Groote Schuur is the chief academic hospital of the University of Cape Town's medical school, providing tertiary care and instruction in all the major branches of medicine. The hospital underwent major extension in 1984 when two new wings were added. As such, the old main building now mainly houses several academic clinical departments as well as a museum about the first human heart transplant.
The hospital is an internationally acclaimed research institution and is world-renowned for its trauma unit, anaesthesiology and internal medicine departments. Groote Schuur attracts many visiting medical students, residents and specialists each year who come to gain experience in various fields. As at December 2006 the hospital employed over 500 doctors, 1300 nurses and 250 allied health professionals.
Groote Schuur is Dutch for 'Great Barn' and is named after the original Groote Schuur estate laid out by Dutch settlers when the city of Cape Town was founded in the 17th century.
The hospital was declared a Western Cape Provincial Heritage Site in 1996.