By Sheila Champlin
Reaching a 100th year isn’t an easy feat, so arriving at such an auspicious anniversary is definitely reason to celebrate. With a meticulously crafted coffee-table book, 5K run-walk, and a fall gala, the UT Health Science Center is marking its first century with pride and panache.
From modest beginnings in August 1911, the Health Science Center has matured into an indispensable element of an interwoven health care system—in Memphis, across Tennessee, throughout the Mid-South, and beyond.
UTHSC started with seed programs in medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy that quickly flourished. Within a few years, programs were initiated in allied health sciences, graduate health sciences, and nursing. In 1963, the UT Graduate School of Medicine in Knoxville became part of UTHSC as the second College of Medicine campus. Then in 1974, the UT College of Medicine, Chattanooga, joined the Health Science Center.
Over ten decades, UTHSC has educated and trained more than 53,000 health care professionals and is the state’s only academic health science center. Today 2,800 students and more than 1,025 residents are enrolled and being trained under the tutelage of UTHSC professionals.
The impact on the state and region is huge. UTHSC health care professionals annually provide more than a million days of hospital care across the state and more than 2 million outpatient visits.
Its physicians run three Level 1 trauma centers, treating 12,000 cases a year. At the Dental Clinic in Memphis, students and faculty members handle more than 40,000 visits annually, providing quality care at reduced prices.
Hundreds of pharmacists in Tennessee graduated from UTHSC’s College of Pharmacy, ranked one of the best graduate schools in the country. UTHSC is the leading producer of graduate nurses and nursing faculty members in the region.
Generations of industry-leading researchers and allied health professionals have been and are being trained at UTHSC, bringing a passion for discovery, innovative approaches, and disciplined scientific methodologies to their fields.