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School of Medicine Columbia

  • Black and White Photo of Building Three

Our History

We have been training physicians, researchers and other health care professionals since 1973. Our continued goal is to improve the health care available for the citizens of South Carolina and beyond.

Early Years

In 1973, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education and the State Legislature authorized the university to apply for a grant from the Veterans Administration to assist in the development of the medical school. The grant was approved the following year.

Faculty recruitment and curriculum planning began in 1975, and in 1976 the School of Medicine received provisional accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education of the American Medical Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges. In February 1977, the school was granted approval for admission of its first class of 24 medical students that fall.

The charter class graduated in May 1981, when the School of Medicine in Columbia was fully accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. Medical student class size has quadrupled since the entrance of the first class, and today almost 400 medical students are enrolled in our four-year program.

Growing the Graduate Program

The School of Medicine’s education programs were further augmented by the establishment of six fully accredited graduate programs. 

Growing Main Campus and Florence

The School of Medicine’s basic science campus is located four miles from the Columbia campus of the University of South Carolina on the Dorn VA Hospital campus, in a complex of fully-renovated historic buildings. The complex provides teaching and research facilities that are some of the best in the nation. Most clinical departments are located on the Richland Medical Park campus in central Columbia.

Affiliated hospitals are Prisma Health (including Prisma Health Richland and Prisma Health Baptist), the Dorn Veterans Administration Medical Center, the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center, the Lexington Medical Center and facilities of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.

In 2015, the School of Medicine launched it's Florence Regional Campus. This program gives our third and fourth year medical students the opportunity to live and learn in Florence, to get many opportunities to learn side-by-side with attending physicians and to increase their knowledge of rural medicine. This program is part of the school's mission to decrease the shortage of primary care physicians in rural parts of South Carolina. 

Integrated Ultrasound Curriculum

Continuing our tradition of innovation in medical education, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine has become a national leader in primary care medical education and was one of the first medical schools in the country to integrate ultrasound technology into all four years of the medical curriculum.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.