The Medical University of Silesia is the largest medical school in Poland. It has been established on the 20th of March 1948. At first it was given the name Medical Academy and was placed in Rokitnica Bytomska. The name Medical University of Silesia was given in 1949. The lectures for the 135 newly admitted students of medicine and 96 students of dentistry had begun in October 1948. The first Celebration of the academic year took place on the 20th of November 1948. The first Rector of the school was Professor Nowakowski, a famous specialist in hygiene. Gradually, the school was extending and the number of students grew up. In 1950, for example, there were already 1121 students, while in 1955 – 2610. The Rector`s position was held by Professor Stefan Slopek, Professor Marian Garlicki, Professor Witold Zahorski and Professor Witold Niepołomski, in turn. Between 1953-1954 the first graduates obtained diplomas as physicians and dentists.
On the 10 years anniversary in 1958, the school already had at its disposal 37 departments and 18 university hospital units for 1800 beds. There were 2657 students. At this time 111 doctoral titles were awarded and nearly 1000 scientific works were published. In 1971, the Headquarters of the Medical University of Silesia were moved to Katowice. In the same year the College of Pharmacy was established. The university developed rapidly, and in 1974 the Central University Hospital in Katowice-Ligota started admitting patients. Also the College of Nursing in Katowice-Ligota had been established (currently the School of Health Care). In 1975, two medical schools were established – in Katowice and in Zabrze. The number of students had been increased in 1970 and equalled 2500, while at the moment there are more than 1600 students at the School of Medicine in Katowice alone.
Next couple of years meant a successful development of the school, directed by Rectors Professor Zbigniew Herman, Professor Franciszek Kokot, Professor Mieczysław Luciak, Professor Władysław Pierzchała, Professor Zbigniew Religa and Professor Tadeusz Wilczok in turn. In 2005, the current Rector, Professor Ewa Małecka-Tendera was elected.
In these years, the Department of Ophthalmology at the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Therapy were founded. The Institute of Pediatrics in Katowice was opened, and most of the Departments of Pediatrics in Zabrze and Katowice were opened to patients. The training program for the family doctors was put in force. The English Language program for medical students has been carried out since 1996.
Currently, the total number of students of the Medical University of Silesia is 10,218 including:
- School of Medicine in Katowice – 2,876 students (including almost 500 students enrolled in English language program)
- School of Health Care in Katowice – 2,507 students
- School of Medicine with the Division of Dentistry in Zabrze – 2,312 students
- School of Pharmacy with the Division of Laboratory Medicine in Sosnowiec – 1,657 students
- School of Public Health in Bytom – 866 students
Graduate diploma of the Medical University of Silesia was granted to as many as 51,617 alumni, including:
- 25,144 physicians
- 6,173 dentists
- 4,444 pharmacists
- 3,825 nurses
- 2,772 physiotherapists
- 2,574 public health specialists
- 1,795 midwives
- 1,675 medical analysts
- 1,343 dieticians
and many more other professionals.