There are approximately 2,900 full- and part-time voting faculty members consisting of assistant, associate, and full professors, and over 5,000 full or part-time, non-voting instructors.
Harvard is the third-oldest medical school in the United States (after Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons) and was founded by John Warren on September 19, 1782, with Benjamin Waterhouse, and Aaron Dexter, "professor of chemistry and materia medica (pharmacology)."
Lectures were first held in the basement of Harvard Hall, then later in Holden Chapel. Students paid no tuition, but purchased tickets to five or six daily lectures. The first two students graduated in 1788.
In 1810 the school moved to Boston – first to what is now downtown Washington Street; then Mason Street (1816–1846, during which time it was sometimes referred to as the Massachusetts Medical College); North Grove Street (1847); Copley Square (1883); and finally its current location (the Longwood Medical Area) in 1906. In the Longwood campus there are five original marble-faced buildings of the quadrangle, which are used for laboratories, amphitheaters, and research space.
When Charles William Eliot became Harvard's president in 1869, he found the medical school in the worst condition of any part of the university; his reforms laid the groundwork for its transformation into one of the leading medical schools in the world.
Harvard Medical School faculty have been associated with a number of important medical and public-health innovations:
In mid-1847, Professor Walter Channing's proposal that women be admitted to lectures and examinations was rejected by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Nonetheless, Harriot Kezia Hunt was soon after giving permission to attend medical lectures, but in 1850 this permission was withdrawn.
In 1866 two women with extensive medical education elsewhere applied but were denied admission. In 1867 a single faculty member's vote blocked the admission of Susan Dimock. In 1872 Harvard declined a gift of $10,000 conditioned on medical school admitting women medical students on the same term as men. A similar offer of $50,000, by group of ten women including Marie Elizabeth Zakrzewska, was declined in 1882, a committee of five was appointed to study the matter. After the medical school moved from North Grove Street to Boylston Street in 1883, professor Henry Ingersoll Bowditch's proposal that the North Grove Street premises be used for medical education for women was rejected.
In 1943 a dean's committee recommended the admission of women, the proportion of men and women being dependent solely on the qualifications of the applicants. In 1945, the first class of women was admitted; projected benefits included helping male students learn to view women as equals, increasing the number of physicians in lower-paid specialties typically shunned by men, and replacing the weakest third of all-male classes with better-qualified women. By 1972 about one fifth of Harvard medical students were women.
In 1968, in response to a petition signed by hundreds of medical students, the faculty established a commission on relations with the black community in Boston; at the time less than one percent of Harvard medical students were black. By 1973 the number of black students admitted had tripled, and by the next year it had quadrupled.
In the early 20th century, the "block system", under which "each subject was treated intensively for a period and then dropped entirely", was eliminated. In addition to the objective to test knowledge over memory, time was reduced.
In 2015, Harvard introduced a new "Pathways" curriculum, intended to "foster active learning and critical thinking; earlier clinical experience; and advanced clinical and student-tailored basic/population science experiences that will provide customized pathways for every student."
The Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST) offers an alternative MD program with a stronger emphasis on biomedical research. The HST MD program is significantly smaller than the Pathways program, accepting only 30 applicants every year.
Harvard Medical School (HMS) has a medical-consulting arm, Partners Harvard Medical International (PHMI). PHMI has long-standing collaborative relationships with medical faculties at Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, Alfaisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut, Lebanon. Other long-standing relationships include PHMI's work with Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo Medical and Dental University in Japan. In 2007 PHMI began a 10‑year collaboration with Lebanese American University; in October 2009 LAU opened a new medical school with assistance from PHMI.
