Howard University College of Medicine
Latin: Veritas et Utilitas
MottoTruth and Service
DeanHugh E. Mighty [2]
United States

38°55′3″N 77°1′13″W / 38.91750°N 77.02028°W / 38.91750; -77.02028Coordinates: 38°55′3″N 77°1′13″W / 38.91750°N 77.02028°W / 38.91750; -77.02028

The Howard University College of Medicine (HUCM) is an academic division of Howard University that grants the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), Ph.D., M.S., and the M.PH. HUCM is located at the Howard University Health Sciences Center in Washington, D.C., and it was founded in 1868 in response to the growing population of the city.

With more than 4,000 living alumni, the college has produced a sizeable share of the African-American physicians practicing in the United States.

The mission of the college includes improving health care through training programs and initiatives, discovering knowledge through research, and supporting the education and training of postgraduate physicians, other healthcare providers, and graduate students in biomedical sciences. Many of the college students gain professional experience at Howard University Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for the school.


Founders of Howard University appreciated the urgent need for medical education in the District of Columbia after the Civil War. The name of Howard University is in honor of Major General Oliver Otis Howard.[3] The civil war had just ended, and freed African American people were migrating to the nation's capital in large numbers.[3]

The opening exercise for the newly created medical department was held at the First Congregational Church of Christ on November 5, 1868. The charter approving incorporation of Howard University specified that a department would be devoted to medicine. Dr. Silas Loomis, one of the university founders, was named the first dean of the medical department in 1868.[4] Among the first five faculty members was Alexander Thomas Augusta, reportedly the first African American to serve on a medical school faculty in the United States.[3]

The first classes began on November 9, 1868. There were eight students in attendance and the classes were being taught by five faculty members. The faculty members were Drs. Silas Loomis, Robert Reyburn, Joseph Taber Johnson, Lafayette Loomis, and Alexander Thomas Augusta).[5]

In 1869, a building for the medical department and Freedmen's Hospital was constructed by the Freedmen's Bureau on Pomeroy Street, presently Fifth Street NW. The building housed the medical and pharmacy program (and later the dental program), as well as, the Freedmen's Hospital. In 1927, a new facility was constructed on W Street.[4]

The first alumni association for the college was formed in 1871 by the five graduates of that year. The members of the new association were, William Bennit, James Bowen, George Brooks, Danforth Nichols, and Joseph A. Sladen. In 1945, the Howard University Medical Alumni Association (HUMAAA) was incorporated in the District of Columbia.[6]

In September 2020, Michael Bloomberg donated $32.8 million to help lower student debt at the institution.[7]

Graduate programs

Howard University College of Medicine has six training programs leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degrees. These are anatomy, genetics and human genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, and physiology and biophysics.

The largest training program in the college is their four-year M.D. program. HUCM is known for producing physicians who provide healthcare to under-served communities throughout the United States. A major emphasis of HUCM is preparing physicians for under-served communities. Much of the experience these medical students gain with under-served communities is at Howard University Hospital, the primary teaching hospital for HUCM, but students also gain experience with other demographics by working at other hospitals in the D.C. metropolitan area including, Washington Hospital Center, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, and Inova Fairfax Hospital. The community surrounding Howard University Hospital under-served and is promoted as an excellent teaching environment for the HUCM students.

The Howard University Health Sciences Simulation Center opened a major state-of-the-art virtual medical training facility to advance the education of medical students and healthcare professionals. The simulation center, a 6,000-square-foot facility, is a simulated hospital environment that promotes improved communication skills between healthcare workers and their patients.[8]

The college is served by the Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library, named in honor of Louis Stokes, the first African American congressman elected from the state of Ohio.[9]

A long association has existed between Georgetown University and the college. The Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science (GHUCCTS) promotes clinical research and translational science.[10] This National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded multi-institutional consortium provides improved research infrastructure, inter-institutional collaboration, research on problems of on underserved populations, and educational programs. Senior investigators such as Dr. Thomas O. Obisesan guide teams of students, trainees, and junior faculty in research on high-impact diseases such as dementia.[11] Dr. Thomas Mellman, co-director of the center, pursues innovative research on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).[12]


In conjunction with the New York chapter of the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH) and the Haitian American Alliance, the college has engaged in an ambitious service-learning-based medical project in Haiti. The team from the college consists of physicians from the departments of obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, pediatrics, pathology, and anatomy. The team travelled to Haiti as a humanitarian response to the devastating earthquake in 2010.[13]

Deans of the college

Former deans of the college are:[14]

Notable faculty members


  1. ^ "Overview and History". Howard University. Archived from the original on 2013-06-22. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  2. ^ "Dean's Welcome". Howard University. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  3. ^ a b c "A short history". Howard University. Archived from the original on 2013-08-06. Retrieved 2010-02-15.
  4. ^ a b "Short History". Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Short History". Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  6. ^ "HUMAA". Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Howard University To Receive $32.8 Million Bloomberg Donation To Support Black Doctors". Archived from the original on 2020-09-05. Retrieved 2020-09-05.
  8. ^ "Simulation Center". Archived from the original on 17 May 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  9. ^ "LSHSL: Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library: Home". Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library.
  10. ^ "Georgetown-Howard Universities Home | GHUCCTS". Retrieved 28 March 2020.
  11. ^ Obisesan, Thomas O.; Gillum, Richard F.; Johnson, Stephanie; Umar, Nisser; Williams, Deborah; Bond, Vernon; Kwagyan, John (2012). "Neuroprotection and Neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's Disease: Role of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors, Implications for Dementia Rates, and Prevention with Aerobic Exercise in African Americans". International Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. 2012: 568382. doi:10.1155/2012/568382. PMC 3345220. PMID 22577592.
  12. ^ Mellman, Thomas A. (December 2019). "A new meta-analysis of sleep findings in PTSD, toward integration and coherence". Sleep Medicine Reviews. 48: 101220. doi:10.1016/j.smrv.2019.101220. PMID 31678661. S2CID 207898491.
  13. ^ ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "List of Leadership". Retrieved 24 March 2015.