White Hall

About the School

The Science of Medicine. The Art of Healing.

Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine is located in Dayton, Ohio, and serves the Miami Valley region of Southwest Ohio. Its educational programs include:

Instead of operating a university-based hospital for clinical training, Wright State is affiliated with seven major teaching hospitals in the Greater Dayton area and has formal affiliation agreements with more than 25 other health care institutions in the Miami Valley. This model exposes medical students and resident physicians to a diverse range of patients and health care facilities. Medical educators believe that this "real world" experience is excellent preparation for medical careers in a rapidly changing health care system.

The school's academic departments include basic science departments located on the Wright State University campus and clinical departments based throughout the community. Wright State's clinical faculty teach and provide medical care for almost half a million patient visits annually. In addition to almost 400 full-time faculty, Wright State's voluntary faculty include more than 1,200 physicians in private practice and other health care professionals in the community. Voluntary faculty provide an invaluable service by donating their time and expertise to the training and development of both medical students and residents.

Our innovative educational programs have made the Boonshoft School of Medicine a national leader in generalist medicine, community service and the diversity of our student body. Our research programs are distinguished by interdisciplinary teamwork and community collaboration and include nationally recognized centers of excellence in genomics, toxicology, neuroscience, substance abuse and treatment, and human growth and development.

A Carnegie-classified research university with nearly 17,000 students on two campuses, Wright State University offers more than 100 undergraduate and 76 master's, doctoral and professional degree programs through eight colleges and three schools, including the Boonshoft School of Medicine.


The vision for a medical school at Wright State University originated with Dayton area physicians and community leaders who recognized that using existing hospitals and other clinical resources would be a cost-effective model for medical education. In return, the school's community involvement would strengthen the health care system throughout the region.

In 1970, just three years after the Ohio General Assembly officially chartered Wright State as an independent state university, university leaders asked for support for a new medical school. They presented a feasibility study based upon what they called the "concept of community" and outlined the broad base of support they had identified for developing such a school.

In 1972, Congress passed the Veterans Administration Medical School Assistance and Health Manpower Training Act, also known as the Teague Cranston Act, which provided financial support for establishing five new U.S. medical schools, including one at Wright State University. The VA awarded the school a $19.5 million, seven-year grant for faculty support and facilities. Other major founding donors included Mrs. Virginia Kettering, who contributed $1 million in unrestricted funds, and the Fordham Foundation, which provided $500,000 for a medical library.

The school was established by the Ohio General Assembly in 1973. A key to selecting the founding dean was finding a leader who could bring to life the community service vision of the school's founders. Many felt that objective was accomplished with the hiring of John R. Beljan, M.D., in 1974.

The school's charter class began studies in 1976 and graduated in 1980. Since then, almost 3,000 M.D.’s have graduated from Wright State. Wright State alumni are practicing in almost every state in the nation. (See: alumni map.)

The strong commitment to community became one of the school's hallmarks. That commitment was recognized nationally when the Association of American Medical Colleges granted the school the prestigious Outstanding Community Service Award in 1997.

In 2005, the school changed its name to the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in recognition of the Oscar Boonshoft family, which gave Wright State's largest philanthropic gift to the medical school.

In fall 2008, the medical school held a grand opening for a new Medical Education Center in White Hall (shown left). The new facility is the result of a three-year project to completely renovate the former Frederick A. White Health Center for Ambulatory Care and to expand the building with an 18,000-square-foot addition. In total, the facility now includes more than 84,000 square feet of lecture halls, classrooms, laboratories, offices, study spaces, computer labs, and common areas, all devoted to the specialized training of tomorrow's finest medical professionals. Read more.

Distinguishing Characteristics

AAFP Top Ten Award

The Boonshoft School of Medicine was honored with a Top Ten Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) for being among the top medical schools in the nation with the highest percentage of graduates who chose to enter family medicine after graduation.

Fourth in the nation for social mission

Nationally recognized for our commitment to community service, the Boonshoft School of Medicine ranks fourth in the nation for its high percentage of graduates who practice primary care, work in health professional shortage areas and are underrepresented minorities, according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Unique, integrated dual-degree programs

The Physician Leadership Development Program (PLDP) allows medical students to obtain a master’s degree (M.B.A. or M.P.H.) while pursuing their medical degree over five years. PLDP provides a unique opportunity to integrate medical and graduate studies through a longitudinal clinical experience that all students take during their graduate term.

