The University of Mississippi School of Medicine was established on the Oxford, Miss., campus in 1903 as a two-year program. Students completed their third and fourth years of study at various other American medical schools. A School of Nursing was added in 1948. The Mississippi Legislature passed legislation in the early 1950's to construct the University of Mississippi Medical Center, including a four-year School of Medicine, teaching hospital and the School of Nursing. The faculty, facilities and students at Oxford were transferred to the Jackson campus, which opened in 1955.
Distinguished American physicians who have served as professors of pathology at UMMC since its inception in 1903 include such notable figures as Dr. Paul R. Cannon, who later served with distinction as chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Chicago; the renowned virologist Dr. Ernest W. Goodpasture, late chairman of the Department of Pathology and dean of the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University; and Dr. James R. Dawson Jr., former chairman of the Department of Pathology at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and Dr. James Bell Bullitt, late chair of Pathology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Billy S. Guyton, an early dean of the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, served as professor of pathology from 1915-20.