Services program
  • $2 million in cash contributions to other community organizations

Source: Office of Community Health, Duke Health, September 2023


About Community Partnerships

Global Impact Snapshot

global partnerships icon

Duke University is internationally recognized as a leader in global health research, education, and capacity building. The Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), brings together knowledge and resources from across the university to address today’s most important global health issues. Faculty, staff, and students are engaged in collaborative research with partners in 60 countries, as well as Durham and other communities in the United States, to improve access to health care and address disparities in health outcomes. DGHI researchers are at the forefront of work to identify emerging infectious diseases and new pandemic threats, as well as cutting-edge research addressing the global rise in non-communicable diseases, access to mental health, and the health impacts of climate and environmental change. 


 Duke Global Health Institute 

By the Numbers

  • 87 core and 70 affiliate faculty members
  • 53 percent of the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) faculty members are from the School of Medicine
  • 247 active research grants in FY22
  • $63.6 million in annual external research funding in FY22
  • DGHI faculty have active research projects in 60 countries
  • DGHI enrolls 343 students in global health education programs at all levels (undergraduate, master’s, doctoral and medical programs)
  • Nearly 100 students participated in global health research during summer 2022, working with partners in 15 countries

Source: Duke Global Health Institute, July 1, 2023

Philanthropy Snapshot

Giving Icon (wrapped gift box)

Philanthropic support is critical to the Duke University School of Medicine’s success in carrying out its core missions of research, education, patient care, and community partnership. Outright gifts, endowments, and investment income constitute nearly 20 percent of the school’s annual revenue, helping to meet key needs across the institution: scholarships and financial aid that help students afford the cost of attendance, endowed professorships that help Duke recruit and retain outstanding faculty; innovative research; and new buildings, facilities, and infrastructure. 

In FY23, a record of nine new professorships were launched across several disciplines. Philanthropic support for endowed professorships is among the most lasting and meaningful investments that can be made in the School of Medicine. We aim to be the destination of choice for the nation’s most talented leaders and promising young faculty in biomedical sciences, and named professorships are perhaps the most valuable tool for the recruitment and retention of these high caliber individuals. They provide the brightest minds with the dedicated support needed to achieve boundary-pushing science, care for our patients and the community, and educate and train the next generation of leaders.  

By the Numbers

$123.4 million: Philanthropic Commitments 

$61.7 million: Private Grants

$185.1 million: Total FY23 Private Support  

All private support includes commitments from philanthropic donors, such as individuals and foundations, in addition to non-governmental grants that faculty receive to support their research. 

$2.9 million: Contributed to the School of Medicine Annual Giving

Annual Giving provides resources to support medical education and training, research, and flexible funds for emerging needs and new opportunities for the Duke University School of Medicine. 

$5.7 million: Reunion Giving

Source: Duke Health Development & Alumni Affairs, July 1, 2023


Giving to Duke Health