Every year, about 125 students choose Washington University School of Medicine.
See why we chose WashU.

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From Ian S. Hagemann, MD, PhD

Assistant Dean for Admissions

Welcome to WashU! When my wife, Andrea, and I were medical students, we used to laugh at our lecturers who described themselves as “WUMS 24” (this means a 24th-year WashU medical student). Now, we are those people.

Some things were different twenty years ago. First-year lectures were in Moore Auditorium, and second-year lectures were in Erlanger. There were a LOT of lectures, usually three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon, unless we had lab or small group. Erlanger didn’t have enough seats, so some of us would sit in the aisles. There was no video recording, but we made an audiotape, which someone would have to remember to flip halfway through the hour. Then someone in the class would type out the text, and we would get a printout in our mailbox.

Some things weren’t different at all. The gross Anatomy lab has been frozen in time for decades. Forget about any “dungeon” stereotypes. The lab is on the top floor of one of our historic buildings and has windows on three sides that we used to open on nice days. If your eyes get blurry from too much dissection, you can look up at the teaching specimens that people have collected over the years. Then you can get back to rolling up little bits of fascia to make those nerves you couldn’t find before.

Back when I was an applicant, I heard that WashU wanted students with superlative academic metrics. This never quite made sense, since it seemed like high scores would help an applicant gain acceptance at any number of schools, among which they could then choose. The reality is that assembling a medical school class is a much more multi-dimensional process. WashU is looking for students who are well-balanced and who have amazing gifts that they will contribute to the future of medicine. Our students are very active and creative. The culture here is very collaborative, and we help each other to improve. I often say that at WashU, there are enough cookies for everyone. This collaborative feeling is the reason I am still here after more than twenty years. The faculty and our education team are here to support you, and you will also find that your classmates are supportive, inspiring, and exciting to be around.

There are lots of great medical schools, but WashU is special because of our people and community. I hope you will see yourself as belonging to this family. Someday, you, too, will be able to reminisce about how things have changed and how they have stayed the same.

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Networking and Training

Jessica B., M1

I went to undergrad at WashU and making the decision to stay in St. Louis once I was accepted to WUSM was not too difficult. I networked with tons of amazing people while in undergrad and formed strong relationships, ranging from research mentors, campus ministers at the Catholic Student Center, physicians at Barnes Jewish, and excellent friends and local families. I knew that staying at WUSM for the next phase of my life would allow me to further strengthen these relationships and network with even more amazing people here.

Even though I already had a sense of the welcoming and supportive community at WashU, coming to second look confirmed that even further. Every current medical student that I asked said the people at WUSM were their favorite thing about the medical school. In addition, I had an extremely sweet tour guide during second look that was very helpful in answering my laundry list of questions.

Finally, the Gateway Curriculum at WUSM really drew me to attending medical school here. This curriculum exposes you to the clinical setting early on in medical school in small blocks called Immersions. I have not started Immersions yet, but many second and third year students tell me these clinical experiences allowed them to apply what they were learning in the classroom and practice the “non-science” part of medicine. Overall, I have felt extremely supported in the first four months at WUSM by both the faculty and my classmates.

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Inspiring, Compassionate, and Welcoming Group

Rachel A., M1

One influential factor in my decision to matriculate at WUSM was the exceptionally supportive environment created by the students and faculty here. Based on my observations throughout the application cycle and at WUSM’s Second Look, it was clear that the relationships students shared with each other were genuine — they really seemed to know and care for one another. I felt confident that my fellow classmates and faculty mentors at WashU would provide the second family that I was looking for, and I was excited to embark on this medical school journey with like-minded people. I can happily say that any expectations I had were far exceeded upon starting Phase 1 in September. I have never met a more inspiring, compassionate, and welcoming group of people, and I feel lucky that I get to spend time with and learn alongside these people for the next 4+ years. This authentic, close-knit community is something that I can’t imagine I would experience to this same magnitude anywhere else.

No one is kidding when they say that WUSM provides numerous opportunities for students to explore passions and get involved. The faculty here are extremely approachable and excited to serve as mentors to students in any capacity. As someone who is eager to get involved in research on campus, I received helpful guidance and support when starting my search for a lab that would fit with my goals and interests. Within one week of my search, I was able to set up meetings with multiple faculty members, who were all excited to talk about opportunities for me to get involved in projects within their labs.

WUSM cares a great deal about its students. There are many outlets for students to provide feedback or suggestions for improvement. Our administration and faculty leads are extremely receptive to feedback and take quick action to make changes that are intended to improve the experience of all students here. WUSM ensures that students are heard and do so — for example — by involving us in most decisions made for the program.

For these reasons — and many more — I am so grateful to call WUSM my home. I truly have nothing but good things to say.

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WashU Undergrad and Medical School

Naman B., M1

I was at both WashU undergrad and med school. There are a couple of reasons WashU is pretty great:

1. Forest Park is free. I go there to practice soccer dribbling at Emerson field, which is a really awesome field. There are other facilities for exercising that are really nice — the gym at the med school are pretty sufficient, and the undergrad gym is amazing. You can play pick up basketball at anytime, as well as take cycling or yoga classes.

2. The food is very inexpensive compared to my home town, so you can go out and have fun without having to worry too much about pricing and cost of living.

3. The research here at the medical school is pretty amazing. You can get involved in some excellent research and you’ll be hot stuff here as a med student. It’s very cool.

4. It’s very easy to shadow physicians — they’re generally extremely responsive and they want to help you as a med student.

5. You get a lot of opportunities to learn clinical skills hands-on within the curriculum, from learning from a fourth-year to having clinical skills classes to getting to do clinical immersions.

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The Welcome and Support

Owen D., M1

Falling for WashU was easy; getting in was tougher. On paper, WashU had all of my non-negotiables: excellent academic reputation, superb clinical opportunities, and a city in which I could have a high quality of life. The things that set it apart were revealed when I got a chance to speak with current students. In short, I could see myself gelling with the students, who were as welcoming as they were driven, and that the faculty and administration are unbelievably supportive.