The School of Medicine at Duke University was founded in 1930 and has become well-known for its specialties in family medicine, pediatrics and geriatrics. Located next to the school are the Duke University Medical Center and the Duke Clinical Research Institute. This facility is one of the oldest and largest of its kind and the school is awarded more than $400 million for annual research purposes. The school is also affiliated with the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore. Class sizes remain small, with a faculty to student ratio of about 3 to 1.
Aside from a traditional MD degree, Duke School of Medicine students can earn dual master’s degrees, including an MBA, MPH, or Master of Science. The Medical Scientist Training Program also allows students to complete a MD/PhD degree in seven or eight years. The Duke School of Law also has a joint MD/JD program. For the traditional MD program, all of the classroom education takes place within the first three years. The last year consists of elective rotations, where students get involved with their chosen specialties. The most popular areas are anesthesiology, radiology (diagnostic), dermatology, and general surgery.
The curriculum at Duke School of Medicine differs a bit from other medical schools. Instead of focusing on basic sciences during the first two years, these studies are condensed into the first year. Additionally, clinical rotations begin for students in their second year, instead of in their third. The first year of courses consists of 6.5 weeks of biochemistry, genetics and cell biology; 12.5 weeks of anatomy, microanatomy, and physiology; 4 weeks of neurobiology and human behavior; and 20 weeks of microbiology, immunology, pathology, and pharmacology. Clinical rotations are conducted at the Duke University Medical Center, which is often ranked as one of the top hospitals in the country. Duke students have access to more than 30 centers for their research projects.
Duke School of Medicine earns its prestige through the various research institutions with which it is affiliated. The Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) is the largest clinical research center in the world. Their research is based on registries of more than 100,000 patients with Phase I through Phase IV clinical trials. The Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) has a goal of reducing health disparities around the world. Students at Duke work on projects aimed at education and service for a large section of the population.
Another notable program is the Duke Cancer Institute, one of the premier cancer centers in the nation. They have developed new treatments like bone marrow transplantation and hyperthermia therapies. Students interested in gaining access to a wide variety of research facilities should check out Duke School of Medicine’s large selection of opportunities.