In the Beginning (1905-1965)

The attire of these students in a 1927 laboratory indicates that medical schooling then was rather formal.

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

The architecture model for the 1965 Medical Center was on display during 1962 cornerstone ceremonies. Dignitaries included Leland B. Flint, chair of the Medical Center Fund campaign, left; Clarence Bamberger, vice chair; Royden G. Derrick, U Board of Regents chair; L. David Hiner, Ph.D., dean of U College of Pharmacy, Harry Loynd, president, Parke, Davis, and Co.; U of U President A. Ray Olpin; and Utah Gov. George D. Clyde.

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

The first building on the U Health Sciences Center Campus, the Cancer Research Building, was completed in 1948. Among ground breaking participants were Elroy Nelson, Utah State Building Board chair, bending with shovel; and architect B.E. Brazier, second from right.

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

Three rooms in the building now called the LeRoy Cowles Building on Presidents' Circle were 'home' to the medical school from 1905, when the two year program started, to 1920. In the very early years, only a high school education was required for acceptance to medical school.

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

Three vertical Danish Linden cranes, designed especially for the construction of the 1965 medical center, could be seen from blocks away. The Cancer Research Building, built in 1948, is at the right in the background; the Rehabilitation Wing, finished in 1961, at left.

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

In 1920, this dormitory for cavalry officers to be trained at the U during World War I was remodeled into the medical school building.

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

Police-escorted county ambulances moved patients from the old Salt Lake County General Hospital to the new medical center.

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

High Tech and Healing Hands (1972-Present)

University President David P. Gardner initiates ground-breaking ceremonies for the medical center expansion, November 18, 1977.

High Tech and Healing Hands (1972-Present)

High Tech and Healing Hands (1972-Present)

Then Vice President George A. Bush, Barbara Bush, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, learned about medical applications of lasers from laser surgery pioneer John A. Dixon, M.D., when they visited the U Laser Institute February 21, 1986.

High Tech and Healing Hands (1972-Present)

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

More than 800 kidney transplants have been performed by University physicians since the first operation on January 25, 1965, at Salt Lake County General Hospital

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

August L. Jung, M.D., left, was instrumental in establishing the medical center's newborn intensive care unit in 1968. Sen. Frank E. Moss, D-Utah, visited the site in 1971.

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

High Tech and Healing Hands (1972-Present)

Patients were moved across glassed-in bridges connecting the original medical center with the new $43 million University Hospital on September 22, 1981.

High Tech and Healing Hands (1972-Present)

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

Members of the U.S. Army National Guard and Air Guard helped move patients from Salt Lake County General Hospital to the new medical

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

The Salt Lake County General Hospital, five miles from campus, was the clinical arm of the medical school from 1942-1965. Old and poorly equipped, the facility was a sharp contrast to well-endowed hospitals that the new U faculty had left behind.

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

It was a bitterly cold, windy day on January 9, 1962, when Utah Gov. George D. Clyde; Elroy Nelson, chair of the State Building Board; and Royden G. Derrick, U Board of Regents chair; used an earth moving tractor to initiate excavation for the medical center.

In the Beginning (1905-1965)

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

The goal of having a unified medical school and teaching hospital was realized in 1965 with the opening of the seven-story, 500,000 square-foot U Medical Center.

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

High Tech and Healing Hands (1972-Present)

University of Utah Hospital opened in September 1981, cost $43 million and was part of a $63 million expansion project, which added more than 420,000 square feet to the medical complex. A public fund drive for the expansion launched in 1975 raised $10 million in two years.

High Tech and Healing Hands (1972-Present)

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

The world's first artifical kidney was developed by Willem J Kolff, M.D., Ph.D., distinguished professor of surgery and internal medicine. He continued work on the kidney after coming to Utah, and his work on the artificial heart led, in 1982, to the first permanent implantation in a human.

Trouble and Triumph (1965-1972)

University of Utah
School of Medicine History

A special thanks to C. Hilmon Castle, M.D. for providing this information. Please contact Dr. Castle directly for corrections or additions. (801) 328-8644

Historical Milestones: 1905 to the Present



  • University Hospitals & Clinics Opens South Jordan Health Center
  • University Hospital Opens Comprehensive Transplant Services and Specialty Clinic
  • The 50-Bed Huntsman Cancer Hospital Dedicated
  • University Hospital Opens University Orthopaedic Center in Research Park


  • University Hospital's Stroke Services Named Region's First Primary Stroke Center
  • $40 Million Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Health Sciences Education Building Opens
  • Opening of the 125,000-square-foot Emma Eccles Jones Medical Research Building
  • University of Utah Health Care Launches Liver Transplant Program
  • University of Utah School of Medicine Celebrates "A Century of Brilliance": 100th Anniversary
  • An Alzheimer¿s Program For The 21st Century: Center for Alzheimer's Care, imaging, and Research Opens


  • New $54 Million John A. Moran Eye Center Opens
  • University of Utah Health Care Opens Centerville Health Center
  • University of Utah Health Care Launches Pancreas Transplant Program
  • Sports Medicine & Research Testing Laboratory in Utah Accredited by World Anti-Doping Agency
  • AirMed voted the 2006 International Program of the Year


  • University of Utah Health Care Celebrates Completion of Eccles Critical Care Pavilion Expansion
  • University of Utah Health Care Debuts Fastest Scanner in The Region: New CT Scanner captures three-dimensional imaging of the heart in a single beat
  • Mario R. Capecchi, University of Utah Gene-Targeting Pioneer, Wins 2007 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine


  • Clinical Neurosciences Center opens.
  • Groundbreaking for the expansion of the Huntsman Cancer Hospital.
  • University awarded a $22.5 million Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the NIH to speed the time it takes for research to be put into clinical use.


