University of Louisville School of Medicine, USA

The University of Louisville School of Medicine at the University of Louisville is a medical school located in Louisville, Kentucky,United States. Opened as the Louisville Medical Institute in 1837, it is one of the oldest medical schools in North America and the 9th oldest in the United States.

University of Louisville researchers achieved the first implantation of the first fully self-contained artificial heart, the first successful hand transplant in the world, the first five hand transplants in the United States and nine hand transplants in eight recipients as of 2008, the first discovery of embryonic-like stem cells in adult human bone marrow, and the first proof that adult nasal stem cells can grow to become other types of cells. In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Louisville School of Medicine #76 in research in its annual list of Best Medical Schools in the United States.


The school offers several dual degree programs including MD/MS, MD/MA, MD/MBA, MD/MPH, and MD/PhD degrees. For the 2017 entering class, 162 students enrolled in the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program.


By the early 1830s, Louisville had become a center for inland transportation into the United States. Seeking to develop cultural institutions, citizens (notably town trustee and future United States Secretary of the Treasury James Guthrie) called for a medical school to be founded in Louisville. The city government appropriated funds for a new medical school at Eighth and Chestnut Streets. Much of the Louisville Medical Institute’s early faculty came from Transylvania Medical Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. Theodore Stout Bell, a prominent physician at Transylvania Medical Institute, helped initiate this faculty transfer by suggesting that Louisville would have better clinical cadavers for medical study than Lexington. Classes at the Louisville Medical Institute began in temporary quarters in fall 1837, eventually moving to a building designed by Kentucky architect Gideon Shryockeight months later. Clinical teaching took part in the wards of Louisville City Hospital (now University Hospital). By the early 1840s, University of Louisville School of Medicine had become a distinguished center for medical education, attracting students from a wide variety of locations in the southern and western United States.


The 1960s saw a period of major growth in the University of Louisville Medical Department. University officials began construction of a Health Sciences Center, where health-related study and research would take place and the School of Medicine would be located. The Health Sciences Center included a 120,000-square-foot Medical-Dental Research Building (opened in 1963), new buildings to house the medical and dental schools, a library, and laboratory buildings. Vice President for health affairs Harold Boyer oversaw state appropriation of funds for the construction of a new teaching hospital and ambulatory care center.

In 1997, the Kentucky General Assembly approved House Bill 1, also known as the Higher Education Reform Act. It included the mandate that the University of Louisville become a premier metropolitan research university by 2020. Today, the Health Sciences Center features over 200,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research facilities, a standardized patient clinic and one of the largest academic medical simulation centers in the United States.


Throughout its history, the University of Louisville School of Medicine has been a pioneer in terms of modern medical practice and surgical procedure. Notably, the University of Louisville housed the world’s first emergency room, opened in 1911 and developed by surgeon Arnold Griswold in the 1930s. Griswold also developed autotransfusion, the process by which a person receives their own blood for a transfusion rather than banked donor blood.

The general applicant pool has become increasingly more competitive. Kentucky residents are selected for 120 of the approximately 155 seats in the School of Medicine program each year. Out of state seats are awarded to those with superior academic achievement, MCAT scores, research, community service and/or ties to Kentucky.

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