WCH has focused on becoming a place of medical excellence, WCSM has worked to create doctors who can provide that excellence for generations to come. WCSM is one of the most famous medical institutions and also a national model of higher medical education in China. It grew out of the School of Medicine of WCUU, which was set up by Christian missions from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada in 1914 and was among the first in China to completely adopt a Western higher education system.
When it was known as WCUU, the school was one of the first of its kind in west China to grant doctoral degrees, and the medical graduates were granted a doctoral degree in medicine by WCUU and the State University of New York (SUNY), which agreed to recognize each other's medical degrees. WCSM was approved by the Ministry of Health to launch a 7-year program of medical training in 1988 and by the Ministry of Education to launch an 8-year program in 2004, making it one of the first medical institutions to provide extended medical education.
WCSM has more than 814 professors and associate professors, including one academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2 professors of the "Outstanding Teacher Award in Higher Education Institutions", 6 professors of the "Yangzi River Awards Plan", 11 winners of the "National Fund of Natural Science for Outstanding Young Scientists", 165 supervisors of Ph.D. students, and 325 supervisors in the Master's program. The School is authorized to confer doctoral degrees in the two primary disciplines of Clinical Medicine and Integrated Western-Chinese Medicine. Clinical Medicine at WCSM ranked 5th and Integrated Western-Chinese Medicine ranked 3rd nationwide in the 2008 Primary Discipline Evaluation conducted by the Ministry of Education. The School's teaching excellence has been recognized in nine disciplines by the Central government, and in 26 disciplines by the provincial government. Graduate education involves a postdoctoral program in Clinical Medicine, with 33 programs leading to the doctoral degree. The programs leading to a master's degree cover all the secondary and tertiary disciplines in the hospital. Current enrollment of students includes 45 postdoctoral researchers, 470 doctoral candidates, and more than 1000 master's candidates.
At present, undergraduate education consists of more than 2,500 students in five divisions: Clinical Medicine, Higher Nursing Education, Laboratory Medicine, Allied Health Professions, and Rehabilitation Medicine. Since its foundation, the school has always insisted on "rigorous and diligent" approaches in teaching and learning and continuing to provide the highest quality medical education. The school has succeeded in graduating a large number of competent medical professionals who excel clinically as well as in all aspects of being a good physician.