  • The Clinical Neurosciences Center receives designation as a Neuroscience Center of Excellence (COE).
  • University of Utah Health Care opens the first integrated electrophysiology (EP) MRI laboratory in North America.
  • The Health and Wellness Center opens.
  • University of Utah Hospital opens $200 million Patient Care Pavilion.



  • John A. Moran Eye Center Opens


  • Red Butte Clinic and Park City Family Health Center Open, Expanding Community Clinics, Which Include Wendover, Holladay, and Wasatch Clinics


  • Utah's First Double-Lung Transplant Performed at University Hospital
  • Utah's First Telemedicine Connection Links University Hospital and Wendover Patients


  • Telepharmacy Offers Hospital Pharmacy and Drugs to Health Centers Throughout State


  • University Hospital Issues Patient Record No. 1,000,000
  • University Hospitals & Clinics Purchases Five Outpatient Medical Clinics, Creating a 14-clinic Network Along the Wasatch Front and in Summit County


  • University Hospital's Intermountain Burn Center Earns Prestigious National Accreditation
  • The 225,000 square-foot Huntsman Cancer Institute Opens


  • University Hospital Named Intermountain West's First National Verified Level I Trauma Center by American College of Surgeons
  • Three University Hospital Nurses Go to NYC to Aid Burn Patients After Terror Attacks
  • Utah Diabetes Center Opens in Research Park


  • University Hospitals & Clinics Provides Medical Care for Winter Olympics' Athletes Village, Opening and Closing Ceremonies


  • University Hospital Opens $42.5 Million George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Critical Care Pavilion
  • University Hospitals & Clinics Opens Spanish-speaking Clinic at Redwood Health Center



  • Teen Mother and Child Program Established


  • New $43 Million University of Utah Hospital Opens on Sept. 22


  • World's First Artificial Heart Implant Performed on Barney Clark. More Than 300 Media Representatives Flock to University Hospital
  • University Hospital Opens Pediatric Intensive Care Unit


  • University Begins In Vitro Fertilization Program


  • 16-year-old Tony Shepard receives the first heart transplant in the state of Utah
  • University Hospital Installs Area's First Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner


  • Travel Clinic Opens at University Hospital
  • Bone Marrow Transplant Program Begins on Remodeled Fifth Floor of University Hospital



  • A Four-bed Newborn Intensive Care Unit Opens--the First in the Intermountain West


  • University Hospital Opens the Intermountain Burn Center


  • University Hospital Begins Air Medical Transport Service



  • U.S. Public Health Services awarded the medical school $1.5 million for research.
  • Business Bureau reported for every dollar invested in the medical school by Utah, three dollars were generated for the economy. By 2005 for every dollar provided by the state, nine dollars were generated.


  • The University Board of Regents unanimously approved construction of a $10 million medical center.


  • Division of Postgraduate Medical Education established.


  • Reported 126 full-time and 325 clinical faculty members.


  • Clinical Research Center (CRC) funded by NIH was established at the Salt Lake County Hospital. The CRC was moved to University Hospital when it opened in July 1965.


  • The University of Utah Medical Center opens its doors on July 10. The new 220-bed Medical Center costs $15.6 million.



  • From 1906 until 1942, the two-year medical program graduated 548 students who transferred out of state to four-year medical schools to complete their requirements for a medical degree.
  • University of Utah Board of Regents approved a four-year medical school in May.
  • Agreement with Salt lake County to use county hospital on 21st South and State Street for teaching in exchange for care of county patients at no cost to the county.
  • Medical students were accepted for their third year.
  • First wave of new full-time faculty joined the medial school to create new academic departments and strengthen existing departments.


  • Clinical appointments of practicing physicians to serve as teachers.


  • Residency training program in Medicine started.
  • The four-year medical school was officially accredited on June 12.
  • The first class of the four-year school graduated Sept. 10. Four women were among the 35 graduates.


  • First research grant of $100,000 provided by the U.S. Public Health Service to the medical school to study genetic diseases. This was the first grant awarded to any medical school through this organization and was renewed annually for 33 years, bringing nearly $10 million to Utah.


  • Affiliation with the Veterans Administration Hospital for teaching medical students and residents.


  • Medical School awarded $416,400 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study cancer.


  • Utah began accepting medical students from other Intermountain states.


  • Cancer research building opened on campus, the first building on the health sciences campus.



  • Premedical requirements increased to three years of college.


  • Medical School Alumni Association organized.



  • School of Pharmacy established.


  • Medical program established as a separate two-year Medical School that became a member of the American Association of Medical Schools (AAMC) and the American Medical Association (AMA) Council of Medical Education.


  • Two year medical courses began in the Department of Biology with 14 students

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