The University of Illinois College of Medicine offers a four-year program leading to the MD degree at four different sites in Illinois: Chicago, Peoria, Rockford, and formerly Urbana–Champaign. The Urbana-Champaign site closed to make room for Carle Illinois College of Medicine .
In 2011, enrollment of medical students in the University of Illinois system totaled 1,290 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The College of Medicine, originally an independent institution, opened on September 26, 1882 as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago (P&S) with 100 students and a faculty of 30. Five years later, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois approved a contract of affiliation whereby the university would lease P&S as its Department of Medicine. The arrangement continued until 1912 when there was a nine-month hiatus in the affiliation due to a lack of legislative support. It was only after the faculty and alumni of P&S bought up all shares of the school’s stock and presented them to the Board of Trustees as a gift that the school officially became the College of Medicine of the University of Illinois in March 1913.
In the late 1800s, although six medical schools were already in existence, five physicians: Charles Warrington Earle, Abraham Reeves Jackson, Daniel Atkinson King Steele, Samuel McWilliams and Leonard St. John—decided to open their own proprietary medical school. They pooled together $5,541.78, purchased a piece of land and secured a certificate of incorporation. The new school, located on Harrison and Honore streets, was named the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago (commonly referred to as P&S). Its doors opened on Sept. 26, 1882, with a class of 100 students and a faculty of 27 physicians.
At the West Side Free Dispensary, located on the first floor of the medical school, students in small groups could observe pathological cases and their treatment. Patients were classified according to the affected area or system of the body: heart, lungs, eyes, ears, skin or nervous system. The dispensary also furnished material for college clinics in medicine, surgery, gynecology, obstetrics, ophthalmology, neurology and pediatrics. In its first three years, the dispensary registered 20,353 patients and dispensed 17,347 prescriptions. In 1913, after years of negotiations, the P&S faculty and alumni donated stock to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees to establish the University of Illinois College of Medicine. In 1970, the Illinois legislature voted to expand the college to three additional sites: Peoria, Rockford and Urbana. Their purpose was to provide access to care for all citizens in the state and increase opportunities for Illinois residents to attend medical school.
The College of Medicine has a faculty of approximately 4,000 across the four sites.
The surrounding health science center, of which the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine is a part, also comprises the University of Illinois Medical Center, the colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Applied Health Sciences, and the School of Public Health.
Chicago Campus Located in one of the world’s largest medical districts, medical students on the Chicago campus get early clinical experience. All students accompany physicians on rounds and learn to take patient histories starting in their first year. Fifty-three residency programs are available.
In addition to serving as the Chicago program site, the Chicago campus of the College of Medicine is the administrative home for the dean and all other college-wide officers. Located on the Near West Side, the college is part of the University of Illinois Medical Center, which includes the colleges of Applied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and the School of Public Health.