Keck School of Medicine of USC

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Keck School of Medicine of USC
Type Private
Established 1885
Dean Rohit Varma, M.D., M.P.H., interim[1]
Academic staff
over 1,200 full-time faculty; over 3,800 voluntary faculty
Students 679 medical students; 292 Ph.D. students; 300 master's students
Location Los Angeles, California
Campus Urban

The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California teaches and trains healthcare providers, conducts medical research, and treats patients. Founded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine (formerly the USC College of Medicine) is the oldest medical school in Southern California. It is located on the university's 30.8-acre (125,000 m2) Health Sciences campus three miles (5 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles, California, and is adjacent to the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center. USC Health is an affiliated system of hospitals, clinics, and primary care providers.


Keck Hospital of USC

Established in 1885, the USC College of Medicine became the region's first medical school and the second professional school founded at USC. That same year, led by its first dean Joseph Pomeroy Widney, M.D., the school entered into an affiliation with the Los Angeles County Hospital—a relationship that still exists today—enabling students to train in one of the largest teaching hospitals in the nation.

The school’s original home was in a two-story brick building that formerly housed a winery. In 1896 the USC College of Medicine opened a modern three-story building constructed with $20,000 that the faculty had personally borrowed.

In 1932, the USC School of Medicine established an affiliation with Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA). The following year, Los Angeles County opened a new modern county hospital, the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center. The building was used for 75 years until replaced in 2008.

In 1949 the University purchased land adjacent to the county hospital, which became the nucleus of the medical campus known today as the USC Health Sciences campus.

USC Norris Cancer Hospital

The 1950s and 1960s saw the school emerge as an innovator by adding a Doctor-Patient Relations program to its curriculum and developing a standardized patient program—using actors to help train medical students—and creating a mannequin, later dubbed Sim One, which could simulate the physiological responses of a human body. The innovations proved highly successful and garnered much respect for the school’s developing curriculum. The standardized patient program has grown steadily in popularity and is common among medical schools today.

In 1973, the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center was established as one of the original National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers. The campus further expanded with the opening of the Doheny Eye Institute in 1985 and USC University Hospital, now called Keck Hospital of USC, in 1991.

In 1999, the school was named the Keck School of Medicine of USC to honor a generous $110 million gift from the W. M. Keck Foundation, the largest philanthropic gift ever made to a U.S. medical school at that time.

In 2009, USC bought USC University Hospital and USC Norris Cancer Hospital from Tenet Healthcare Corporation and currently operates both of these teaching hospitals.

Notable achievements[edit]

Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC

Keck faculty have achieved a number of "firsts" for the school:

  • 1969 – development of the first academic Department of Emergency Medicine in the nation
  • 1970 – discovery of the first cancer-causing gene or oncogene
  • 1972 – establishment of Los Angeles County's Cancer Surveillance Program—one of the largest and most scientifically productive population-based cancer registries in the world
  • 1993 – development of the world’s first double lobar lung transplant from living-related donors
  • 2002 – development of the first retinal implant, as part of revolutionary research to restore sight to those blinded by degenerative retinal diseases
  • 2010 – development of HIV-resistant blood stem cells

Affiliated hospitals and practices[edit]

Aerial shot of the LAC+USC Medical Center

As of 2013, USC Health included three hospitals, some campus-based specialty clinics, five community-based ambulatory care clinics, and USC Care Medical Group, which is the physician practice of doctors who are on the faculty of the Keck School of Medicine.[2] Hospitals and clinics include:

  • Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, the teaching hospital of the Keck School of Medicine of USC since 1885, is one of the largest public hospitals in the country and is staffed by faculty of the Keck School and medical residents in training.[citation needed]
  • Keck Hospital of USC, a private, 400-bed acute care hospital staffed by faculty of the Keck School of Medicine of USC.[citation needed]
  • Children's Hospital Los Angeles[3]
  • USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center & Hospital, which is designated by the National Cancer Institute as one of the nation's 40 comprehensive cancer centers.[citation needed]
  • USC Norris Cancer Hospital, a 60-bed inpatient facility affiliated with the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.[citation needed]
  • USC Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale[2]



External links[edit]