The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM) offers an innovative medical school program with a mission to train physician investigators. From admissions criteria and supportive financial aid, to curriculum design and student assessment, every aspect of CCLCM is focused on helping students develop the skills of self-directed learning critical for success as both a physician and an investigator.
About the College
The program is unique in several other ways:
- Five years are needed to accommodate the research and master's level research thesis requirement.
- Limit of 32 students per class.
- Problem-based curriculum.
- Portfolio-based assessment.
- Full tuition scholarship for all students.
- No lectures, grades or class ranking.
In addition to a solid medical and science curriculum, students benefit from an emphasis on medical humanities, designed to spark an appreciation for the ethical, historical and human aspects of medicine. Opportunities for community service complement their humanities education.
CCLCM is a partnership between Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University.
Learn More About CCLCM
Why Choose the Lerner College of Medicine
CCLCM is a distinct program within the CWRU School of Medicine with a curriculum designed to train graduates who will have excellent clinical skills, expertise and experience in research, and a passion for scientific inquiry.
Upon completion of the five-year curriculum, you will graduate with an MD degree with Special Qualification in Biomedical Research.
- Small class size
- Full tuition scholarship
- Non-competitive learning environment, no grades, no class ranking and an emphasis on teamwork
- Student-centered learning experience
- Five-year course of study with adequate time for a substantive research project
- Last three years of study customized to match your research interests, clinical skills and interest, and professional goals
- A physician advisor and a research advisor to guide your successful progress
- A basic science curriculum that is organ-system based and linked to relevant clinical experiences
- Clinical experiences beginning in Year 1 and integrated throughout the curriculum to ensure you will enter a residency with excellent clinical skills
- A graduate education in medicine with problem-based learning (PBL) sessions, interactive seminars and laboratories aimed at developing in-depth problem solving skills
- Broad opportunities for basic/translational and clinical research
- Patient volume and diversity that provide outstanding clinical training
- Close interaction with clinical and research faculty
- State-of-the-art educational, clinical and research resources
- Leading-edge educational, clinical and research resources, including a 477,000-square-foot Health Education Campus designed for interprofessional learning.
As a CCLCM student, you will have access to all the resources of Cleveland Clinic, one of the finest healthcare institutions in the world. You will have the opportunity to practice medicine with world-renowned physicians who excel in their respective fields and to conduct research alongside investigators working on the cutting edge of medical science.
As a student in the CWRU School of Medicine, you will be enrolled in one of the top medical schools in the country and a leading independent research university.
Ranked among the top four hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Cleveland Clinic is recognized for its outstanding clinical care and its commitment to academic excellence. The Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute ranks among the top research institutions in the country for NIH funding. In education, Cleveland Clinic sponsors one of the largest graduate medical education programs in the country, training almost 1,500 residents and fellows in a broad range of specialties and making it the fifth largest training facility in the United States.
Cleveland Clinic faculty are among the nation's leaders in academic medicine and are responsible for more than 3,500 scientific publications each year. State-of-the-art research (600,000 square foot) and education (250,000 square foot) facilities provide outstanding support of resources in faculty and trainee academic activities. This commitment to the highest quality patient care, research and education makes Cleveland Clinic an ideal setting to train physicians dedicated to ensuring the translation of scientific advances into clinical application.
A constructive partnership and mutually advantageous relationship has been built between Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and Cleveland Clinic.
In 2002, the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine (CCLCM) was established as a partnership between Cleveland Clinic and CWRU with a $100 million gift from Al and Norma Lerner.
The Lerner College of Medicine program is one of three distinct medical school programs, specifically called the College Program, within the CWRU School of Medicine. College Program students are awarded a special degree by CWRU: Medical Doctor with Special Qualifications in Biomedical Research.
Cleveland Clinic serves as an outstanding teaching site for all medical students in the CWRU School of Medicine, in addition to being the site for clerkship and core clinical education in the College Program.
As of summer 2019, students from both CCLCM and the CWRU School of Medicine University Program, along with CWRU nursing, dental medicine and physician assistant students, share the same learning environment. Called the Health Education Campus and located across from Cleveland Clinic’s main entrance, this state-of-the-future space was designed specifically to allow these groups of future medical professionals to learn with—and from—each other.
CCLCM students have access to all the resources available to other CWRU medical students; shared social events start at orientation. Participation in Doc Opera, special interest groups, panels and other activities continue through the year.
