The establishment of the Faculty of Medicine in Košice is connected with the development of health care in the post-war period in eastern Slovakia, where hospitals and doctors were severely lacking. During the period after 1945 the then only medical faculty in Slovakia – the Medical Faculty of the Slovak University in Bratislava – did not manage to eliminate this deficiency of doctors. Due to this situation, the dean’s office of this faculty was commissioned to establish its branch in Košice.
The task was practically realized by the head of the State Hospital in Košice (today’s University Hospital L. Pasteur Košice on Rastislavova 43) prof. MUDr. Ján Kňazovický, who was one of the initiators of the idea of establishing a medical faculty in Košice. This excellent surgeon thus contributed not only to the development of surgery, but also to the development of healthcare and the education of new doctors in eastern Slovakia.
The proposal to open the Faculty of Medicine of the Slovak University in Košice was submitted on May 10, 1948, and subsequently the law on its establishment was adopted. Its activities began in the academic year 1948-1949 with by prof. MUDr. Ján Kňazovický first as the Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of the Slovak University in Bratislava and since 1949 as the first Dean of this Košice branch.
The first meeting of the teaching staff took place on September 14th-16th, 1948 with the participation of representatives of the parent faculty and the city of Košice, and the first lecture was given on October 19th, 1948. It was given by prof. MUDr. Teodor Schwarz – another representative of the main initiators of the idea of establishing a medical faculty in Košice
The Dean’s Office of the Faculty and part of the teaching areas were located in the historical part of Košice on today’s Šrobárová Street (where the Rector’s Office of Pavel Jozef Šafárik University is now located). The clinical workplaces operated in the complex of the State (later Faculty) hospital on Rastislavova Street, where practical training took place and lecture halls were also available.
In 1959, the Faculty of Medicine in Košice separated from Comenius University (formerly the Slovak University in Bratislava) and was incorporated into the newly established University of Pavel Jozef Šafárik in Košice together with the Faculty of Arts of UPJŠ in Prešov and later other faculties in Košice and in Prešov became part of this university.
In 1997, all faculties located in Prešov were separated from the UJPŠ, and the University of Prešov in Prešov was established, and the faculties located in Košice remained within the competence of the Pavel Jozef Šafárik University in Košice. Currently there are five faculties at UPJŠ- the Faculty of Medicine with the oldest history, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Public Administration and the Faculty of Arts.
A major milestone in the history of the UPJŠ Faculty of Medicine in Košice was the establishment of a new University Hospital with a clinic in a large undeveloped area of Košice, today’s Trieda SNP 1, which began in October 1966. The creation of a large inpatient facility in the immediate proximity of the Faculty of Medicine has created ideal conditions not only for undergraduate and postgraduate education of doctors, but also for scientific research.
In December 1973, the first nine-story polyclinic was in operation, to where the Dental Clinic was transferred from the University Hospital on Rastislavova Street as the first workplace.
In 1981, the 20-story hospital part of the hospital was completed, where most clinics gradually moved from the “old” hospital. The last was a 13-story block of theoretical institutes of the Faculty of Medicine (September 3, 1984), where the management and administration of the faculty are seated today and the majority of theoretical teaching of UPJŠ Faculty of Medicine students in Košice takes place.