History of the University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

History of The University of Chicago Medicine

Dedicated on Halloween in 1927, the University of Chicago Hospitals quickly solidified under the direction of Frank Billings, MD. Expansion quickly followed:

  • In 1928, the Hospitals began construction on the Home for Destitute and Crippled Children.
  • In 1931, it became trustee for the Country Home for Convalescent Children.
  • In 1938, it merged with the Chicago Lying-in Hospital.


History of the Medical School

The University of Chicago matriculated its first class of medical students in 1927 and continues to serve as a leader in training physicians and scientists. In recognition of the generous support extended to the medical school from the Pritzker family of Chicago, the medical school was renamed the Pritzker School of Medicine in 1968. The great traditions which underlie our school’s history include the presence of a full-time teaching faculty devoted to educating our learners, a strong emphasis on research and discovery, and a commitment to translating the most recent advances in biomedical science to the bedside.


History of Graduate Medical Education at the University of Chicago Medicine

The University of Chicago Medicine has been at the forefront of training physicians to be leaders and innovators in their fields for decades. The oldest accredited program at the University of Chicago was Pediatrics, which received accreditation on May 1st, 1939. Accredited programs in Neurology and Psychiatry followed in the mid-40’s and significant expansion in the 1950s followed with the addition of Pathology, Neurological Surgery, Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Urology. Since then, accredited program offerings have continued to expand. One of our newest accredited programs is Clinical Informatics, a program that highlights the ever-expanding role of data in health care.

A fun fact about residency and why residents at the University of Chicago are still sometimes referred to as “housestaff:” During the mid-twentieth century, physician trainees would live (or “reside”) at the hospital or in hospital-provided housing.