Soon after the UC San Diego general campus opened in 1960, campus founders began to discuss the potential of building on the young campus's outstanding research and academic base to develop a Health Sciences division. Here, education, research and service would be directed toward improving the health of patients and society at large. By 1968, a new School of Medicine was opening its doors to its Charter Class, and in 2002 the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences welcomed its first class of students.
Today, the Health Sciences serves 520 medical students, 240 pharmacy students, some 800 residents and fellows, and scores of graduate students who have some interaction with Health Sciences programs. Alumni have achieved distinction as clinicians and innovators, in private practice, academia, and the public and corporate sector. In addition, community-based physicians take advantage of Health Sciences' continuing medical education programs and many other opportunities to participate in rounds, lectures and symposia, helping them to remain abreast of new developments in their fields.