Ceremony, Match Day and Commencement. They also interact in their required clinical rotations at area hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Mission & History
Mission & Philosophy
The mission of the CCLCM is "to educate a limited number of highly qualified persons who seek to become physician investigators and scientists committed to the advancement of biomedical research and clinical practice."
Our goal for students is to foster a passion for scientific inquiry and skills for critical thinking coupled with broad-based clinical expertise that will optimally position the MD graduate to pursue a career as a physician investigator.
CCLCM students become an important partner in achieving the mission of Cleveland Clinic: patient care, education of those who serve the public and research into patients' problems.
|2002||Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine was established as a partnership between Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University with a $100 million gift from Al and Norma Lerner|
|2004||First class of students was enrolled|
|2008||Cleveland Clinic granted full academic scholarships to cover the cost of tuition for all CCLCM students|
|2009||First class of students graduated|
|2013||Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University announce plans to build state-of-the-art medical education building to house students from the medical school’s two programs: the College Program at CCLCM and the University Program at CWRU,Nursing, Dental, Physician Assitant, and Social Workers with an interest in Medical Centers will also train in the facilty, rounding out the true interdisciplinary team.|
Stanton L. Gerson, MD
Interim Dean, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University
A renowned physician and cancer researcher, Stanton Gerson, MD, serves as interim dean for Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine and interim senior vice president for medical affairs. In addition to the School of Medicine faculty and staff, he has oversight of all appointed faculty who are located at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth System and Veterans Affairs Northeast Ohio Healthcare System.
Along with his role as interim dean, he serves as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated Case Comprehensive Cancer Center (Case CCC), and Director of the National Center for Regenerative Medicine. He is the Asa and Patricia Shiverick—Jane Shiverick (Tripp) Professor of Hematological Oncology and Case Western Reserve University Distinguished University Professor (Class of 2013.) In 2012, he was the recipient of the Case Western Reserve Medal for Excellence in Health Science Innovation, the highest honor bestowed by the School of Medicine to those advancing research, education and healthcare.
In 2004, he became director of the Case CCC, and successfully re-competed for the center’s NCI designation in 2004, 2007, 2012 and 2017. He served as director of Seidman Cancer Center at UH from 2004 to 2017. He has served as advisor for many of the top NCI-designated cancer centers in the country and as President of the Association of American Cancer Institutes from 2017 to 2019. He was active in the Cancer Moonshot initiative and the Biden Cancer Initiative, and he co-authored a white paper from that group entitled Future Cancer Research Priorities (Lancet, 2017).
Serpil Erzurum, MD
Chief Research and Academic Officer, Cleveland Clinic
Serpil Erzurum, MD, Professor of Medicine, was appointed to the newly created role of Chief Research and Academic Officer in 2020, which represents an expansion of her prior role as Chair of the Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic, which she held since 2016. In her new role, Dr. Erzurum focuses on strategic growth of enterprisewide medical and scientific education programs; clinical, basic and translational research; and technology development to deliver the most innovative care to patients.
A practicing pulmonologist, Dr. Erzurum holds the Alfred Lerner Memorial Chair in Innovative Biomedical Research. Her scientific contributions and leadership in pulmonary research have led to diagnostic and therapeutic advances in lung diseases. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and has been the principal investigator on more than 20 federal grants, including multi-investigator program project grants and network trials.
Dr. Erzurum has earned numerous awards including the prestigious MERIT award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and Association of American Physicians (AAP), and the Scientific Achievement Award from the American Thoracic Society. Because of her work in advancing the careers of women in medicine and science, she was honored with the Elizabeth Rich Award from the American Thoracic Society.
James B. Young, MD
Executive Director of Academic Affairs, Cleveland Clinic
A practicing cardiologist, James B. Young, MD, Professor of Medicine, serves as Executive Director of Academic Affairs, responsible for leading and expanding educational programs throughout Cleveland Clinic. He served as Cleveland Clinic’s Chief Academic Officer from 2018 to 2020, where he oversaw the areas of research and education and emphasized the importance of these areas to the mission of Cleveland Clinic.
From 2009 to 2018, Dr. Young served as Executive Dean of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. He is co-founder of the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure in the Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute at Cleveland Clinic, where he also holds the George and Linda Kaufman Chair.
