The Medical University of South Carolina opened in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824 as a small private college for the training of physicians. It is the sixth oldest continually operating school of medicine in the United States and the oldest in the Deep South. It has expanded into a state university with a medical center and six colleges for the education of a broad range of health professionals, biomedical scientists and other health related personnel. It also operates as a center for research and a public hospital.
The Medical University of South Carolina was incorporated in 1823 as the Medical College of South Carolina, a private institution of the Medical Society of South Carolina, giving the faculty complete responsibility. Seven Charleston physicians formed the initial faculty with 30 students enrolled in 1824. The first graduation was on April 4, 1825. With the exception of the American Civil War, the college has served continuously to the present, even when there was a total enrollment of two students. To achieve the financial backing for growth in the twentieth century, the college was transferred to state ownership and incorporated into the state's higher education system in 1913.
The Department of Pharmacy was created by an amendment to the charter in 1881. Organized in 1882, it was discontinued by 1884. Resuming in 1894, the Department of Pharmacy offered a degree of Graduate in Pharmacy (Ph.G.). It now only offers a degree in Doctor of Pharmacy. The College of Pharmacy merged with the University of South Carolina's College of Pharmacy in Columbia, SC to make the South Carolina College of Pharmacy in 2006.
The two-year training course for nurses was started in 1884 at Roper Hospital. The training school was incorporated into the Medical College of South Carolina in 1919 and expanded to three years. The School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 9 Masters programs in Nursing and a Doctoral Program in Nursing.
Graduate instruction began in 1949. The first Master of Science degree was conferred in 1951. The first Doctor of Philosophy was awarded in 1952. The School of Graduate Studies formally organized in 1965 and now offers a variety of programs including molecular and cellular biology, pathobiology, pharmaceutical sciences, and environmental sciences.
The School of Dental Medicine was authorized in 1953 at the request of the South Carolina Dental Association. Funding delayed the school until 1964. The first class received DMD degrees in 1971. MUSC is building a new, state of the art clinical education facility: James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine - Clinical Education Center.
1. Dental Student Clinics:
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Oral and Community Health Sciences
Oral Medicine, Radiology and Emergency Services
Oral Pathology and Forensic Dentistry
Three hospital-based training programs (Medical Technology, Cytotechnology, and Radiologic Technology) became the nucleus of a Division of Technical Training, recognized as a separate branch of the Medical College in 1964. The School of Allied Health Sciences, now the College of Health Professions, was formally organized in 1966, and expanded to offer over 20 different training options in the paramedical field. The college now offers eight baccalaureate and seven master's degree programs.
The Medical College of South Carolina was one of the first medical schools in the United States to establish, in 1834, an infirmary specifically for teaching purposes. In the 1840s the college also entered into agreements for clinical training opportunities at the Poorhouse, the Marine Hospital, and the local "dispensary." In 1856, Roper Hospital was opened, and for 100 years Roper was the Medical College's primary teaching hospital.
The Medical College recognized the need for its own facilities to expand clinical teaching opportunities, as well as to serve as a major referral center in South Carolina for diagnosis and treatment of disease. The ten-story Medical University Hospital accepted its first patients in 1955. In 1985 the name of the hospital and its clinics was changed to MUSC Medical Center, reflecting its function in an academic health institution and its wide range of services to the public. This comprehensive facility now consists of three separate hospitals (the University Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry, and the Children's Hospital). The Medical Center includes centers for specialized care (Heart Center, Transplantation Center, Hollings Cancer Center, Digestive Diseases Center). Numerous outpatient facilities include the Family Medicine Center, University Diagnostic Center, and affiliated faculty practice association ambulatory care centers. In the past ten years, $200 million in capital improvements for the Medical Center focused resources on improved quality of patient care and accessibility of services. In 1993-94 there were over 23,000 inpatient admissions and almost 300,000 outpatient visits. MUSC also manages the Charleston Memorial Hospital adjacent to the campus, providing there a low-risk obstetrical service.
