50 Years of Medicine at Brown

Brown is celebrating 50 years of impact in medical education and research, the contributions of alumni and faculty in Rhode Island and around the world, and the promising future ahead for The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

On March 10, 1972, Brown embarked on an exciting path to train doctors who believe they can change the world. It was on that date that the Corporation of Brown University made a bold decision to support the creation of a four-year program in medicine. In a statement after the vote, the Corporation wrote: “It is this integration of medical education with the social sciences, humanities and other sciences which seems to us the most important feature of the new program and the one which promises to give it a special niche in medical education on the national scene.”

Built on that cornerstone, The Warren Alpert Medical School has evolved during the past five decades to become an innovator in medical education and research. Fifty Years of Medicine at Brown celebrates the legacy and impact of the Medical School, while looking ahead to the discoveries and innovations to come. 

Beginning with a community event on the evening of April 29, 2022, and continuing through June 2023, the celebration brings together a series of celebratory, reflective and scholarly activities. This celebration honors the distinctive and innovative elements of Brown’s approach to medical training and biomedical innovation, characterized by a unique focus on promoting the health of individuals and communities through service to society.

“ Brown’s contributions to health and medicine far exceed what even the most optimistic program founders might have envisioned in 1972. The Warren Alpert Medical School is an inspiring national and global leader, and this 50-year celebration marks a milestone for the entire University community to reflect on both its history and its future. ”

Christina H. Paxson Brown University President

A Legacy of Impact, A Future Bright with Promise

Brown’s medical school has built a 50-year track record of making a positive impact. Brown researchers, physician-scientists and medical trainees are making discoveries that transform care for patients and families in real ways, with new basic science and clinical research centers formed in recent years to form the Brown Institute for Translational Science (BITS). The research centers within BITS focus on Alzheimer’s disease, digital medicine, vaccine biology, and most recently, cancer. The Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown, for example, brings together researchers, clinicians and public health scientists to develop treatments and improve understanding of a host of different cancers. This Warren Alpert Medical School will continue this focus on translational research – moving discoveries from the lab bench to the bedside of patients who need treatments and cures – through the recruitment and support of physician-scientists and providing commercial development resources through Brown Biomedical Innovations to Impact

The Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research, a collaboration of the medical school and Brown’s Carney Institute for Brain Science, is leading research from the molecular level through the development of drugs to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s. And research collaborations between the medical school and the Brown University School of Public Health like the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute conduct research that benefits Rhode Island families.

The school has remained true to its mission to educate compassionate, humanistic physicians, and today, its graduates care for communities all over the world. The pursuit of discoveries to help treat or cure these and other diseases that affect human health will shape the next 50 years of medicine at Brown.

The Legorreta Cancer Center is building world-class cancer research programs that bring basic science discoveries about cancer, interdisciplinary clinical, translational, and population research to innovative therapeutic, disease intervention and cancer prevention clinical trials to patients in the State of Rhode Island.
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The Center for Digital Health is a hub where creative minds from Brown and its affiliated hospital partners collaboratively design, test, and deploy digital solutions to society’s most pressing health challenges.
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The MD/PhD curriculum is designed to integrate basic science technical skills early in the MD curriculum. In the PhD years, a clerkship in family medicine helps develop clinical skills and keep students connected to patients.
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