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History

Case Western Reserve University Historical Perspectives

It all began in 1826 when Western Reserve College was founded in Hudson, Ohio, about 30 miles southeast of where campus stands today. The college, which was the first in northern Ohio, took its name from the surrounding region (known at that time as the Western Reserve of Connecticut) and emphasized standards, like the classics, in its curriculum. Yet it stood out in the mid- and late-19th century as one of only a few institutions that sought innovation and embraced the sciences. By 1887, the college had begun hiring forward-thinking scientists, like Edward E. Morley, best known for his collaboration with fellow professor Albert Michelson in the study (the Michelson-Morley Experiment) that inspired Albert Einstein's work in relativity.

It wasn't long before other institutions set up shop in neighboring communities, so the college pursued new strategies for maintaining enrollment, as well as its competitive edge in scientific research and academic excellence. Chief among those strategies: relocation to a booming urban center.

As the 20th century neared the city of Cleveland, Ohio, was on the rise. A post-war economy vaulted Cleveland to the forefront of American cities with unprecedented population and financial growth. And it was hungry for a university. With funding from American industrialist Amasa Stone in 1882 the college moved to "uptown" Cleveland, where it lives today, and assumed the name Western Reserve University. But the new university wouldn't occupy this stretch of Euclid Avenue alone. In 1877, Leonard Case, Jr., philanthropist, prominent Cleveland citizen and early benefactor of the engineering school, began laying the groundwork for the Case School of Applied Science. He initiated a secret trust, whose valuable real estate yielded more than $1 million, to endow a polytechnic school in Cleveland. This school would train men in engineering and applied science, enabling them to build on a young and growing nation's vast resources. When Case died in 1880, his advisor, Henry Gilbert Abbey, was fast to administer the trust. He assembled members of the corporation, as well as a board of trustees, and had the school chartered by the state of Ohio within four months of Case's death.

Classes were initially held in the Case family's downtown Cleveland home until a provision to Stone's gift — that Western Reserve University and the Case School of Applied Science occupy adjoining campuses — led to the school's relocation in 1885 to what is now known as University Circle on the city's east side. Funds for the land, however, had to be raised by the community.

A committee for the two institutions had raised $119,400 from 56 donors by March 1881. Thirty-three thousand dollars came in the form of a land purchase discount from Cordelia Ford and Liberty E. Holden, whose 43-acre property formed the early campus. The Ford family's University Circle-area homesteads were the initial locales for the Women's College of Western Reserve University and for the School of Law. For years the family maintained a farm just east of campus before conveying the land to the university, as well as to Lakeview Hospital, in 1916.

The joint land purchase was just the first of many collaborations and partnerships between Western Reserve University and the Case School of Applied Science. Over the years, the university developed strong liberal arts and professional programs, while the institute, which adopted the name Case Institute of Technology in 1947 to reflect its broader vision, became a top school of science and engineering. The two institutions agreed that their 1967 federation would create a complete university worthy of national distinction. Case Western Reserve University immediately became a leading institution for academics and research, as well as one the nation's top-ranked universities.

CWRU School Of Medicine 

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.

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 Reserve curriculum.

In addition to being one of the foremost medical schools, 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.

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.

MS in Anesthesia Program

The Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant Program at Case Western Reserve University began in 1969 and originally awarded a baccalaureate degree, evolving into a professional postgraduate curriculum in 1987 and granting the Master of Science degree. The program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.

In 2008, Case Western Reserve University made the strategic decision to expand its MSA programs to greater serve the anesthesiology community and the growing CAA profession.  Through a partnership with the University of Texas Houston Medical Center, CWRU opened its Houston branch campus and accepted its inaugural class in 2010.

Academic and clinical instructors, including board certified anesthesiologists and certified anesthesiologist assistants (CAA), hold faculty appointments from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Graduates sit for the certification examination administered by the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA) and co-sponsored by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). To maintain certification, anesthesiologist assistants must submit 40 CME credits biennially (AMA Physician Category I or AAPA approved) and pass the Continued Demonstration of Qualifications Examination every six years.