University of Illinois College of Medicine

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 stopped accepting new students after Fall 2016 to make room for the newly established Carle Illinois College of Medicine.[1]

University of Illinois College of Medicine
EstablishedSeptember 26, 1882 (1882-09-26)
Parent institution
University of Illinois at Chicago
DeanMark I. Rosenblatt, MD, PhD, MBA
United States

In 2011, enrollment of medical students in the University of Illinois system totaled 1,290 according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.[2]


The College of Medicine, originally an independent institution, opened on September 26, 1882 as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago (P&S)[3] 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.[4]

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.

Present status

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.[5]


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.

The College of Medicine's Chicago campus sits on a plot of land once occupied by West Side Park, the former home of the Chicago Cubs.

Peoria Campus In Peoria, first through fourth-year students get clinical experience at Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Illinois - the busiest pediatric hospital in central Illinois - Pekin Hospital, and Proctor Community Hospital.[6]

Rockford Campus The Rockford campus includes the Center for Rural Health Professions, which works to improve health and healthcare in rural communities. Rockford teaches first through fourth year medical students and offers a family medicine residency program.[7]

Urbana Campus This campus will be closed in 2022 to make room for the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. This extension is on the Urbana-Champaign campus of the University of Illinois and offers student education and research opportunities that includes collaboration with colleagues across campus. Urbana also hosts the dual-degree Medical Scholars Program.[8]


The College of Medicine offers a Doctor of Medicine degree program (M.D.), a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program in the medical sciences, and three joint degree programs: MD/PhD, MD/MPH, and MD/MBA.

  • The MD curriculum of the College of Medicine at Chicago is the largest of the college's programs. It provides instruction in basic and clinical sciences and early exposure to patients. The curriculum stresses rational decision making and clinical problem solving based on an understanding of the basic biological, physical, and behavioral sciences; thus the integration of basic and clinical sciences is emphasized throughout the program.[9]
  • Innovative Medicine, Urban Medicine, Rural Medicine, and Global Medicine Program for Medical Students. The College also offers an Innovative Medicine Program, Urban Medicine Program, Rural Medicine Program, and Global Medicine Program programs to accepted students. Each of these programs provide an extended curriculum and longitudinal community project opportunities to medical students throughout all four years of medical school that focus on four main themes such as: Disparities in Health Care Access and Outcomes, Community Based-Participatory Research, Diversity and Intercultural Communications, Policy and Advocacy, and more (Global Medicine, Rural Medicine, or Urban Medicine).
  • In addition to a traditional medical program, the College of Medicine offers two physician-scientist training programs: the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in Chicago, an NIH-funded program that offers full tuition benefits and a stipend to the awarded students, and the Medical Scholars Program (MSP) in Urbana-Champaign.

Reputation and rankings

Among the school's alumni are : U.S. Representative James A. McDermott, ’63, and Olga Jonasson, ’58, a pioneer in kidney transplantation.[10]

  • 1 in 6 Illinois physicians are trained at the University of Illinois [11]
  • UI College of Medicine is ranked #25 by the NIH ranking based on amount of funding.[11]
  • UI College of Medicine is currently ranked #50 among research based medical schools in the 2020 edition of U.S. News & World Report.[12]
  • UI College of medicine ranks #1 for Hispanic graduates and #5 for African American graduates according to the “Top 100 Producers” ranking for 2008, Diverse Issues in Higher Education.[13]
  • UI College of Medicine is ranked #2 in the nation for enrollment of Hispanic medical students according to the "Top 25 Medical School Enrolling Hispanics" ranking.[14]
  • UI College of Medicine is currently ranked within the “top 10 medical schools for Hispanic students” by the Hispanic Business Magazine 2013.[15]
  • UI College of Medicine is currently the third largest medical school in the country. Its 1,351 students hail from a wide variety of cultural and economic backgrounds serving as a vast network of future leaders in health care and medicine.[10][16][17]
  • 75 residencies are available in a wide variety of fields on the four campuses. From emergency medicine in Chicago to family practice in Peoria, internal medicine in Urbana, and rural medicine in Rockford, students can choose from a wide variety of specialties.
  • The College’s faculty conducts groundbreaking research in many fields. Advancements include the development of a vaccine against prostate cancer, transplantation of pancreatic islet cells to cure Type I diabetes and more.

Notable alumni

  • Georges C. Benjamin (MD 1978) Executive Director of the American Public Health Association
  • Isabella Garnett (MD 1901) - Founder and superintendent of Evanston's Community Hospital
  • Charles Hirsch (MD 1958) — New York City Chief Medical Examiner[18]
  • W. Dudley Johnson (MD 1955) — cardiac surgeon known as the father of coronary artery bypass surgery
  • Olga Jonasson (MD 1958) — chief of surgery, Cook County Hospital (1977); first woman to chair an academic department of surgery (Ohio State University, 1987)[19]
  • Terry Mason (MD 1978) — physician and Director, Chicago Board of Health
  • Jim McDermott (MD 1963) - U.S. Representative (D-WA) (1989–2016)
  • Julius B. Richmond (MD 1939) — physician; founder of the Head Start Program; former U.S. Surgeon General

Notable faculty

  • Nathaniel Oglesby Calloway, Professor — First African American to receive their PhD
  • Ananda Chakrabarty, Professor, 1979–present (Chicago) — Development and patent of a genetically engineered Pseudomonas bacterium
  • Paul Lauterbur, Professor, 1985–1990 (Chicago), 1985–2007 (Urbana-Champaign) — Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2003 for development of MRI

See also

  • University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System


  1. "Home - Carle Illinois College of Medicine". Carle Illinois College of Medicine. Retrieved April 9, 2018.
  2. "Report Explanation Enrollment Counts: Source: LCME Part II Annual Medical School Questionnaire". Medical School Profile System. AAMC. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  3. "University of Illinois College of Medicine History - Univer".
  4. "University of Illinois Medical Center:History". Archived from the original on September 18, 2009. Retrieved October 22, 2009.
  5. "About University of Illinois College of Medicine".
  6. "University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  7. "University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  8. "College of Medicine - University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  9. "Doctor of Medicine - University of Illinois College of Med". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  10. "Fast Facts - University of Illinois College of Medicine". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  11. "Fast Facts - University of Illinois College of Medicine at". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  12. "University of Illinois - Best Medical School". US News. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  13. "Diversity - University of Illinois College of Medicine at C". Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  14. "Top 25 Medical Schools Enrolling Hispanics" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 21, 2014.
  15. "2013 Best Medical Schools -". Archived from the original on June 26, 2014.
  16. "Preliminary Enrollment Report Fall 2015" (PDF).
  17. "Quick Facts - LECOM Education System". Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  18. "Charles Hirsch MD receives Distinguished Alumnus Award at 2003 Commencement". University of Illinois College of Medicine. Retrieved September 16, 2008.
  19. "Olga Jonasson". Changing the Face of Medicine. Bethesda, Maryland: United States National Library of Medicine. March 14, 2004. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
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