Meet the Dean

jack-sobelWelcome to the Wayne State University School of Medicine, one of the nation’s finest institutions in the instruction of leading physicians and medical researchers, and a premiere center of groundbreaking medical research.

It is a distinct privilege to be entrusted with leading our school of medicine, which plays such an integral role in improving the lives of so many, both in Michigan and around the world. Our outstanding faculty and I are dedicated to providing the finest education for our medical and doctoral research students.

The Wayne State University School of Medicine has a storied history that reaches back nearly 150 years. We are the home of many medical firsts, including the world’s first open-heart surgery and the discovery of AZT, the first drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of AIDS.

We train and graduate more physicians annually than any other medical school in Michigan. We are located in the heart of Detroit, in close proximity to the hospitals of the Detroit Medical Center, where many of our students train and gain valuable hands-on experience with patients.

On our campus and in our affiliated hospitals, medical students receive a real-world education and experience like no other. With more than 60 student organizations, the school of medicine offers a multitude of opportunities to engage with a diverse community.

The campus is located in Midtown Detroit, the entertainment and cultural heart of a city embracing a new renaissance. We are just a short drive from Detroit’s surrounding suburban regions, parks and other recreational areas, including Lake St. Clair, considered by many the sixth of Michigan’s Great Lakes. And our Canadian sister city, Windsor, lies just across the river.

Our base is Detroit, our reputation and reach is global. This is where you want to learn medicine and conduct medical research that makes a real difference. Read Dean Sobel’s biography.

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Dean Wayne State University School of Medicine 


Past messages from the Dean

Stay informed of important and relevant Wayne State University School of Medicine events and news. Please view the list of previous messages from Dean Jack D. Sobel, M.D.:


To the School of Medicine Family:

I am extremely proud to report that the Wayne State University School of Medicine has been selected as one of three finalists this year for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ annual Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service.

This prestigious award recognizes community service as an important element of the academic mission, and singles out institutions that serve as examples of social responsiveness for academic medical communities. Schools that receive the award must demonstrate a broad-based, continuing commitment to community service in a variety of programs and initiatives.

As you know, community service has been embedded in our school’s DNA for nearly 150 years. Through our curriculum; community engagement and outreach initiatives; collaborative partnerships; and pipeline programs, you — our Wayne State students, alumni and faculty — transform communities and improve health education in Detroit and beyond.

Examples of your recent impact include:

  • Our Year 1 and 2 students clocked more than 34,000 hours of community service in 2016.
  • Street Medicine Detroit has had more than 1,100 total patient encounters with 790 patients since 2012.
  • The Robert R. Frank Student-Run Free Clinic team volunteered more than 200 hours, serving 42 patients for a total of 130 visits in 2016.
  • The Community Homeless Interprofessional Program Clinic team has conducted evaluations of nearly 225 homeless individuals in the last two years.
  • The Perinatology Research Branch team has assisted more than 20,000 at-risk mothers.

These, of course, are just a few of the many ways our students and faculty conduct valuable work to improve the health of our communities and address future health needs of our populations. Thank you for your commitment, passion and Warrior spirit. Our selection as a finalist would not be possible without the work you do.

A committee from the AAMC will come to the School of Medicine on July 13 for a site visit related to the Spencer Foreman Award. Work is already underway to develop an agenda for the day that best represents our school and our work in the community to the four-member site visit team. Representatives of certain student organizations, faculty members and administrators can expect to be contacted to represent their groups during the visit. The winner of the award will be announced in time for recognition at the annual AAMC meeting in November in Boston.

This is the second time that our School of Medicine has been named a finalist for the Spencer Foreman Award. We earned that distinction in 2014. Schools that are named finalists must sit out the competition for two years. Schools that receive the award must abstain from entering for 10 years.

This is welcome news indeed, and follows on the heels of what I believe was a positive site visit by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in April. As we continuously work toward better preparing students for residencies and future careers, our institution’s longstanding culture of care and ever-increasing commitment to community service will play a key role.

Again, I want to thank everyone involved in this effort and I look forward to continued good news.

Jack D. Sobel, M.D.
Distinguished Professor
Wayne State University School of Medicine


150 years in the heart of Detroit