History

BUSM was formed in 1873 when Boston University merged with the New England Female Medical College, becoming the first coeducational medical school. The New England Female Medical College, founded in 1848, was the first institution in the U.S. to train women in medicine and graduated the first black woman physician. Throughout our history, we have maintained a strong commitment to the study and practice of medicine in the context of a mission of service to society.

Our milestones include:

  • First Native American MD: Charles Eastman (BUSM 1890), the central figure in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
  • First U.S. African American psychiatrist—Solomon Carter Fuller (BUSM 1897)
  • Among the first schools in the U.S. to offer the combined BA/MD degree
  • First combined cancer research and teaching laboratory established in the U.S.
  • First section of gastroenterology in the U.S., established in 1942
  • First studies on the use of penicillin in civilians with infectious diseases (1944)
  • First medical school to work with the U.S. Public Health Service National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to identify risk factors for cardiovascular disease, creating the Framingham Heart Study in 1948
  • Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded in 2008 to Osamu Shimomura for his work on green fluorescent protein
  • Home of the NIH-funded National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, one of a few such labs in the country