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Medical University of South Carolina
Medical University of South Carolina

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is a public medical school in Charleston, South Carolina. It opened in 1824 as a small private college aimed at training physicians. It is one of the oldest continually operating schools of medicine in the United States and the oldest in the Deep South. The school's main building was designed by Charleston architect Albert W. Todd.

The school has expanded into a state university with a medical center and six colleges for the education of health professionals, biomedical scientists, and other health care personnel.


The College of Medicine began in 1823 with the incorporation of the Medical College of South Carolina, a private institution of the Medical Society of South Carolina. 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. At the time of Dr. Robert Wilson's appointment as Dean of the College of Medicine in 1908, Abraham Flexner was beginning his survey of the Medical College. Flexner's survey resulted in the report titled "Medical Education in the United States and Canada".[2] It was highly critical of the Medical College and its poor facilities, lack of full-time faculty, lack of equipment, and lack of money. Recognizing that the college did not meet national requirements, Dr. Wilson determined that the only way to save the college from closure was to transfer it to state ownership in order to have access to state appropriations. The state took over formal control of the college in 1913.

The College of Medicine consists of many departments including Anesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cell and Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Comparative Medicine, Dermatology, Family Medicine, Medicine, Microbiology and Immunology, Neurosciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Radiation Oncology, Radiology, Surgery, Regenerative Medicine and Cell Biology, and Urology.

The College of Medicine offers a four-year medical curriculum leading to a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). The College also offers dual-degree programs in conjunction with other colleges and universities. The Colleges of Medicine and Graduate Studies offer a combined M.D./Ph.D degree through the Medical Scientist Training Program as well as an M.D./master's degree in Clinical Research through the Southeastern Predoctoral Training in Clinical Research. Students can also receive a combined M.D./M.H.A. through the Colleges of Medicine and Health Professions. The College partners with the University of South Carolina and The Citadel to provide an M.D./master's in Public Health and M.D./master's of Business Administration, respectively.

The college accepts 155–160 students per year into their medical curriculum.

The Department of Pharmacy was created by an amendment to the charter in 1881, organized in 1882, and discontinued by 1884.

The SCCP's MUSC campus offers a dual PharmD/MBA program, a consortium between The Citadel Graduate College and the SCCP MUSC Campus. This consortium was originally designed and implemented before the SCCP was formed.

The current dean of the college is Dr. Phillip Hall.

The two-year training course for nurses was started in 1884 at Roper Hospital.

Graduate instruction began in 1949.

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. [4]

MUSC recently completed construction of a new, state of the art clinical education facility: The James B. Edwards Dental Clinics Building.

Patient care

Academic departments

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.

Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion (CVP), Master in Health Administration (MHA), Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI),[5] Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP),[6] Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (OT), Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (PA), Doctor of Health Administration (DHA), Doctor of Physical Therapy (PT), PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Science (PhD)

MUSC Foundation

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation was chartered in 1966 as a charitable, educational foundation to support the education, research, patient care and other programs at the Medical University.

MUSC Health Medical Center

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.

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.

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 1994, Peter B. Cotton formed the Digestive Disease Center at the Medical University of South Carolina. The center specializes in the management and treatment of digestive diseases. In 2012, it was the first hospital in South Carolina to perform the new LINX Reflux Management System treatment for patients with GERD.

University status

Until 1950, the college was headed by a dean, with the schools headed by directors.

In 1970, the six schools of the university were designated as colleges, each with its separate administration and faculty organization.

South Carolina Area Health Education Consortium

One of the most pressing problems in health care delivery and disease prevention across the nation is in the distribution of health professionals.

Growth in the past 40 years

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.

More than $200,000,000 of extramural grant awards were received by MUSC in the 2009–2010 fiscal year.

The Phase I Replacement Hospital with 156 beds was completed in 2008, the new James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine Clinical Education Building is currently under construction, and a new Bee Street Parking Garage opened for employee and rehab patient parking.

Plans were announced in 2017 for a new 126,000-square-foot outpatient facility to be constructed in the former JCPenney building at Citadel Mall in West Ashley. The two-story complex will be completely renovated with the lower level used for surgery and procedures, radiology and therapy; a second floor will hold physician offices and examination rooms.[10]

MUSC Catalyst News

MUSC Catalyst News is the name of both the digital and print sources of news from the Medical University of South Carolina.

MUSC Catalyst News is published by the MUSC Office of Public Affairs and Media Relations.

Allegations of racism

In the summer of 1969, Coretta Scott King, the widowed wife of the civil rights hero Dr Martin Luther King Jr, led a strike of hundreds of black women nurses at MUSC. Although the strike failed to win the workers their desired collective bargaining rights, it did bring their concerns of unequal treatment to the attention of MUSC management.[11]

In 2018 many black women working at MUSC argue little has changed and at least two workers sued for redress, claiming they have been the victims of systemic racism.

The hospital vehemently denies these allegations.[11]

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