Like most good stories, the story of academic medicine in Utah has a humble beginning.
In 1905, the University of Utah established a two-year medical school. It was a modest accomplishment fueled by an ambitious vision that met with improbable success. The medical school became a four-year program, and noteworthy faculty members were somehow recruited away from such prominent institutions as Stanford, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. By June 1952, an article in Newsweek magazine praised the U’s medical school as “The Johns Hopkins of the West.”
One critical piece of the vision was still missing, however – a companion hospital.
A hospital “that would not be palatial or fancy, but which would facilitate carrying on the highest grade of scientifi c work, which by the quality and reputation of its clinical work would attract patients from the whole Mountain Region irrespective of their economic status, and which would have such a standing in the community that the best physicians and surgeons of the city would aspire to its visiting staff.”
– Phillip B. Price, M.D., joined the U of U faculty as head of surgery in 1943 and later became dean of the medical school. He persuaded the U’s Board of Regents to approve a $10 million medical center in 1956.
In 1965, Dr. Price’s vision was realized. The University of Utah Medical Center opened its doors. It was a gift of health to the entire Intermountain Region.
Over the past 45 years, University Hospital has continued to strategically expand with a singular goal in mind: To best meet the health care needs of a growing community.