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A golden year for medicine: KU School of Medicine-Wichita celebrates 50 years

Anniversary recognizes KU School of Medicine-Wichita's ongoing contribution to rural health, research and the efforts of nearly 2,400 medical school graduates and 2,269 residents.

50th anniversary
Focusing on educating future physicians to meet the health care needs of all Kansans, especially those in rural areas, for 50 years and counting.

This September, Sept. 17 to be exact, will be the 50th anniversary of the Kansas Board of Regents' approval of what we know today as the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. For 50 years, our focus has been educating future physicians to meet the health care needs of all Kansans and especially those in rural areas.

50th anniversary logo

Nearly 2,400 students have graduated from KU School of Medicine-Wichita, and since 1988, 2,269 residents have graduated from our residency programs. That focus hasn't changed, but it has expanded.

In 2011, students beginning their four years of medical training could start and finish in Wichita, joining students who had transferred to Wichita in their third year from KU Medical Center in Kansas City. This increased the number of students we would educate and who could potentially stay in or return to Kansas after residency.

Our education model has always been community-based, but recently we added methods from the Active, Competency-Based and Excellence-Driven curriculum, emphasizing small team learning with case-based collaborative applications.

Research has increased for faculty and students with written papers, clinical trials, presentations and symposium participation. For nearly 30 years, Donna Sweet, M.D., has been conducting research and leading the treatment of HIV/AIDS, in addition to lecturing around the world. Research of the unknown continues to be as important as ever and this past year that was demonstrated by what we could learn about COVID-19 and its treatment, which included our Center for Clinical Research conducting one of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Community outreach has become an important element for the school and the Wichita community. First-year students participate in activities orienting them to Wichita like volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Kansas Food Bank and the Medical Loan Closet of Wichita. Park Elementary School in Wichita and the medical school have had a partnership spanning more than 20 years, bringing second, third and fifth grade students to the school for special events and learning opportunities. The JayDoc Community Clinic has been serving underinsured residents for 14 years and has expanded its areas of service to include diabetes-specific and women's health. These are just a few of the ways KU School of Medicine-Wichita has helped its community.

Embark cover photo

So much has happened during the last 50 years that we couldn't cover it all here. We have tried to give a broad overview, however, in this year's Embark Magazine. We hope you enjoy the walk down memory lane and preview into our future.

As we have for 50 years, we will continue to grow and adapt, and keep the needs of our students and Kansans at the heart of our mission.

We Doctor Kansas.

KU School of Medicine-Wichita

1010 North Kansas
Wichita, KS 67214-3199