Teaching hospital

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Addenbrooke's Hospital, A large teaching hospital in Cambridge, UK.

A teaching hospital is a hospital which provides medical training to medical students and residents. Medical students typically spend two to three years in a teaching hospital doing clinical training, after completing their preclinical training in the medical school of a university. Residents (also called "registrars" in the United Kingdom, Australasia and South Africa) are physicians who have completed medical school and are enrolled in speciality training.

Teaching hospitals typically have strong links with a nearby medical school and its associated university (such as Addenbrooke's Hospital, attached to the medical school of Cambridge University and Groote Schuur Hospital, the main teaching hospital of the University of Cape Town.)


Although institutions for caring for the sick are known to have been around much earlier in history, the first teaching hospital, where students were authorized to methodically practice on patients under the supervision of physicians as part of their education, was reportedly the pre-Islamic Academy of Gundishapur in the Persian Empire. The Sassanid era word Bimaristan literally translates into "land of sickness". (E. Browne, Islamic Medicine, 2002, p.16, ISBN 81-87570-19-9.) In Islam al-Nuri hospital, built by the famous Nur Nur ad-Din Zanqi, was made a teaching hospital and renowned physicians taught there. The hospital's medical school is said had elegant rooms, and a library which many of its books were donated by Zangi's physician, Abu al-Majid al-Bahili. A number of Muslim physicists graduated from there. Among the well-known students are Ibn Abi Usaybi'ah (1203-1270), the famous medical historian and 'Ala ad-Din Ibn an-Nafis (d.1289) whose discovery of the lesser circulation of the blood marked a new step in better understanding of human physiology and was the earliest explanation until William Harvey (1628).[1]


In the United States, the majority of students use the National Residency Matching Program as the method for selecting the teaching hospital they prefer among the hospitals that want that student.

Cultural references

The American television shows Chicago Hope, ER, Scrubs, House, and Grey's Anatomy all take place in teaching hospitals (Chicago Hope Hospital, County General Hospital, Sacred Heart, Princeton-Plainsboro, and Seattle Grace, respectively).

See also



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  1. al-Hassani, Woodcock and Saoud(2007),'Muslim Heritage in Our World', FSTC Publishing, p.158-59