According to Thomas Jefferson, medical education was to become part of the curriculum and of the general education at the University of Virginia. A 'School of Anatomy and Medicine' was one of the original eight schools authorized by an Act of the General Assembly, passed January 25, 1819, and opened on March 7, 1825.
Unlike many other medical schools of that era, the Medical School was always an integral part of the University, and the professors received full-time appointments. During the early years, the curriculum for the medical degree consisted of a graduated course entailing the most thorough theoretical instruction, except for the anatomical lessons of the dissecting room. Consequently, many medical students took additional degrees in schools in large cities where they obtained the necessary clinical training. The bias against clinical instruction was based, in part, on a Jeffersonian concept which stressed the teaching of medicine from a cultural rather than from a practical point of view.
Today, the University of Virginia Health System serves as one of the major acute-care referral institutions in central and western Virginia. The Health System comprises all of the direct patient care areas and the educational enterprise. The newest component is the University Hospital, which opened in 1990. The hospital and its adjoining Primary Care Center are linked to the old hospital, called the West Complex, located just across the street.
The University of Virginia Hospital has come a long way since its beginnings as a 25-bed facility. Today, the Medical Center serves as one of the major acute-care referral institutions in central and western Virginia. It is the centerpiece of the Health System, which also includes a school of nursing, a major health sciences library, and a highly rated school of medicine.
The Health System also includes the Children's Medical Center, the Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center, the Private Clinics Building, and the affiliated Virginia Ambulatory Surgery Center. The Center also operates a number of other local clinics and treatment centers. Preventative and family care are available, along with the leading specialists associated with a major medical center.
University of Virginia
School of Medicine
McKim Hall, #800725
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Admissions: (434) 924-5571
Fax: (434) 982-2586