History of the Program

History 1

The University’s Categorical training track, now more than 60 years old, has long been respected as one of the nation’s best, routinely placing residents in competitive fellowships throughout the country and making leaders in academic medicine and clinical care. Originally contained in the Colorado General Hospital, the training program quickly grew to include the general hospital (now called University Hospital), Denver Health and Hospital, and the Rocky Mountain VA. The advent of the primary care movement and its incipient training needs were anticipated many years ago. With a formal Primary Care training track that is more than 30 years old, the primary care residency is one of the nation’s oldest and most established programs of its type. Shortly thereafter, the University of Colorado also anticipated the hospitalist wave, introducing the very first dedicated Hospitalist Training Program in the United States.

Some notable aspects of medical history at the University of Colorado also include:

  • The discovery of IL-1
  • The first description of T-cells and their function
  • The first description of ARDS
  • Pioneering use of home oxygen to improve survival in secondary pulmonary hypertension
  • The original description of septic shock
  • The original description of central pontine myelinolysis
  • The discovery of the anion gap (yes, that one!) and the fractional excretion of sodium
  • The original understanding of progesterone receptor and its role in cancer
  • Directly Observed Therapy (DOTS), now the method of choice for control of TB worldwide​
  • Pioneering work on CAR-T therapy for liquid tumors

In 2007, the University of Colorado Hospital, our flagship hospital, fully transitioned to its new home on the Anschutz Medical Campus. This medical campus is the world's only completely new education, research, and patient care facilities and is the largest academic health center between Chicago and the Pacific Ocean. This cutting-edge healthcare campus fosters collaboration among students for all medical disciplines, researchers, and clinicians. Campus architecture and state-of-the-art technology bridge education and research with three world-class hospitals: the University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), the Rocky Mountain VA, and Children’s Hospital of Colorado (CHCO). The campus is home to the schools and colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Public Health.

This new campus continues the tradition of excellence in clinical care and education that has long been established since the founding of the Department of Medicine at the University of Colorado in 1883. Our educational innovations including the 4+4 block system, dedicated time for research and scholarship, advanced mentoring and coaching programs, our growing focus on wellness and the socioeconomic drivers of health, and other program highlights continue this tradition. We invite you to be a part of the next bit of history to be made here in Colorado. 


History 3



Department of Medicine (SOM)

CU Anschutz

Academic Office One

12631 East 17th Avenue


Aurora, CO 80045


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