Among many other things, Dr. Young is most proud of his contributions to CCLCM’s unique medical school curriculum and the academic programs he has helped develop over his long career in medicine and medical education.
J. Harry Isaacson, MD
Executive Dean, CCLCM
J. Harry (Bud) Isaacson, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine, is the Executive Dean of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Prior to being selected for his current role, he served as the Assistant Dean for Clinical Education at CCLCM.
In 1993, Dr. Isaacson joined the Department of General Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic, where he practices and teaches. His interests beyond clinical medicine include medical education, professionalism, doctor/patient communication skills and the use of appreciative inquiry in medicine.
Dr. Isaacson has received numerous awards including the Bruce Hubbard Stewart Humanitarian Award, Master Teacher Award from the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Physicians, Master Educator Award from Cleveland Clinic and inaugural CCLCM Graduating Students Award.
Christine Warren, MD, MS, FAAD
Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs, CCLCM
Christine Warren, MD, MS, FAAD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology, is the Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, where she, as a member of the inaugural class, received her medical degree in 2009.
A medical dermatologist, Dr. Warren is dedicated to inspiring residents and medical students to stay in academics and is heavily involved in their education and training.
Neil Mehta, MBBS, MS
Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs, CCLCM
Neil Mehta, MBBS, MS, Professor of Medicine, serves as the Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Prior to his current role, he served as the Assistant Dean of Education Informatics and Technology at CCLCM.
In addition, Dr. Mehta serves as the Director of the Center for Technology-Enhanced Knowledge and Instruction (cTEKI) and as adjunct graduate faculty in the College of Graduate Studies at Cleveland State University. He holds The Jones Day Endowed Chair in Medical Education in the Education Institute at Cleveland Clinic.
A practicing internal medicine physician, Dr. Mehta completed the Clinician Scholar program offered by the Cleveland Clinic Medicine Institute.
Dr. Mehta was the director for Healthcare Education 2.0 annual course at the Harvard Macy Institute (converted to a 10-week virtual course for 2021 called “Transforming your teaching for the virtual environment”), and he teaches a course in the Master of Education for Health Professions Education program, which is a collaboration between Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland State University.
He has won numerous awards including the Dr. Stephen Ockner, MD Clinician Educator Award in 2016, Elaine F. Dannefer, PhD Award in 2018, Cleveland Clinic Medicine Institute Outstanding Innovator Award in 2010, Distinguished Physician of the Year Award from the Association of Indian Physicians of Northern Ohio in 2016, numerous Scholarship in Teaching awards from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and numerous Cleveland Clinic innovator awards.
Dr. Mehta is an internationally known expert in the appropriate use of technology to enhance teaching and learning in healthcare. He was the Cleveland Clinic lead on the IBM Watson Goes to Medical School project.
Gene Barnett, MD, MBA
Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs, CCLCM
Gene H. Barnett, MD, MBA, Professor of Neurological Surgery, serves as Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. In his role, he oversees all the activities of the faculty application and promotion process, including various appointments and promotions committees; coordinates with the CCLCM academic chairs; and is involved in faculty development.
A practicing neurosurgeon, Dr. Barnett is the Director of both the Cleveland Clinic’s Brain Tumor and Neuro-Oncology Center and the Cleveland Clinic Health System Gamma Knife Center. He has served on the Board of Governors and was elected President of the Staff.
Linda Graham, MD
Assistant Dean for Research Education, CCLCM
Linda Graham, MD, Professor of Surgery, is the Assistant Dean for Research Education at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and a vascular surgeon, with particular interest in research education. She has chaired the CCLCM Research Education Committee, which is charged with overseeing the research curriculum according to the standards of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, since the program opened in 2004.
Dr. Graham also serves as an adjunct professor in the Case Western Reserve University Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Prior to joining Cleveland Clinic in 1999, Dr. Graham was a Professor of Surgery with tenure at the University of Michigan Medical School and, prior to that, a Professor with tenure at Case Western Reserve University.
Craig Nielsen, MD, FACP
Assistant Dean of Clinical Education, CCLCM
Craig Nielsen, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, serves as Assistant Dean of Clinical Education at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. He is also a staff physician in General Internal Medicine at Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Nielsen has been involved with medical education since he completed his internal medicine residency at Cleveland Clinic. He served as Chief Medical Resident, Associate Program Director and Program Director for the Cleveland Clinic Internal Medicine Residency Program. After 10 years in the Program Director role, he transitioned to working with CCLCM.