Grads accepted into top residency programs

Our graduates are accepted into the nation’s top residency programs, including Harvard’s Cambridge Health Alliance, the Cleveland Clinic, Duke University and the Mayo Clinic in 2013.

99th percentile for grads in primary care

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Benchmark Performance Measures, the Boonshoft School of Medicine ranks in the 99th percentile for the number of our graduates who practice in primary care. We also ranked in the 75th percentile for graduates practicing in rural areas, and in the 76th percentile for graduates practicing in underservedareas during the same time period.

According to the same report, our graduating students are very satisfied by their education — their rating of the basic science curriculum is over 90th percentile and their overall satisfaction is well above the mean.

First in Team-Based Learning™

The Boonshoft School of Medicine was the first medical school in the nation to implement Team-Based Learning™, giving students real-world experience by working closely in small groups to master material, applying their knowledge to clinical cases and defending their diagnosis and treatment plans. Our faculty experts have provided training in Team-Based Learningand curriculum development to more than 40 medical and health profession schools in the United States and more than 10 worldwide.

Neuroscience Institute named Ohio Center of Excellence

Designated as a University System of Ohio Center of Excellence, the Wright State University & Premier Health Neuroscience Institute unites the Dayton region’s most advanced biomedical research institution with the clinical resources of its leading hospital system. When its new, $37 million home, the Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration Building, is completed in February 2015, it will be unique in the nation in bringing together basic researchers, clinical researchers and engineers to develop not only new treatments and cures but also medical devices and imaging technologies that will revolutionize medicine.

World’s longest running study of human development and aging

Our Lifespan Health Research Center (LHRC) is home to the Fels Longitudinal Study. Started in 1929, Fels is the world’s largest and longest running study of human development, growth, body composition and aging. Some of the original participants started as infants and are still being tracked well into their 80s. More than $13 million in NIH funding supports LHRC’s multi-year studies examining risk factors and health consequences for a number of common diseases, including obesity and cardiovascular disease, as well as the genetic epidemiology of complex traits.

First weekly medical talk show on radio produced entirely by students

In 2009, Boonshoft School of Medicine students created Radio Rounds, the first weekly medical talk show in the United States hosted and produced entirely by medical students. Distributed nationally on iTunes and streamed live online on www.radiorounds.org, Radio Rounds was founded to promote the qualities of empathy and humanism in medicine, to showcase the art behind the science of medicine, to provide insight into the medical profession, and to connect all levels of the medical profession across the nation — from medical students to practicing physicians.

Longest-running civilian aerospace medicine program

Wright State has the longest-running civilian training program for doctors specializing in medicine related to air and space travel. Since 1978, Wright State’s Aerospace Medicine Program has provided NASA with a steady supply of flight surgeons and also has trained the medical leadership for start-up space programs in a dozen other nations. Michael Barratt, M.D., a 1991 graduate of the program served as an astronaut on the last flight of NASA’s shuttle program, his second voyage into space.

National leader in community-based medical education

Our school is a national leader in community-based medical education, providing clinical training at seven major teaching hospitals. Two of these institutions are premier federal hospitals and another one operates the busiest emergency department in the state of Ohio.

Nation’s only civilian/military integrated pediatric residency program

Over the past 30 years, the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Children’s Medical Center of Dayton and the United States Air Force have partnered to offer the country’s only civilian/military integrated pediatric residency program.  Currently 48 residents are being trained in this program, and will go on to serve our local community as well as communities around the world.

Pioneer in emergency medicine

Wright State created the fourth academic Department of Emergency Medicine in the United States and initiated one of the first 10 emergency medicine residency programs in the nation, graduating its first class in 1980.

Among the Best Doctors®

Twenty-six Wright State Physicians and faculty of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine were named to the 2013 Best Doctors® in America list. They represented almost a third of the 81 Dayton area doctors named. Eight Boonshoft School of Medicine alumni who practice locally also were included on the list.

Last edited on 02/26/2015.