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In 1855, Illinois physician Elias Samuel Cooper moved to San Francisco in the wake of the California Gold Rush. In cooperation with the University of the Pacific (also known as California Wesleyan College), Cooper established the Medical Department of the University of the Pacific, the first medical school on the West Coast, in 1858, on Mission Street near 3rd Street in San Francisco. However, in 1862 Cooper died, and without his leadership, the Medical Department of the University of the Pacific became moribund.
In 1870, Cooper's nephew, Levi Cooper Lane, reactivated and reorganized the University of the Pacific's medical department, and, in 1882, Lane donated a new building at the intersection of Webster and Sacramento Streets and established the department as a separate school, the Cooper Medical College. Lane built a hospital and a nursing school and made provision for the creation of Lane Medical Library.
In 1908, Cooper Medical College was deeded to Stanford University as a gift. It became Stanford's medical institution, initially called the Stanford Medical Department and later the Stanford University School of Medicine. In the 1950s, the Stanford Board of Trustees decided to move the school to the Stanford main campus near Palo Alto. The move was completed in 1959. The San Francisco medical campus became Presbyterian Hospital and later California Pacific Medical Center.
In the 1980s, the Medical Center launched a major expansion program. A new hospital was added in 1989 with 20 new operating rooms, state of the art intensive care and inpatient units, and other technological additions. The Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine opened in May 1989 as an interdisciplinary center focusing on the molecular and genetic basis of disease. The Lucile Packard Children's Hospital was completed in 1991, adding even more diversity to Stanford Medicine.
Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge.
In the early years of the 21st century, the School of Medicine underwent rapid construction to further expand teaching and clinical opportunities. The Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge opened in 2010; it serves as the gateway to the School of Medicine as well as providing a new model of medical education by combining biomedical research with clinical education and information technology. The Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building also opened in 2010; it is the largest stem cell and regenerative medicine facility in North America. The Stem Cell Research Building is the first of the planned Stanford Institutes of Medicine. In addition to research facilities, it houses offices for faculty from the Stanford Cancer Center and "hotel space" offices for visiting researchers.
Academic programs and students
The School of Medicine has reversed the traditional teaching method of classroom time being reserved for lectures and problem-solving exercises being completed outside of school as homework; with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, school leaders are heading up a collaboration on the use of the "flipped classroom" approach to content delivery.
The School of Medicine also has a long history of educating physician assistants (PAs). Stanford University partnered with Foothill College in 1971 to form the Primary Care Associate Program (PCAP) which has graduated more than 1,500 PAs. The last PCAP class graduated in 2018. Today, the Stanford School of Medicine offers a Master of Science in PA Studies program that seeks to train highly qualified clinical PAs who can practice in any area of medicine and also be leaders in community health, research, and medical education. The program offers a novel approach to curriculum delivery and expanded clinical opportunities as well as interprofessional education, with PA students taking courses side by side with MD students. The program is 30 months in length, accepts 27 students each year, has an acceptance rate of less than 2%.
Rankings and admissions
In the 2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings, Stanford was ranked fourth in the nation among medical schools for research. Admission to the MD program at Stanford is highly competitive: in 2019, 6,894 people applied, 422 were interviewed, and 175 accepted for 90 spots.
Frances K. Conley - Famed female neurosurgeon known for advancing women in American medicine
Karl Deisseroth - Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, pioneer of optogenetics, winner of the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences
William C. Dement - Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, pioneer in sleep research
Stanley Falkow - Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor in Cancer Research, conducted pioneering work in how bacteria can cause human disease and how antibiotic resistance spreads, winner of the National Medal of Science