UMKC School of Medicine

UMKC School of Medicine History and Mission

The University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine opened in 1971 as the result of more than a decade of community efforts to establish a medical school in Kansas City, Missouri.

In the more than four decades that the school has been in existence, all of the four mission areas—education, research, service, and economic development—have grown and matured along with the Hospital Hill campus where the school is located. The University of Missouri–Kansas City is a public, urban-serving, research and doctoral university. It is committed to Advancing the Health of Our Community.

Innovative Program

UMKC’s School of Medicine was founded on an innovative medical education system that continues today. It focuses on the following core principles:

  • Early and continuous clinical experiences
  • Humanities woven throughout the curriculum
  • Small group learning communities centered around a physician
  • Continuous assessment of student progress
  • Emphasis on application of the basic sciences in clinical medicine

The combined degree program allows the school to accept the majority of its students directly out of high school. It develops the skills, knowledge, and attitudes of these students longitudinally over six years and aims to instill the highest standards of medical professionalism, clinical competency, humanism, and altruism during a highly formative period of their lives. The community-based setting has freed the school of fiscal and administrative concerns over the management of hospitals and practice plans.

Saint Luke’s Partnership

The school and Saint Luke’s Health System partner to provide faculty, research, and clinical resources for our graduate students, medical students, and residents.

The School of Medicine is the institutional sponsor for more than 40 residency and fellowship programs accredited by the Accrediting Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) conducted at affiliated hospitals. Today, there are nearly 500 residents and fellows in these programs at Saint Luke’s and other affiliates. Many graduates from these programs serve as physicians in Kansas City and the surrounding regions.

Research Emphasis

Throughout the past decade, scholarly research has become a major goal for the university and the region. The School of Medicine now has 22 endowed chairs and professorships—more than any other academic division in the University of Missouri System—and research funding has increased exponentially.

Current total extramural funding in grants and contracts in the school has increased four-fold during the past decade and is now $23 million annually (federal funding represents approximately half of the total).

Research efforts are focused toward impact on community health conditions, especially in areas that link to clinical strength. These efforts are designed to build and utilize large databases that go beyond translational research in general, and to have impact on the health of our community in particular. Saint Luke’s physicians work as endowed chairs and partner in research efforts between the school and the health system.

Learn more about education at Saint Luke’s Health System.