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|John R. Adler||1980||academic|||
|Robert B. Aird||academic|
|Tenley Albright||figure skater|
|William French Anderson||geneticist|
|Christian B. Anfinsen||biochemist, Nobel laureate|
|Paul S. Appelbaum||1976||academic|
|Babak Azizzadeh||Facial surgery specialist and surgeon for Mary Jo Buttafuoco after she was shot by Amy Fisher in 1992.|
|Arie S. Belldegrun||director of the UCLA Institute of Urologic Oncology and is Professor and Chief of Urologic Oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine|||
|Rebecka Belldegrun||ophthalmologist and businesswoman|
|Herbert Benson||cardiologist, author of The Relaxation Response|
|Ira Black||neuroscientist and stem cell researcher who served as the first director of the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey.|||
|Yōichi Takahashi||physician, music composer|
|Walter Bradford Cannon||physiologist|
|William B. Castle||hematologist|
|George C. S. Choate||physician|
|Gilbert Chu||physician, biochemist|
|Aram Chobanian||President of Boston University (2003–2005)|
|Albert Coons||physician, immunologist, Lasker Award winner|
|Hallowell Davis (1896–1992)||researcher of hearing, contributor to the invention of the electroencephalograph.|||
|Martin Delany||One of the first African Americans to attend, and the first African-American field officer in the US; expelled after a faculty vote to end the admission of blacks.|||
|Fe del Mundo||pediatrician, first Filipino and possibly first woman admitted to HMS (1936)|
|Allan S. Detsky||physician|
|James Madison DeWolf||soldier; physician|
|Daniel DiLorenzo||entrepreneur; neurosurgeon; inventor|
|Lawrence Eron||infectious disease physician|
|Paul Farmer||infectious disease physician; global health|
|Jonathan Fielding||past president American College of Preventive Medicine; health administrator; academic|
|Harvey V. Fineberg||academic administrator|
|Elliott S. Fisher||1981||director of The Dartmouth Institute|
|John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald||Mayor of Boston (1906–08; 1910–14)|
|Bill Frist||U.S. Senator (1995–2007)|
|Atul Gawande||surgeon, author|
|Charles Brenton Huggins||physician; physiologist; Nobel laureate|
|George Lincoln Goodale||botanist|
|Robert Goldwyn||surgeon, editor-in-chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery for 25 years|||
|Ernest Gruening||Governor of the Alaska Territory (1939–53); U.S. Senator (1959–69)|
|I. Kathleen Hagen||Murder suspect|
|Alice Hamilton||first female faculty member at Harvard Medical School.|
|J. Hartwell Harrison||surgeon - first kidney transplant, editor-in-chief of Campbell's Urology (4th ed.)|
|Michael R. Harrison||pediatrician|
|Bernadine Healy||Director of the National Institutes of Health (1991–93); CEO of the American Red Cross (1999–2001)|
|Ronald A. Heifetz||academic|
|Lawrence Joseph Henderson||biochemist|
|Edward H. Hill||1867||founder of Central Maine Medical Center|||
|David Ho||infectious disease physician|
|Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.||physician; poet|
|Sachin H. Jain||2008||CEO, CareMore Health System; Obama administration official|
|Mildred Fay Jefferson Pro||Life Activist; first African American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School.|
|Clay Johnston||Dean of the Dell Medical School at UT Austin|
|Elliott P. Joslin||diabetolologist|
|Nathan Cooley Keep||physician who founded the Harvard School of Dental Medicine|
|Jonny Kim||Navy SEAL, ER physician, Astronaut|
|Jim Kim||physician, global health leader, current President of the World Bank|
|Melvin Konner||author and biological anthropologist|
|Peter D. Kramer||1976||psychiatrist|
|Daniel Laing, Jr.||One of the first African Americans to attend, and one of the first African American physicians; expelled after a faculty vote to end the admission of blacks, but finished his degree elsewhere.|||
|Theodore K. Lawless||dermatologist, medical researcher, and philanthropist|
|Philip J. Landrigan||epidemiologist and pediatrician|
|Pam Ling||castmate on The Real World: San Francisco|||
|Joseph Lovell||Surgeon General of the U.S. Army (1818–36)|
|John S. Meyer||physician|
|Vamsi Mootha||systems biologist and geneticist|
|Siddhartha Mukherjee||physician, author|
|Joel Mark Noe||plastic surgeon|
|Amos Nourse||U.S. Senator (1857)|
|Borna Nyaoke-Anoke||AIDS researcher|||
|Oswald Hope Robertson||medical scientist|
|Richard Starr Ross||Dean Emeritus of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, Former President of the American Heart Association.|
|George E. Shambaugh, Jr.||Otolaryngologist|
|Philip Solomon (psychiatrist)||academic|
|Paul Spangler||Naval surgeon and record-setting Senior Long distance runner|
|Samuel L. Stanley||5th President of Stony Brook University, academic, physician, biomedical researcher|
|Jill Stein||1979||physician; activist; politician|||
|Lubert Stryer||academic; coauthor of Biochemistry|
|James B. Sumner||chemist|
|Helen B. Taussig||cardiologist; helped develop Blalock–Taussig shunt|
|John Templeton, Jr.||president of the John Templeton Foundation|
|E. Donnall Thomas||physician|
|Abby Howe Turner||academic|
|George Eman Vaillant||psychiatrist|
|Mark Vonnegut||author; pediatrician|
|Andrew Weil||proponent of alternative medicine and integrative medicine|
|Paul Dudley White||cardiologist|
|Robert J. White||neurosurgeon (Performed first monkey head transplant in the 1970s)|
|Patrisha Zobel de Ayala||Chairman of World Medical Association, surgeon, anesthesiologist, neurologist, medical researcher|
|Charles F. Winslow||early atomic theorist|
|Leonard Wood||Chief of Staff of the United States Army ; Governor-General of the Philippines|
|Louis Tompkins Wright||researcher, practitioner, first black Fellow of the American College of Surgeons,|||
|David Wu||Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1999–2011)|
|Alfred Worcester||general practitioner|
|Patrick Tyrance||1997||Orthopedic surgeon and former Academic All American linebacker, for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football and picked by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1991 NFL draft|||