The foundation of the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1967 rewarded years of effort by community leaders, educators, legislators, regents, physicians and others dedicated to the vision of a medical college for the state of Arizona. The bill authorizing the college had barely passed the Arizona Legislature four years earlier, squeaking by with a margin of just one vote in each house.
Founding dean Merlin K. Duval, MD, faced the daunting task of creating a medical college from the ground up. After choosing a site for what would become the College's Basic Sciences Building, he secured local and federal funds to begin construction.
Just two months after the first class graduated in 1971, University Hospital (now University Medical Center, University Campus), was completed. The College of Medicine was poised to become a cornerstone of the thriving Arizona Health Sciences Center on the UA campus.
From the start, the College was a key resource for the state of Arizona. It is now recognized as one of the nation's premier teaching and research institutions. Some major milestones along that path:
- the development of a perinatal and high-risk pregnancy transport service which dramatically decreased the state's infant mortality rate;
- the foundation of the Arizona Respiratory Sciences Center (now the Arizona Respiratory Center), designated the first Center of Excellence at the UA College of Medicine in 1971;
- the creation of the Medical Student Research Program, committed to increasing medical student access to the College's outstanding research opportunities, in 1981;
- the first major building expansion, the freestanding Arizona Cancer Center, dedicated in 1986;
- the establishment of an official Phoenix-based residency program in 1992;
- and the expansion of the Phoenix campus to a full four-year program, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, in 2007.
The University of Arizona College of Medicine offers medical students an outstanding medical education. Our integrated, multidisciplinary curriculum combines the latest advances in biomedical science with the practice of the classical art of medicine. Our membership in the Arizona Health Sciences Center, and our affiliations with more than a dozen hospitals and health-care facilities across two campuses, ensure that students will always have access to groundbreaking research opportunities, world-class faculty, and meaningful patient-care experiences.