Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine was born in Chicago over 150 years ago. We’ve contributed greatly to medical discovery and education in that time, as well as contributed to the growth and change of the city we are proud to call home. Explore our history timeline and get to know some of our founders and groundbreakers here.
This storied history starts with the chartering of Rush Medical College in 1837 and follows various affiliations and permutations until 1870, when Chicago Medical College signed the agreement to become Northwestern University’s Department of Medicine. Eventually that department would become a school in the university. During that period of time, one stalwart constant was Nathan Smith Davis, who assumed presidency of Chicago Medical College in 1866, became the first medical school dean in 1870 and led the school until 1899.
The timeline follows the medical school’s growth and expansion through the 20th century, including campus development, the establishment of some of its most treasured traditions (e.g. Founders’ Day), important leadership transitions, and advancements and improvements to the educational requirements. As the Feinberg School of Medicine (renamed in honor of Reuben Feinberg in 2002) entered the 21st century, a new era of growth and renewed emphasis on research began. New affiliate hospitals and research buildings, as well as a renewed curriculum, have been highpoints in these years of evolution. Currently, the timeline ends with the 2015 announcement of the plans for the new Louis A. Simpson and Kimberley K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center, but we look forward to adding many more important milestones in the upcoming years of progress.