The Faculty of Medicine and Health can trace its origins back to 1856, only four years after the University’s inception, when the University Senate formed the then-Faculty of Medicine.
Under the guidance of Anderson Stuart, teaching began in 1883 with the Faculty. Stuart was a pioneer of University-based medical education in Australia, at a time when most English practitioners were still the product of apprenticeships and hospital-based medical schools.
The first medical class had only six candidates; this number had increased to nearly two hundred by the turn of the century.
Teaching expanded into the areas of pharmacy, dentistry, public health, nursing and health sciences throughout the century, with the formation of the Sydney Pharmacy School, the Sydney Dental School, the Sydney School of Public Health, Sydney Nursing School and the Faculty of Health Sciences.
As new disciplines joined the University, we continued to pioneer education in medicine and health. Both the Sydney Dental School and the Sydney School of Public Health were the first schools of their kind in Australia, and our nursing staff were part of the movement that saw the shift of nursing education to the tertiary system - an instrumental step for the profession of nursing.
Healthcare, both in Australia and overseas, is undergoing significant change. To recognise this, the University brought together the disciplines of dentistry, medicine, medical sciences, nursing, pharmacy and public health together to become the Faculty of Medicine and Health.
The Faculty of Health Sciences will join the Faculty of Medicine and Health in 2020.
1856: Sydney Medical School is formerly established. It is the first medical school in Australia.
1883: Medicine teaching officially begins. Students undertake placements at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, in what will become the Central Clinical School.
1884: Sydney Hospital for Sick Children Glebe is recognised as a teaching hospital. It will later move to Westmead and form part of the Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical School.
1889: The University begins educating pharmacists through the Materia Medica degree.
1901: Sydney Dental School opens at Chalmers Street with 17 students, offering a three-year curriculum leading to a Licence in Dentistry.
1930: The Sydney School of Public Health is established. It is the first school of public health in Australia.
1948: Northern Clinical School begins operation out of Royal North Shore Hospital.
1949: The NSW College of Nursing is established and will later become Sydney Nursing School. Nursing students are taught by University lecturers at the college.
1973: The Cumberland College of Health Sciences is established at Lidcome. It will become the Faculty of Health Sciences, and teaches courses in physio, occupational therapy, speech pathology and orthoptics.
1978: Westmead Clinical School at Westmead Hospital opens. It serves the largest area and population of any of the University's clinical schools
1990: Nepean Clinical School opens at Nepean Hospital precinct in Penrith, at the foot of the Blue Mountains.
1997: Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health is created to support rural communities in far western NSW
2001: The School of Medical Sciences is formed.
2001: The University Centre for Rural Health is established in Lismore as a joint venture of the University of Sydney and the Southern Cross University.
2001: The School of Rural Health is established in rural NSW, with students in Orange and Dubbo.
2011: The Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School officially opens and is the first clinical school based in a private hospital in NSW.
2018: The Faculty of Medicine and Health is established, bringing the schools of dentistry, medicine, medical sciences, nursing, pharmacy and public health together.
2020: The Faculty of Health Sciences will move into the Faculty of Medicine and Health and become the Sydney School of Health Sciences.
2021: Our new health precinct will open, bringing together our disciplines into a single precinct for the first time.