The college is named after Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi, a great freedom fighter and journalist from Kanpur. The college has a large and distinguished faculty to support its missions of education, research, and clinical care. It is ranked fourth among the medical colleges in India. It has served as the model for Indian medical colleges since its foundation in 1956.
Every year 190 students are allowed to take admission in the MBBS course by two competitive examinations. The prestigious AIPMT accounts for the filling of 15% seats. The remaining 85% seats are filled through a state-level entrance examination: CPMT.