Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto

Living History
Written on: 
Monday, June 25, 2012

The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine was established in 1843, but it was not until 1887 that the Ontario government passed the Faculty of Medicine Act, formalizing the teaching function of the University and setting the stage for the world-class faculty we know today.

By the end of World War I, the medical program was extended to six years, the first two of which were spent on the main campus learning a variety of non-medical courses, reflecting part of the Faculty’s mission to ensure physicians could also play important roles as future community leaders. The remaining four years were spent in teaching hospitals, focusing on basic sciences, clinical diagnosis and treatment.

After World War II, medical education at the University of Toronto continued to evolve, with less emphasis on non-medical courses and more emphasis on the sciences and clinical medicine. Increased program enrolment created a need for innovative teaching methods like block curriculum during the 1960s and 1970s, dissolution of the pre-medical course, and the growing role of research in the classroom.