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  • Forever Forward

About 50th Anniversary

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is celebrating 50 years of educating learners, advancing research, caring for patients and empowering communities.

50 Years of Compassionate Care

In the last 50 years, SIU School of Medicine’s physician practice has grown from a small medical school providing patient care with the help of community clinicians to a robust institution, partnering with hospitals, clinics and associations across Illinois. Today, SIU School of Medicine is a key player in the continued advancement of medical care in Springfield, Decatur, Quincy, Carbondale and dozens of towns in between.

SIU Medicine, the health care arm of SIU School of Medicine, is the largest multi-specialty physician group in the region, with nearly 300 full-time physicians and other medical professionals who provide patient care to more than 125,000 individuals each year.

Some have interpreted the school’s mission as filling the region with primary care physicians. Certainly, the numbers represent that: about half of the school’s 3,000 graduates chose primary care. According to the Association for American Medical Colleges, SIU School of Medicine has the highest percentage of graduates in the nation practicing in rural areas, serving citizens who have few medical resources.

SIU Medicine now includes the largest university-owned and administered Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) system in the U.S., which serves the region with 13 Family Medicine clinics in eight cities.

SIU’s Family Medicine facilities offer a gamut of services: comprehensive primary medical, dental and mental health care, the largest network of medically assisted treatment options for opioid use disorder, neighborhood assessments with community health workers and hot-spotting for comprehensive care of the most vulnerable and underserved populations.

Many of our downstate citizens also rely on our physicians for specialty care. SIU’s clinical efforts have grown to include sub-specialties and innovative therapies: neonatology and other pediatric specialties, advanced cancer care, robotic surgeries, new psychiatric and neurological treatments, gastroenterology therapeutics and more. This maturation into highly specialized care means offering more educational opportunities to students and residents. They are equipped with the additional knowledge, skills and attitudes to excel when they venture into their own careers.

SIU School of Medicine coordinates the largest network of mental health and psychiatry services in downstate Illinois through combined efforts with its Federally Qualified Health Centers, Department of Psychiatry and telehealth network. The teams also provide psychiatry services to some of our most underrepresented population downstate through a telemedicine partnership with the Illinois Department of Corrections and county jails.

SIU Medicine has the top infertility treatment rates in the country. The South-Central Illinois Perinatal Center, led by SIU Medicine providers, is the largest group in downstate Illinois and provides tertiary care services to 30 hospitals and 36 counties. SIU Medicine’s telemedicine network provides maternal-fetal medicine services to rural hospitals and clinics in central and southern Illinois.

SIU is providing accomplished team-based, multidisciplinary care through the following state-designated centers:

  • Neuroscience Institute at SIU Medicine
  • Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU Medicine
  • SIU Medicine Center for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders
  • SIU Medicine Parkinson’s Disease Center
  • SIU Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development (based in Carbondale)

Amid all this growth, SIU Medicine physicians continue to provide compassionate care to communities with the help of hospital partners and more than 700 volunteer faculty. Working together, physicians, nurses, staff and administrators not only bring the knowledge and skills to keep pace with the ever-evolving practice of medicine, but they also have the empathetic attitudes to function with care and conscience. We never lose sight of patients as people.

Our doctors have a commitment to lifelong self-directed learning, to expressing cultural humility and ethical practices toward patients. No matter what direction health care takes in the future, these humanistic qualities will always be vital to caring for neighbors and loved ones.

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