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Academic Health Center Oral History Project

Medical School Timeline

1851 In January, Governor Ramsey and the legislation established the University of Minnesota. The Department of Medicine was established with four other departments: Department of Science, Literature and the Arts, The Department of Law, the Department of the Theory and Practice of Elementary Instruction, and the Department of Agriculture
1888 The Board of Regents officially establishes the College of Medicine and Surgery as a teaching entity, instead of the examining body, as it had been previously. Perry H. Millard, who would in 1891 become the first secretary of the Association of American Medical Colleges, is named dean
1897 After Dean Millard's death, A. Parks Ritchie, who had a private practice in St. Paul, was appointed dean
1906 Dean Ritchie resigns his post; Frank F. Wesbrook, a professor of pathology and bacteriology at the University, is named dean
1908 The Hamline University Department of Medicine merges with the University College of Medicine and Surgery. The University of Minnesota becomes the only college of medicine in the state. The medical faculty is reorganized into departments instead of being directly responsible to the dean
1913 Dean Wesbrook resigns and Elias P. Lyon is named dean. Lyon had been dean of the St. Louis University School of Medicine
1931 Dr. Richard E. Scammon, the dean of the division of biological sciences at the University of Chicago, becomes the first dean of the newly created College of Medical Sciences at the University. The College included the Schools of Medicine and Nursing and the University Hospital*
1935 Dr. Scammon resigns as dean of the College of Medical Sciences. Harold S. Diehl, who had been director of the students' health service, is appointed dean
1936 Dean Lyon retires as the head of the Medical School. Harold S. Diehl takes on the deanship of the Medical School in addition to his deanship of the College of Medical Sciences
1951 The Variety Club Heart Hospital is dedicated
1954 The University of Minnesota begins to send representatives from the College of Medicine on an educational aid project at Seoul National University, Korea
1958 Dean Diehl retires and Robert B. Howard, who had been the director of Continuing Medical Education, is appointed dean
1959 The Veterans of Foreign Wars Cancer Research Center is dedicated
1960 The Medical School curriculum is reformed in order to increase clinical contact for juniors and seniors including participation in clinical programs and a research period
1963 The Minnesota House (authored by Rep. Clinton Hall) introduces bill that would help medical students pay back scholarship loans in return for 5 years service in rural MN
1964 The Hill Family Foundation of St. Paul sponsors a regional study of the projected need for dentists and physicians in the upper Midwest: Health Manpower Study Commission, directed by Dr. Osler W. Peterson, Harvard Professor of Public Health and assisted by Dr. Ivan Fahs, sociologist at Bethel College, St. Paul. The College of Biological Sciences is established
1965 In December, a new constitution for the College of Medical Sciences is adopted including establishment of a Committee on Education Policy to continue review and evaluation of the undergraduate and graduate educational programs of the medical school
1966 In March, the regents modify medical school policy on faculty practice, establishing guidelines for the referral system for private patients. In August, the Hill Family Foundation Health Manpower Report is published
1967 In February, the Division of Family Practice and Community Health is established as a division within the Department of Medicine
1968 In April, the Board of Regents supports the expansion of medical training facilities into St. Paul, Duluth, and Rochester. They also call for establishment of a clinical training program in St. Paul-Ramsey Hospital and for the establishment of graduate programs in chemistry and biology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Dean Howard announces a proposal to rebrand the University's medical center as the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Center. The Division of Family Practice and Community is removed from the Department of Medicine and re-established as a Department of Family Practice and Community Health
1969 In April, the executive faculty of the Medical School endorses the Program for Minority Students
1970 The College of Medical Sciences is dissolved and the University's previously autonomous College of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry are reorganized, together with the Schools of Nursing, Medicine, and Public Health, and the University Hospitals, into a centrally organized and administered academic health center (AHC) named the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Center. In October, the Rural Health Physician Associate Program begins. In December, the University receives a $22.4 million grant from NIH for Building A. Dean Howard retires and Dr. Neal L. Gault is appointed as dean, returning from the University of Hawaii
1971 In April, the Senate Higher Education Committee approves a bill to create a U of M medical campus at St. Paul-Ramsey Hospital
1972 The Council for Health Interdisciplinary Participation (CHIP), a student organization, is established in order to foster collaboration across the health science disciplines. The University of Minnesota, Duluth Medical School is founded
1978 Legislative auditor's report in September criticized medical school's faculty practice policies
1979 In January, medical school students organize an ethics course
1986 The MD/PhD program begins during the fall semester. The new University Hospital is opened
1987 Neal Gault resigns his deanship and David M. Brown, a member of the Department of Pediatrics and Laboratory Medicine, is appointed dean
1991 The University of Minnesota Cancer Center is founded
1993 David Brown resigns and Shelley Chou, who had been a member of the neurosurgery faculty, is named interim dean
1995 Frank Cerra, a faculty member since 1981, is appointed dean to replace Dr. Chou
1996 Dr. John Najarian goes to court over 15 federal charges related to the use of the drug ALG. All charges are dismissed
April, 1996 Dr. Cerra is named provost of the Academic Health Center and resigns his deanship of the Medical School
1997 Dr. Alfred Michael, Regents' Professor and chair of the pediatrics department is named dean of the Medical School. The University Hospital is sold to the Fairview Health System
2002 Dean Michael resigns his position. Dr. Deborah Powell, who had been executive dean and vice chancellor for clinical affairs at the University of Kansas, is named dean of the Medical School
2008 Minnesota Masonic Charities donate $65 million to the University, the largest gift ever given to the University, for cancer research. The Cancer Center is renamed the Masonic Cancer Center in honor of the gift
2009 Because of the reorganization of the health sciences, the deanship of the medical school is absorbed into the senior vice presidency of the Academic Health Center. Dean Powell resigns, and Frank Cerra takes on both roles
2011 Frank Cerra retires as dean of the Medical School and Senior Vice President for the Health Sciences. Dr. Aaron Friedman is appointed dean; he had been the head of the Department of Pediatrics prior to the appointment


* In 1944, the regents establish the School of Public Health, formerly a department within the Medical School, which is then formally included in the CMS