The Stanford University School of Medicine was founded in 1908 and is affiliated with Stanford Hospital and Clinics as well as more than 140 school centers and programs where students can conduct research. Stanford is often ranked very highly for its programs in genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology, immunology, and molecular biology and neuroscience. The school is well-known for being the site of many medical breakthroughs. They were the first to perform a kidney transplant in 1960, the first to do a heart transplant in 1968, and the first to research a person’s complete genome sequence to predict risks for diseases in 2010.
The full-time faculty includes seven Nobel laureates and the faculty-student ratio remains very favorable at about 2 to 1. The small population seems to be effective; more than 70% of Stanford medical school students are accepted into their first choices for residency programs. Along with traditional MD degrees, students can complete dual degrees, like a MD/PhD in bioengineering and biomedical informatics, a MD/MBA through the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a MD/MPH with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Stanford also has master’s degrees in biomedical informatics, epidemiology, and human genetics and genetic counseling. There is also a Physician Assistant (PA) program called the Primary Care Associate program, which was established in 1971. The program was one of the first accredited PA schools in the state of California.
The curriculum at Stanford medical school consists of classroom lectures for 12 to 22 hours a week. There are no classes on Wednesdays. For the first two years, students are graded pass/fail; third and fourth-years are graded pass/fail and with a criterion system. Students can choose one of 12 majors from the Scholarly Concentrations program. Along with courses in core sciences, students can get a more in-depth look at electives like bioengineering and clinical research.
Some of the most popular specialties at Stanford Medical School include pediatrics, psychiatry, emergency medicine, and general surgery. For clinical rotations in the third and fourth years, students can work at the Stanford University Medical Center, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, or the Palo Alto Veterans Administration. Stanford also runs the Arbor Free Clinic in Menlo Park and the Pacific Free Clinic in San Jose.
Outside the classroom and clinical setting, students can participate in nearly 40 organizations and clubs on campus. Popular groups include PALS, the Pediatric Chronic Disease Mentorship Program, and SWEAT (the Stanford Wilderness Experience Active Orientation Group). Applicants will be drawn to Stanford medical school’s prestige and connection to many affiliated hospitals.