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Heidelberg´s History of Medicine

1. Oct. 1386: Foundation of the university through the Elector´s Foundation Letter (Kurfürstlicher Stiftungsbrief), which envisaged a so called ´facultas medicinae´.



19. Oct. 1386: First lectures are taking place. However, during the first century after the foundation of the university, the development of the Medical Faculty proved to proceed very slowly.



1474: A historical record contains mention of an acquisition of two medical books. Despite the fact that practical classes did not take place at that stage, the duration for completion of an ordinary university degree in medicine was six years.



1558: Reforms established by Ottoheinrich lead to an increased interest in the humanities.



1593: The botanical garden is laid out. A ´hortus medicus´ with herbaceous plants provides a basis for pharmaceutics. The garden is known as one of the oldest in the world.



1686: The first chemical laboratory in the Medical Faculty is founded by Johann Conrad Brunner, a physician, anatomist and physiologist.



1805/06: Inauguration of the Polyclinic. For the first time real patients are used in the teaching and training of Medical Students.



1818: Inauguration of the Surgical Clinic.



1826: Reopening of the Polyclinic and with this an immense increase in practical clinical medicine in Heidelberg.



1858-1871: With the appointment of Herman (von) Helmholtz, active as Professor of Physiology, as well as being the Director of the Institute of Physiology, a separation of the fields of Anatomy and Physiology in Heidelberg takes place.



1876-1883: Construction of the clinic at Bergheimer Straße.



1899/1900: For the first time women are admitted to take up medical studies in Heidelberg.



1909: The later philosopher Karl Jaspers receives his PhD in Medicine and is active (since 1909) as a voluntary practitioner at the Psychiatrical Hospital. With his postdoctoral lecture qualification (Habilitation) in Psychology he changes to the Faculty of Philosophy.



1910: Albrecht Kossel receives the Nobel Prize for his achievements in the field of medicine.



Since the 1920s: Planning and construction of the hospitals and institutes at Neuenheimer Feld, e.g. the Surgical Clinic (1939), Paediatric Clinic (1966), Theoreticum (1974), Kopfklinik (interdisciplinary head-clinic) (1987), New Medical Hospital (2004). All hospitals, except the Psychiatrical Hospital will eventually be moved from Bergheim to Neuenheimer Feld.



1933-1945: The Medical Faculty stands under the influence of the NS-dictatorship. More than 20 university lecturers are expelled on the grounds of racist- or political reasons. There are cases of forced sterilisations taking place at the Surgical Clinic as well as at the Gynaecological Hospital.



15. August 1945: The Medical Faculty is the first faculty to take up lectures again after WWII.



2001: Introduction of the career Heidelberger Curriculum Medicinale (HeiCuMed)