The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) opened in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824 as a small private college for the training of physicians. It is one of the oldest continually operating schools of medicine in the United States and the oldest in the Deep South. The school’s main building was designed by Charleston architect Albert W. Todd.
The school has expanded into a state university with a medical center and six colleges for the education of health professionals, biomedical scientists and other health care personnel. It also operates as a center for research and has a public hospital.
The College of Medicine began in 1823 with the incorporation of the Medical College of South Carolina, a private institution of the Medical Society of South Carolina. Seven Charleston physicians formed the initial faculty with 30 students enrolled in 1824. The first graduation was on April 4, 1825. With the exception of the American Civil War, the college has served continuously to the present, even when there was a total enrollment of two students. At the time of Dr. Robert Wilson’s appointment as Dean of the College of Medicine in 1908, Abraham Flexner was beginning his survey of the Medical College. Flexner’s survey resulted in the report titled “Medical Education in the United States and Canada”. It was highly critical of the Medical College and its poor facilities, lack of full-time faculty, lack of equipment, and lack of money. Recognizing that the college did not meet national requirements, Dr. Wilson determined that the only way to save the college from closure was to transfer it to state ownership in order to have access to state appropriations. The state took over formal control of the college in 1913.
The College of Medicine consists of many departments including Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Comparative Medicine, Dermatology, Family Medicine, Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Neurosciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, Surgery, Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, and Urology.
The College of Medicine offers a four-year medical curriculum leading to a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). The College also offers dual-degree programs in conjunction with other colleges and universities. The Colleges of Medicine and Graduate Studies offer a combined M.D./Ph.D degree through the Medical Scientist Training Program as well as an M.D./master’s degree in Clinical Research through the Southeastern Predoctoral Training in Clinical Research. Students can also receive a combined M.D./M.H.A. through the Colleges of Medicine and Health Professions. The College partners with the University of South Carolina and The Citadel to provide an M.D./master’s in Public Health and M.D./master’s of Business Administration, respectively.
The college accepts 155–160 students per year into their medical curriculum. The four-year curriculum consists of two years of core basic science instruction followed by two years of clinical training. Students also participate in a longitudinal curriculum that includes instruction in doctoring, physical examination and diagnosis, and biomedical ethics.
The Department of Pharmacy was created by an amendment to the charter in 1881, organized in 1882, and discontinued by 1884. Resuming in 1894, the Department of Pharmacy offered the Graduate in Pharmacy (Ph.G.) degree. The current program offers the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. In 2006, the College of Pharmacy merged with the University of South Carolina’s College of Pharmacy in Columbia, SC to form the South Carolina College of Pharmacy (SCCP). However, in 2016 the College of Pharmacy at MUSC ended its merger with SCCP. The graduating class of 2020 will be the first class getting a degree under the newly separated MUSC College of Pharmacy.
The SCCP’s MUSC campus offers a dual PharmD/MBA program, a consortium between The Citadel Graduate College at The Citadel and the SCCP MUSC Campus. This consortium was originally designed and implemented before the SCCP was formed.
The two-year training course for nurses was started in 1884 at Roper Hospital. The training school was incorporated into the Medical College of South Carolina in 1919 and expanded to three years. Today, the College of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in nursing, a Master of Science in nursing, and three doctoral degrees – a PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), and a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice).
Three hospital-based training programs (Medical Technology, Cytotechnology, and Radiologic Technology) became the nucleus of a Division of Technical Training, recognized as a separate branch of the Medical College in 1964. The School of Allied Health Sciences, now the College of Health Professions, was formally organized in 1966, and expanded to offer over 20 different training options in the paramedical field. The college now offers baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs including:
Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion (CVP), Master in Health Administration (MHA), Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI), Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP), Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (OT), Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (PA), Doctor of Health Administration (DHA), Doctor of Physical Therapy (PT), PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science (PhD)
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation was chartered in 1966 as a charitable, educational foundation to support the education, research, patient care and other programs at the Medical University. Most gifts to MUSC are handled by the foundation, which ensures that benefactors receive proper acknowledgment. Gifts of all sizes and types are accepted from alumni, parents and friends of the university as well as corporations and foundations.
Until 1950, the college was headed by a dean, with the schools headed by directors. In 1950, the title of the school’s chief executive was changed to president, with the six schools headed by deans. In 1969, the state legislature elevated the Medical College to university status. By this act it established MUSC as the state’s only free standing academic health sciences center, and one of the few institutions of its kind in the nation.
In 1970 the six schools of the university were designated as colleges, each with its separate administration and faculty organization. Each college awards appropriate degrees along standard academic lines connected with its educational activities. All professional education programs, and the MUSC Medical Center, are accredited by the appropriate professional accrediting agency.
According to the publication’s homepage, “The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina.
The Medical University of South Carolina reports its production runs total approximately 8,000 copies per edition.