Keck School of Medicine of USC

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Keck School of Medicine of USC
Established 1885
Type Private
Dean Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A.
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
Website Official Website

The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California is a major center of medical research, education and patient care. Founded in 1885, the Keck School of Medicine (formerly the USC College of Medicine) is the oldest medical school in Southern California.

Located on the university's 30.8-acre (125,000 m2) Health Sciences campus three miles (5 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles, California, the Keck School of Medicine is adjacent to the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center—one of the largest teaching hospitals in the U.S.

Keck’s faculty, students and residents staff neighboring Keck Hospital of USC, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital, Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and an extended network of USC-affiliated hospitals throughout Southern California.

The affiliated Children's Hospital Los Angeles is currently the best children's hospital on the West Coast according to U.S. News and World Report. In addition, U.S. News‍ '​s 2014 edition ranked the Keck School of Medicine of USC at No. 31 in research among the top 135 U.S. medical schools.[1]


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

The Doctors of USC[edit]

The Doctors of USC are more than 500 physicians and specialists who are full-time faculty members of the Keck School of Medicine. The faculty's private medical practice has built new clinics and increased its reach and services all over Southern California.

The Doctors of USC see patients at the Healthcare Consultation Centers I and II on the main campus.

Affiliated hospitals[edit]

Aerial shot of the LAC+USC Medical Center

Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, a partner of the Keck School of Medicine of USC since 1885, is one of the largest public hospitals in the country. Staffed by more than 450 full-time faculty of the Keck School and over 900 medical residents in training, the facility treats over 800,000 patients annually. Among its specialized facilities and services are a state-of-the-art burn center, Level III neonatal intensive care unit, Level I trauma service, an NIH-funded clinical research center and a HIV/AIDS outpatient center.

Keck Hospital of USC is a private, 400-bed acute care hospital staffed by faculty of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Among the hospital's advanced services are neurointerventional radiology, cardiac catheterization and interventional cardiology. Surgical specialties include organ transplantation and neurosurgery, as well as cardiothoracic, bariatric, esophageal, orthopedic, and plastic and reconstructive surgeries.

Children's Hospital Los Angeles

The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center & Hospital is a leader in cancer research and care, with nearly 200 members investigating the complex origins and progression of cancer, developing prevention strategies, searching for cures and caring for cancer patients. Part of the Keck School of Medicine, USC Norris is designated by the National Cancer Institute as one of the nation's 40 comprehensive cancer centers. USC Norris Cancer Hospital is a 60-bed inpatient facility affiliated with the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, where patients benefit from revolutionary treatment provided by the same physicians that conduct leading-edge research at the center. USC Norris medical specialists are particularly trained to treat cancer of the bladder, prostate, kidney, testes, female reproductive system, breast, lung, gastrointestinal tract, melanoma, leukemia, lymphomas and AIDS-related cancers.

In 2013, Verdugo Hills Hospital in Glendale merged into USC Health Sciences.[2]


The Keck School of Medicine annually receives more than $275 million in annual sponsored program awards. Research priorities include cancer, genetics, neuroscience, preventive medicine, stem cell/regenerative medicine, bioengineering, diabetes and obesity.

Major research institutes and facilities of the Keck School of Medicine:



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  2. ^!/article/47979/usc-verdugo-hills-hospital-agree-to-establish-affiliation/
  3. ^ Associated Press (August 16, 2004). "Paul Garner, a Vaudeville Actor, Dies at 95". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-12-26. Paul Garner... died here on Sunday. He was 95. His death, at Verdugo Hills Hospital, was confirmed by that institution's spokeswoman, Ellen Borja. ... 

External links[edit]