Formal medical education at the University of Minnesota began a century ago with the opening of a joint allopathic-homeopathic Department of Medicine. Two decades later, when Abraham Flexner visited the campus as part of his inspection of medical schools in North America, he found a thriving institution already possessing "excellent, exceedingly attractive, and well organized" scientific facilities and planning in the near future to build a modern teaching hospital. In his landmark report in 1910 he congratulated Minnesota for being the "first state in the Union that may fairly be considered to have solved the most perplexing problems connected with medical education and practice" (quoted by Wilson, p 129).
After a lean period following World War I, the medical school emerged in the 1930s as a world leader in abdominal surgery. Later, its clinical faculty pioneered in the development of cardiac surgery and in human organ transplantation, as well as