A Proud History
The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has trained medical students, served the community and been at the forefront of discovery in Cleveland for more than 165 years.
Founded in 1843
Located in downtown Cleveland, the Medical Department of Western Reserve College (also known as Cleveland Medical College) was founded in 1843. By 1865, the medical school's graduates included Nancy Talbot Clarke, the second woman to graduate from an American medical school, six of the first seven female physicians in the United States and the third African American to graduate from medical school.
The Western Reserve College Medical Department's reputation as a leader in medical education continued to grow. In a 1911 survey of 155 North American medical schools commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Abraham Flexner reported that the Western Reserve University medical school was second only to Johns Hopkins University.
Forty years later, the Western Reserve University School of Medicine revolutionized medical education with a new curriculum that integrated the basic and clinical sciences and conformed to students' needs. Created by faculty members Dr. Joseph Wearn, Dr. T. Hale Ham and Dr. John L. Caughey Jr., the curriculum of 1952 became the most progressive medical curriculum in the country at the time. Central themes included the following ideas: teaching should be based on problem solving; students should accept responsibility for their own education; basic principles of medicine should be emphasized; curriculum should be designed as a continuum by faculty subject committees not by departments; teaching should be interdisciplinary; and basic sciences should be integrated with clinical sciences. The tenets of the 1952 curriculum remain basic principles of today's Western Reserve2 curriculum.
In addition to being one of the foremost medical schools, the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has established itself as a research powerhouse. The School of Medicine's research program began in 1887 with the construction of the H. K. Cushing Laboratory and the Physiological Laboratory in downtown Cleveland. Since then, faculty and alumni have accomplished major achievements in the medical field. Highlights include development of the modern technique for human blood transfusions, the process of chlorinating drinking water and an early heart-lung machine used during open-heart surgery; discovery of the Hageman factor in blood clotting and of the gene for osteoarthritis; the first surgical treatments of coronary artery disease; and creation of the world's first human artificial chromosome.
Largest Biomedical Research Institution in Ohio
Today, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is one of the nation's top 25 medical schools and the largest biomedical research institution in Ohio. Among its former and current faculty and alumni are eight Nobel laureates, six members of the Institute of Medicine, two members of the National Academy of Sciences, two U.S. Surgeon Generals and the first woman director of the Center for Disease Control.