The Duke University School of Medicine along with the Duke University School of Nursing and Duke University Health System create Duke Health. Established in 1925 by James B. Duke, the School of Medicine has earned its reputation as an integral part of one of the world’s foremost patient care and biomedical research institutions.
Clinical rotations by medical students and residents occur within the Duke University Health System, a fully integrated academic health care system encompassing a tertiary-care hospital and specialty clinics on the Medical Center campus, two community hospitals, a VA hospital, home health and hospice services, a network of primary care physicians, and other affiliated partners across the SE United States. Duke University Hospital is consistently ranked among the top 10 of some 5,700 American hospitals by US News and World Report. Furthermore, the School of Medicine is especially noted for its groundbreaking biomedical research, bringing in nearly $700 million in NIH-sponsored projects in 2016.
In 1925, James B. Duke made a bequest to establish the Duke School of Medicine, Duke School of Nursing, and Duke Hospital, with the goal of improving health care in the Carolinas and nationwide. Three thousand applicants applied to the new medical school in 1929 and 70 first- and third-year students were selected, including four women, for the School’s inaugural class. In 1935, just five years after it opened, Duke was ranked among the top 25 percent of medical schools in the country by the AAMC.
According to US News and World Report, the Duke University School of Medicine consistently ranks in the top ten medical schools in the United States.
Admission to the school’s medical degree program is highly competitive, with more than 7,500 applicants for approximately 115 openings each year. The school ranks very highly among its peers in the diversity of its medical students. Among the draws of the program is its unique curriculum, which gives students contact with patients a year earlier than at most other medical schools and includes an entire year devoted to independent research. Many students use the year to begin studies toward a second degree; nearly one-quarter earn a PhD, Master of Public Health (MPH), MBA, JD, or master’s degree in addition to an MD. About 19.5 percent are enrolled in Duke’s Medical Scientist Training Program, which leads to both an MD and a PhD in health-related basic biomedical or social science research. Created to train highly qualified students as physician-scientists, the Duke program is the fourth oldest in the country, has been continuously funded by the NIH for almost 50 years, and is highly regarded nationally.
Duke opened a medical school collaboration with the National University of Singapore. The Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School graduated their first class in 2011. The curriculum is similar in structure though the Duke-NUS campus focuses heavily on their team-based learning method called TeamLEAD (Learn, Engage, Apply, Develop).