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Sixty years of medical progress

In the 60 years since it was established, Wenzhou Medical University (WMU), located in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, has made great advances in talent training, research capacity building and medical services.
The campus of WMU

Credit: WMU

Renowned for its pioneering ophthalmology and optometry programmes, WMU has creatively integrated traditional ophthalmology, and modern optometry, breaking disciplinary boundaries to harness the power of each.

The development of the ophthalmology and optometry programmes has also boosted WMU’s research capacities, particularly in pharmaceutical sciences, laboratory medicine, as well as paediatrics, orthopaedics and obstetrics and gynaecology. For instance, pharmaceutical scientists have published their work in Nature and won a first prize at the National Science and Technology Awards. The laboratory medicine programme was rated among China’s top five undergraduate programmes in 2016-2017.

WMU’s focus is on medical sciences and undergraduate education, but it aims for multidisciplinary development and strengthening its graduate programmes. It is committed to serving Zhejiang, with a broader view of national and global needs.

WMU took its current name in 2013, came under the joint auspices of Zhejiang Provincial Government, the National Health and Family Planning Commission and the Chinese Ministry of Education in 2015, and became a provincial key university in 2017. It aims to become a first-class university of applied research in China, exerting global influence.

Strengthening research capacities have pushed WMU to the ranks of Asia’s top 100 academic institutions in Nature Index’s 2018 tables, a measure of quality research output. According to Essential Science Indicators data, WMU’s clinical medicine programme is among the global top 0.2%; pharmacology/toxicology, chemistry, and biology/biochemistry are ranked among the global top 1%.

Research programmes are supported with national and provincial platforms for science and technology innovation, including a state key laboratory and a national engineering research centre, among others. With a group of talented faculty members, including ‘One Thousand Talents’ programme experts and ‘Changjiang scholars’, WMU has undertaken more than a thousand national-level research projects, and won 160-plus national, ministerial and provincial research awards, as well as teaching awards.

WMU is committed to fostering confident, capable and innovative medical professionals. In the last 60 years it has produced more than 200,000 graduates, who are providing essential clinical care. Currently, the university offers 27 undergraduate programmes, 20 master’s programmes and five doctoral programmes, enrolling more than 23,100 students. With a postdoctoral research station in clinical medicine, it has a complete, multi-level educational system, covering from undergraduates to postdocs, as well as international students and adult education. Career development and performance by WMU graduates are ranked the first among undergraduate colleges in Zhejiang, according to an evaluation report. Clinical medicine graduates are among the nation’s top 10% in rates passing the national physician licensing exam.

With rich medical care resources, including five affiliated hospitals and 19 non-directly affiliated hospitals, WMU provides quality medical services to nearly 30 million people in the region. Its affiliated eye hospital is one of the best in China, leading in the ophthalmology and optometry field among Chinese academic institutions in 2017 Nature Index. It is also ranked among China’s top 100 hospitals, along with WMU’s first affiliated hospital in 2017 by the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences.

The 60 year anniversary of Wenzhou Medical UniversityCredit: WMU