Christine S. Moravec, PhD
Assistant Dean of Basic Science Education and Director of Graduate Programs, CCLCM
Christine Moravec, PhD, Professor of Molecular Medicine, serves as Assistant Dean for Basic Science Education for the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. She has been involved with CCLCM since its inception, starting as physiology thread leader and course director for Process of Discovery (now called Advanced Research in Medicine 1), moving on to the Admissions Committee and the Medical Student Promotion and Review Committee, and now devoting her attention to ensuring that the preclinical coursework offered in the first two years prepares students adequately for their careers as physician investigators. She also serves as the Director of Graduate Programs for CCLCM, overseeing programs of study for students pursuing an MA, MS, MPH or PhD degree while a student at CCLCM.
A research scientist in the Department of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Sciences in the Lerner Research Institute (LRI), Dr. Moravec has served as a research mentor for both predoctoral and postdoctoral fellows, and has hosted numerous undergraduate summer students who have been supported by the American Heart Association. She also serves as the Director of Research Education and Training for the LRI, overseeing educational programming for 250 postdoctoral fellows and 250 PhD students.
In 2009, she received the Kaiser Permanente Teaching Award for preclinical faculty, and in 2012, she received the Excellence in Research Education Award, both from CCLCM. Dr. Moravec has also been recognized with the Outstanding Educator Award from the LRI, and in 2020, she received the Gender Equity Award for Pre-Clinical Faculty from the Women Faculty of the School of Medicine at CWRU.
Dr. Moravec holds academic appointments in the Department of Molecular Medicine at CWRU School of Medicine and in the Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Sciences at Cleveland State University. She also serves as Past President of the Board of Directors of the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair, a regional science fair held each spring for roughly 600 students from the Cleveland area. She has received distinguished alumni awards from each school she has attended, including Chagrin Falls High School, John Carroll University and Cleveland State University.
Teaching in the first two years occurs at Cleveland Clinic, in the Health Education Campus. In this location, students are close to the research labs, clinical space and offices of many of the faculty, as most of the College's teaching faculty are Cleveland Clinic staff physicians and researchers.
Students also have easy access to the resources of Cleveland Clinic including the Floyd Loop Alumni Library in the Education wing of the Lerner Research Institute, shopping, dining options, free wellness events, pharmacies, banking and more. Within the Health Education Campus, students have fresh, healthy dining options, library and spaces for studying and relaxing.
CCLCM students also have access to all the facilities available to other CWRU medical students including CWRU’s Health Sciences Library and athletic facilities.
Learning Environment and Anatomical Sciences Education
- 26 classrooms including two-story “Case Method” classrooms and “team-based learning” classrooms. Those specialty classrooms feature large video walls and a sophisticated sound system that allows each student to be heard
- 7,000-square-foot auditorium
- 4,800-square-foot lecture hall
- Digital Anatomy Suite, where students use augmented-reality technology to learn anatomy
- Critical Care Transport Room, where students learn how to treat patients inside an ambulance and transport helicopter that simulates flight
- Medical Simulation Center that features 20 patient exam rooms, four acute care spaces and three debriefing rooms
- Nursing Simulation Lab that features a multiple patient bed area for teaching assessment skills, insertion of IVs and catheters, mobility maneuvers and bathing of patients
Diversity & Inclusion
CCLCM Stands Against Structural Racism
CCLCM stands with Cleveland Clinic and the city of Cleveland to declare racism as a public health crisis. Together we raise our voices to condemn structural racism and embrace our communities to enact positive change.
At Cleveland Clinic and CCLCM we are deeply committed to anti-racism, diversity, and inclusion in education, healthcare and our communities. We recognize that racial inequities exist in medical education and healthcare. We pledge to continue advancing our efforts, including training the next generation of physician investigators to stand against structural racism, unlearn racial biases, and combat health disparities. In every aspect of our program, from admissions and student affairs to student life and curriculum, we will continue to celebrate diversity, recognize the painful effects of racial trauma and create opportunities for open dialogue and positive change.
The entire CCLCM leadership team is here for our students, faculty and staff. We enthusiastically invite applicants to query our approach to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism.
The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine is a unique program that is setting new standards for the training of physician investigators. Our goal is to identify candidates who want to further advance the frontiers of biomedical and health services research.
