Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons – Funin

The Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) is a prestigious medical school with a rich history dating back to its founding in 1767. Located in the heart of New York City, P&S has been at the forefront of medical education and research for over two centuries. This article delves into the institution’s storied history, notable achievements, and its ongoing commitment to advancing medical knowledge and patient care.


Early History and Founding

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons was established as the medical department of King’s College (now Columbia University) in 1767. It was one of the first medical schools in the United States and quickly gained a reputation for academic rigor and innovation. Despite challenges during the American Revolution, the institution persevered and emerged as a leader in medical education and research.


Milestones in Medical Education

Throughout its history, P&S has introduced several pioneering approaches to medical education. In 1836, it became the first medical school in the United States to award an M.D. degree to a woman, Elizabeth Blackwell. This milestone paved the way for more women to pursue careers in medicine. P&S was also one of the first medical schools to establish a teaching hospital, which provided students with hands-on clinical experience.


In the 20th century, P&S continued to innovate, developing advanced training programs and establishing specialty areas in medicine. The college also played a key role in the development of medical residency programs, providing graduates with comprehensive training in their chosen fields.


Contributions to Medical Research

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons has been a hub for groundbreaking medical research. Faculty and alumni have made significant contributions in various fields, including cardiology, neurology, oncology, and genetics. For instance, P&S researchers were instrumental in the development of the first cardiac pacemaker, a device that has saved countless lives worldwide.


The college has also been at the forefront of genetic research, with notable achievements such as the discovery of genes linked to certain diseases. This research has had a profound impact on the understanding of genetics and its role in human health.


Commitment to Patient Care

In addition to its educational and research achievements, P&S is renowned for its commitment to patient care. The college’s affiliation with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, one of the top hospitals in the nation, allows students and faculty to work in a state-of-the-art clinical environment. This partnership provides patients with access to cutting-edge treatments and compassionate care.


Embracing Innovation and Future Challenges

As the medical field continues to evolve, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons remains dedicated to embracing innovation and preparing the next generation of medical professionals. The college actively collaborates with other academic institutions and industries to advance medical knowledge and technology.


In recent years, P&S has focused on areas such as precision medicine, digital health, and global health initiatives. These efforts aim to address current and future challenges in healthcare and improve the quality of life for people around the world.



Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons has a proud history of excellence in medical education, research, and patient care. Its legacy is defined by its commitment to innovation and its role in shaping the future of medicine. As the college looks forward, it continues to build on its strong foundation to advance healthcare and train the next generation of medical leaders.

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