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The Narrative Bridge: Connecting through the Health Humanities

About the Medical University of South Carolina

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is honored to host The Narrative Bridge: Connecting through the Health Humanities conference.

The Medical University of South Carolina has served the citizens of South Carolina since 1824. It has expanded from a small private college for the training of physicians to a state university with a medical center and six colleges for the education of a broad range of health professionals, biomedical scientists and other health related personnel. Located in beautiful, historic Charleston, South Carolina, the Medical College of South Carolina was one of the first medical schools in the United States to establish, in 1834, an infirmary specifically for teaching purposes. In the 1840s the college also entered into agreements for clinical training opportunities at the Poorhouse, the Marine Hospital, and the local "dispensary." In 1856, Roper Hospital was opened, and for 100 years Roper was the Medical College's primary teaching hospital.

The Medical College recognized the need for its own facilities to expand clinical teaching opportunities, as well as to serve as a major referral center in South Carolina for diagnosis and treatment of disease. The ten-story Medical University Hospital accepted its first patients in 1955. In 1985 the name of the hospital and its clinics was changed to MUSC Medical Center, reflecting its function in an academic health institution and its wide range of services to the public. This comprehensive facility is now comprised of three separate hospitals (the University Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry, and the Children's Hospital). The Medical Center includes centers for specialized care (Heart Center, Transplantation Center, Hollings Cancer Center, Digestive Diseases Center, Storm Eye Institute). Numerous outpatient facilities include the Family Medicine Center and affiliated faculty practice ambulatory care centers.

Among the programs which have earned distinguished reputations at the Medical University of South Carolina are neuroscience, substance abuse, cardiovascular medicine, drug sciences, perinatal medicine, ophthalmology, hearing loss, genetics, rheumatology, and cancer care.

In May 2000 the South Carolina General Assembly created the Medical University Hospital Authority to enhance management flexibility and operational efficiency for the University’s hospitals and clinics. This new legal entity, also referred to as the “MUSC Medical Center,” continues to serve under the same Board of Trustees and President.

The MUSC Medical Center, including its Charleston Memorial Hospital facility, is licensed for 709 beds. During 2005-06 there were over 31,500 inpatient admissions and 730,000 outpatient registrations.

In 2007, the MUSC Medical Center completed a 156-bed, 641,000 square foot expansion of its medical center. This additional facility allows the institution to continue providing a growing and aging patient population with the most advanced care available anywhere.

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