We are committed to bringing the best students from the widest variety of backgrounds who will directly impact the future of medical care. A diverse student body engenders richness of thought and discovery, and we seek individuals with intellectual achievement; interpersonal skills; varied research interests and experiences; varied personal and professional journeys; diverse cultures, race, ethnicities, religions, gender and sexual orientations, socioeconomic backgrounds, and more.
Hear from our students:
“Diversity is one of the best parts of the CCLCM curriculum. Being around people from different backgrounds and cultures has allowed me to expand my worldview and be a better, kinder, less judgmental human being who is more aware of the injustices of this world. I’m so thankful that my CCLCM family is composed of such diverse people.”
A substantial financial aid program is aimed at lessening the student debt burden and helping to ensure that financial issues do not preclude matriculation of any accepted students.
What We Do
- The Diversity and Inclusion faculty and staff notify potential applicants about our program through a quarterly newsletter and through recruitment fairs at major regional and national conferences as well as at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
- We provide current students with resources to successfully navigate the challenges of medical school.
- We coordinate mentoring opportunities between current students and high school and college students who are interested in careers in healthcare.
- We build an inclusive community and offer students a platform by assisting the Student Diversity Dinner Steering Committee.
- We coordinate mentoring, affinity groups and social gatherings with the Cleveland Clinic Office of Diversity and Case Western Reserve University.
- We support a curriculum to represent diverse patient populations, culturally sensitive care and health equity.
- We promote service learning opportunities with underserved communities in Cleveland.
- Attract and keep a diverse faculty to teach and mentor our diverse student body.
- Create learning opportunities that give students the tools to address unconscious bias, micro-aggressions and being a good ally in their present and future careers.
- Represent our commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the Cleveland Clinic enterprise.
- Celebrate diversity in our new Health Education Campus in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University medical, physician assistant, dental and nursing students.
Monica Yepes-Rios, MD
Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Monica Yepes-Rios, MD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine with the Lerner College of Medicine. She has more than 25 years of experience in medical education and internal medicine clinical practice with a special interest in education to promote thriving learning environments and the care of underserved communities. She completed her internal medicine residency at the George Washington University Medical Center and is a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar, Yale University (’97). She earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine.
In her role as Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Yepes-Rios looks forward to advancing CCLCM’s strong foundations in diversity and inclusion and making the college program a national leader in the recruitment and retention of a diverse student body and faculty. She also is focused on celebrating an inclusive and thriving working and learning climate.
Jazmine Sutton, MD
Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Jazmine Sutton, MD (’12), joined the Department of Hospital Medicine at Cleveland Clinic in July of 2017. She completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University, then returned to Cleveland for medical school at the Lerner College of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency and served as a Chief Medical Resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. She was a hospitalist for two years at Beth Israel prior to moving back to Ohio to be closer to family.
In her spare time, Dr. Sutton enjoys cooking, watching the Food Network and HGTV, and spending time with her husband, Julius; daughter, Jada; and corgi, Hunter.
Dr. Sutton is a proud CCLCM alumna and excited to step into her new role as the Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion.
Resources for Students & Faculty
- CWRU School of Medicine Multicultural Affairs
- CWRU Office of Multicultural Affairs
- Cleveland Clinic Office of Diversity and Inclusion
- Cleveland Clinic Civic Education
- CWRU Diversity Statement
- CWRU School of Medicine Diversity Policy
Cleveland Clinic Non-Discrimination Policy
Cleveland Clinic does not discriminate in admission, employment or administration of its programs or activities, on the basis of age, gender, race, national origin, religion, creed, color, marital status, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, ethnicity, ancestry, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. In addition, Cleveland Clinic administers all programs and services without regard to disability, and provides reasonable accommodations for otherwise qualified disabled individuals, as long as it fits within our Technical Standards. If you believe you have been subjected to sexual misconduct or any other form of gender discrimination under Title IX, find out how to report such misconduct.
Alumni & Friends
Our students often remark that their class feels like a family, which is no wonder with a class size of just 32 students! Whether you are a CCLCM alumni, family member or friend, we invite you to stay connected to the Lerner College family and to Cleveland Clinic.
Here are several ways to stay connected:
Office of Admissions and Student Affairs
9501 Euclid Ave./EC10
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone: 866.735.1912 or 216.445.7170