The College of Medicine, originally an independent institution, opened on September 26, 1882 as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Chicago (P&S) with 100 students and a faculty of 30. Five years later, the Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois approved a contract of affiliation whereby the university would lease P&S as its Department of Medicine. The arrangement continued until 1912 when there was a nine-month hiatus in the affiliation due to a lack of legislative support. It was only after the faculty and alumni of P&S bought up all shares of the school's stock and presented them to the Board of Trustees as a gift that the school officially became the College of Medicine of the University of Illinois in March 1913.
In addition to serving as the Chicago program site, the Chicago campus of the College of Medicine is the administrative home for the dean and all other college-wide officers. Located on the Near West Side, the college is part of the University of Illinois Medical Center, which includes the colleges of Applied Health Sciences, Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy, and the School of Public Health.
The College of Medicine's Chicago campus sits on a plot of land once occupied by West Side Park, the former home of the Chicago Cubs.
In addition to a traditional medical program, the college of medicine offers two physician-scientist training programs; the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) in Chicago, an NIH-funded program that offers full tuition benefits and a stipend to the awarded students and the Medical Scholars Program (MSP) in Urbana-Champaign.