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USD School of Medicine

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Collection Summary

Title USD School of Medicine
Span Dates
Bulk Dates 1950-1990
Quantity 3 linear ft.
Printed Material Printed materials are located in boxes 2 and 3.
Location     Archives and Special Collections, University Libraries, University of South Dakota.

Medical course work began at The University of South Dakota in September 1907 with the organization of the College of Medicine. The original curriculum consisted of two years of premedical work and two years of medicine. In 1920, the pre-medical curriculum was assumed by the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Medicine concentrated its effort on the first two years of instruction in Medical Science.

In 1951, construction was completed on the Andrew E. Lee Memorial Medical Science Building. This facility was expanded in 1960 permitting the enlargement of research areas and teaching laboratories. A new addition was opened in 1969 which also provided expansion and improvement in teaching and research.

The 1974 South Dakota Legislature authorized the development of a complete degree-granting family practice oriented program of medical education. Less than one year later, provisional accreditation was granted by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. After 68 years as a two-year medical school, the School of Medicine started a full clinical program and graduated the first Doctors of Medicine in the history of the school on May 14, 1977. With the two year school, all students graduated from USDSM with Bachelor of Science in Medicine degrees and then transferred to other medical schools for their third and fourth years. Some of the students admitted in the Fall of 1973 graduated in 1975 with a Bachelor of Medicine and transferred. The remaining forty students continued as the first class of third year students enrolling on May 12, 1975 and graduating with the Doctor of Medicine degree on May 14, 1977.

The third year of the program is provided in community settings and hospitals in Sioux Falls, the Rapid City area, and Yankton, South Dakota. The fourth year program is provided in hospitals and ambulatory clinics across the entire state of South Dakota. Thus, the complete four-year program is a state-wide cooperative endeavor. The curriculum emphasizes family medicine and primary care with the support and participation by the practicing physicians and community hospitals throughout the state.

Over the past decade, an increased emphasis has been made in community medicine and allied health support. Programs are now available in Medical Technology, Physical Therapy (1991), Occupational Therapy (1991), and Physician Assistant Studies (1993).  Effective July 1, 2001 the Departments of Nursing and Dental Hygiene from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies Program from the School of Education were transferred to the Division of Health Sciences in the University of South Dakota School of Medicine.  (Excerpt in January 2003 from the School of Medicine’s web site,

University of South Dakota School of Medicine Deans:

Christian P. Lommen, BS.  1906-1926
George P. Albertson, MD.  1926-1931
Augustus Pohlman, MD.  1932-1933
Joseph C. Ohlmacher, MD.  1933-1946
Donald H. Slaughter, MD.  1946-1952
Walter L. Hard, PhD.  1952-1966
George W. Knabe Jr, MD.  1967-1972
Earl B. Scott, PhD.  1972-1973
Karl H. Wegner, MD.  1973-1982
Charles E. Hollerman, MD.  1979-1982
Robert H. Quinn, MD.  1982-1986
Robert C. Talley, MD.  1986-2004
Rodney R. Parry, MD. 2005-2012
Nettleman, Mary Dekker, MD. 2012 –

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