Among the programs which have earned distinguished reputations at the Medical University of South Carolina are: Pathology, neuroscience, bariatric surgery, vascular medicine, substance abuse, cardiovascular medicine, drug sciences, perinatal medicine, burn care, ophthalmology, hearing loss, genetics, pediatric emergency services, rheumatology, and cancer care.
In 1950 the title of the chief executive officer was changed from dean to president, with separate deans for each of the schools. By the late 1960s, with six fully operational schools of professional education in the health sciences, the Medical College of South Carolina had become an institution of university size and scope. In 1969, the state legislature changed the name to the Medical University of South Carolina. By this act it established MUSC as the state's only free standing academic health sciences center, exclusively providing a full range of professional education, clinical services and biomedical research.
In 1970 the six schools of the university were designated as colleges, each with its separate administration and faculty organization. Each college awards appropriate degrees along standard academic lines connected with its educational activities. All professional education programs, and the MUSC Medical Center, are accredited by the appropriate professional accrediting agency.
One of the most pressing problems in health care delivery and disease prevention across the nation is in the distribution of health professionals. The Medical University serves as the "home" institution for the South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium (AHEC), a statewide consortium of teaching hospitals and rural health education centers. As Dean of the Medical University of South Carolina from 1971-1974, Dr. J. F. A. McManus provided the impetus for the establishment, with area hospital leaders, of a consortium of statewide hospitals for undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. Since 1972 South Carolina AHEC has influenced the education, supply, retention, and geographic distribution of health care professionals statewide, particularly in smaller, underserved communities. South Carolina AHEC programs include undergraduate and graduate level medical education, nursing, allied health, pharmacy and dental education, as well as all family practice residency programs in the state. South Carolina AHEC maintains partnerships between the university and communities across the state, as evidenced by more than 200 full time faculty members and hundreds more part time and consulting faculty who teach in South Carolina AHEC programs in virtually every county of the state.
In the 93 years since the Medical University became a state institution, its growth was gradual up to the 1940s and phenomenal since then, particularly in the past 40 years. Student enrollments have jumped from 571 in 1965 to almost 2,500 students in the fall of 2006 (not including post doctoral residents in medicine, dental medicine and pharmacy); the full time faculty has grown from approximately 200 to over 1,000 (including approximately 500 FTE teaching faculty). The library has more than 200,000 bound volumes, approximately 12,600 E-journal subscriptions, and a vast array of online databases & knowledgebases.
More than $189,000,000 of extramural grant awards were received by MUSC in the 2005-2006 fiscal year. In terms of productivity and quality of research it is generally ranked number two in the state, behind Clemson, but ahead of the much larger University of South Carolina, Columbia.
Expansion in enrollments and programs has been made possible by ambitious programs of physical plant development that have seen the institution grow from one building in 1913 to a 76-acre medical complex, with more 89 buildings. Among the many buildings added to the campus was the historic old Charleston Arsenal, acquired in 1963. Since 1985, nine new buildings have been constructed: East Wing and Children's Hospital (1986), Institute of Psychiatry (1988), North Tower (1993), Harper Student Center (1993), Hollings Cancer Center (1993), The Strom Thurmond Biomedical Research Center and the Gazes Cardiac Institute (1997) in cooperation with the VA Hospital, Charles P. Darby Children’s Research Institute (2005), Ashley-Rutledge Parking Garage (2005), and Ashley River Tower (2008). In addition there have been major renovation/addition projects including Storm Eye Institute expansion (1998), Rutledge Tower Ambulatory Care Facility renovation (1998), College of Health Professions Complex (2005), Hollings Cancer Center Tower expansion (2005), and Colcock Hall (2005-2006). Scheduled for completion over the next several years are the Phase I Replacement Hospital with 156 beds, the new James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine Clinical Education Building, and a new Bee Street Parking Garage. A Drug Discovery Building is already in the design phase, and approvals are expected soon for a Bioengineering Building in collaboration with the University of South Carolina and Clemson University.