Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Parallel form(s) of name
Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
- Dalhousie Medical School
- Halifax Medical College (1875-1889)
Identifiers for corporate bodies
Dates of existence
Dalhousie Medical School is an internationally-recognized faculty in undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing medical education. The only medical school in the Maritime provinces, it is closely affiliated with the provincial healthcare systems in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and is affiliated with over one hundred teaching sites, including nine teaching hospitals.
The Dalhousie College Act, ratified in 1863, stipulated the establishment of a medical faculty; with the support of the premier and the provincially-funded Halifax Hospital, the Faculty of Medicine opened in 1868, half a century after the university's founding, and the fifth medical school in Canada, preceded by McGill (1842), Queens (1854), Laval (1823) and Toronto (1843).
The initial class of 14 students was taught by a volunteer faculty of Halifax physicians under the leadership of Dr. Alexander P. Reid. Primary subjects only were offered, and students transferred to McGill, Harvard or New York to complete their training; by 1870 a full program was available and in 1872 the first class graduated from Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine. In 1873 financial difficulties forced the school’s closure and two years later the independent Halifax Medical College was formed, with Dr. Reid as president. After an ambiguous affiliation with the college, in 1889 Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine was re-established, with the Halifax Medical College remaining as the teaching body while the Faculty of Medicine took over the role of examining body.
With the support of the Carnegie Foundation, the medical school was reorganized; in 1911 the Halifax Medical School was fully reintegrated into the university, with a full-time pre-clinical teaching staff and strict entrance requirements. In the early 1920s further grants from the Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations enabled the construction of the Dalhousie Public Health Clinic and the Medical Sciences Building, as well as the expansion of the Pathology Institute. In 1925 the school obtained an A1 accreditation from the American Medical Association.
Financial challenges throughout the 1930s and 1940s were alleviated by contributions from the provincial governments of Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, and during this period the faculty established the first continuing medical education program in Canada. In 1967 the Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building was completed, housing the W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library, several medical science faculties, and facilities for teaching and research.
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Mandates/sources of authority
The basic statute relating to Dalhousie University is Chapter 24 of the Acts of 1863. This statute replaced earlier statutes, and the 1863 statute itself has been amended and supplemented several times over the years. The provisions of these various statutes provide for the establishment and regulation of the university, the membership of the Board of Governors and its rights and powers, the authority of senate for the internal regulation of the university (subject to the approval of the board), and various other matters.
In 2016 the Faculty of Medicine developed Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Guidelines, which are communicated on its website, "to guide management of research, curriculum content, admissions policies, and teaching and learning practices to foster an environment that is diverse, inclusive and equitable."