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School of




At the Forefront of Education

In 1952, the School of Medicine at CWRU (then known as Western Reserve University) implemented the innovative curriculum widely credited with initiating changes in medical education throughout the country and around the world. Our education program continues to receive accolades; in 2002, the School of Medicine became only the third institution in history to receive the best review possible by the authority that grants accreditation to U.S. and Canadian medical degree programs, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education.

Three Paths to an MD

The University Program

The University Program

The University Program (4 year MD) is our oldest and largest MD program. It is designed to train well-rounded physicians built on four cornerstones of clinical mastery, research and scholarship, leadership, and civic professionalism.
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College Program

College Program

The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University (5 year MD), is a research focused curriculum that prepares students for careers as physician-investigators. Students graduate with an MD with special qualifications in biomedical research.
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The Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP)


The Medical Scientist Training Program is our MD/PhD Track that can take up to 8 years to complete. This program develops physician-scientists who bridge the gap between basic science and clinical research.
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Today, applicants can choose from three distinct paths or tracks to obtain a medical degree at the School of Medicine. Each program offers a unique approach to teach you the tenets and skills of medicine. Some of the collective attributes of the programs include:

  • Introduction to clinical work and patients almost as soon as you arrive on campus.
  • You'll be treated as a junior colleague by faculty members.
  • Accessible faculty members.
  • Your work will be graded on a non-competitive (pass/fail) basis in the first two years, which promotes cooperation instead of competition.
  • You'll be taught the science of medicine infused with the skills of communication and compassion.
  • You'll learn how to learn, a skill you'll call on throughout your career in the quickly changing field of medicine.

Program Comparison Chart


 University ProgramCollege ProgramMSTP Program
Program Goal To challenge students in the areas of research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism, so that they affect positive change through treating disease, promoting health, and understanding the social and behavioral context of illness. To foster a passion for scientific inquiry and develop skills for critical thinking, coupled with broad-based clinical expertise, to optimally position students for careers as physician-investigators. To develop physician-scientists to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical research by providing training leading to both the medical degree and doctoral degree.
Avg. Annual Entering Class Size 172 32 11
Program Duration 4 Years 5 Years 8 Years
Additional Information Primary learning styles: 50% small group, 50% large lecture; thesis-like requirement Primary learning styles: small group, problem-based, thesis requirement MD earned through University Program; dissertation required for PhD
Resulting Degree MD (opportunities exist to pursue additional degrees concurrently) MD with Special Qualifications in Biomedical Research (opportunities exist to pursue additional degrees concurrently) MD and PhD in a basic science discipline.
Administration Lina Mehta, MD 
Associate Dean for Admissions
Kathy Franco, MD
Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
Clifford Harding, MD, PhD
Program Director