Brief Summary of the Faculty's History
The Teaching of Medicine in Roma
The University of Rome was founded in 1303 by Pope Boniface VIII (1294-1303) with the famous Bull “In supremae praeminentia dignitatis” whereby the first Roman General School, which included the teaching of Medicine was established. The School was situated near Piazza S. Eustachio, where it remained until 1376. In 1377, the Senate established a Studium Generale in Trastevere, with the teaching of Medicine entrusted to a famous physician, Francesco Casini from Siena. However, after 1389 this school almost disappeared. Under pope Leo X (1513-1521), with the Constitution of 1514, there was a kind of rebirth of the University of Rome. In this Constitution it was stated that the Urbe Omnibus fere nationibus should become the cultural centre and leading Italian university. The Teaching of Medicine was divided into 3 main topics: 1) Theoretical Medicine 2) Practical Medicine and 3) Medicinal Botanical Studies (Lettura dei semplici); these disciplines were taught by 16 lecturers, each one focusing on specific aspects of the subject, including anatomy and its practical aspects. During the pontificate of Clement VII (1523-1534), following the sack of Rome in 1527, and due to turbulent social and political events, the Studium Urbis was closed.
Pope Paul III (1534-1549) reorganized the University, introducing anatomy studies as a discipline in itself. Julius III (1550-1555) allowed only the Medical College to award degrees in Medicine. Pius IV (1559-1565) officially expressed his disapproval of the illegal practices in medicine and increased the studies authorized on cadavers of executed Jews and unbelievers. Gregory XIII (1572-1585) allowed graduates in medicine who passed a specific exam, to give lessons and to be paid for this. Furthermore, in order to check if graduates in medicine were actually suitable to practise their profession, they had to pass a qualifying examination.
Under Popes Clement VIII (1592-1605) and Urban VIII (1623-1644) two Briefs were issued which focused on teaching staff not complying with their duties. Clement X (1670-1676) introduced a compulsory hospital internship for graduates which was required in order to obtain their degree or be registered to practice their profession. At that time the subjects taught were: 1) Theoretical Medicine, 2) Practical Medicine 3) Surgery, 4) Anatomy and 5) Study and Use of Medicinal Plants. Moreover, professors where fined if their lessons were not given in an appropriate and correct manner , also respecting fixed timetables.
Benedict XIV (1740-1758), the most famous reformer of medical studies in Rome, with the Bulls “Inter cospicuos ordines” (1744) and “Quanta Reipubblicae redveniant” (1748), reorganized university studies, eliminating the useless duplication of some lectures. The Faculty of Medicine was thus based on 6 Chairs: 1) Theoretical Medicine Studies, 2) Practical Medicine Studies, 3) Botanical Studies, 4) Surgical and Anatomical Studies, 5) Principles of Theoretical Medicine and 6) Principles of Practical Medicine. After a short time, a Chair of Chemical Studies and related Experiments was also introduced.
Pius VI (1775-1799) introduced the teaching of Obstetrics, followed by the the Chairs of Surgical and Forensic Studies. In 1788, the number of Chairs in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery was increased to 9. A student enrolment register and an individual lesson attendance report were also introduced.
In 1810, there were changes to the regulations governing university studies according to the Napoleonic laws for medical Faculties. The Faculty was organized with a Dean, a College of Doctors for degree awarding and professional practice monitoring, a Health Officer and the Professors of Medicine, Surgery and Botany.
In 1814, with the end of the Napoleonic occupation, Pius VII (1800-1823) provided a new impulse to medical studies. In 1815, practical clinical medical training was officially introduced at the S. Spirito and S. Giacomo hospitals. In 1824, with the Bull of Leo XII (1823-1829), a university medical reform was implemented whereby lessons were mainly in Latin, and the Universities of Rome and Bologna were the only ones authorized to award degrees in Medicine (4 years) and Surgery (3 years). The other universities of the Papal State were allowed to award only a Bachelor degree (a 2 year course in Medicine and Surgery) and the so called Licence. It was also requested to that physicians should ask patients to confess before visiting them .
In1848 the university of the Papal State was closed because of the uprising revolutionary events that led to the Roman Republic.
In 1870, with the Unification of Italy in a single the Kingdoms, the University was renamed Regia. The Faculties of Medicine and Surgery were merged into one single faculty with 5 years of study. In 1876, in accordance with the Casati Law, the Degree course in Medicine and Surgery became 6 years (divided in 3 two-year periods). Until 1887 the Clinics of Rome's Faculty of Medicine were associated with different hospitals - S. Spirito, S. Giacomo, S. Rocco, S. Gallicano. The physician Guido Baccelli, (1832-1916), a famous clinician and scientist of that period, demonstrated the need to create a single headquarters for the Roman Medical School ”at the level of the most famous foreign schools”, launching the idea of a Teaching Polyclinic -Hospital.
The Polyclinic's foundation stone was laid on 19 January 1888 in the presence of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita. The building was finally completed in 1902. The University Polyclinic (1,150 beds, 350 for the clinics, 800 for the hospital) became functional in August 1904.
Following the “Gentile Law” of 1923, the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of Rome was reorganized into a more “modern perspective” in terms of freedom in research and teaching, with full administrative autonomy and state funding. The professional qualification was again related to a State Examination.
In 1980 there was a intense discussion on whether the University of Rome should re-adopt its former name - La Sapienza. Between 1980-1981 the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery underwent a thorough phase of transformation, due to the transfer of several full professors from 'La Sapienza' University to the Second University of Rome, later called Tor Vergata because of its location.
In October 1999, the Second 'La Sapienza' Faculty of Medicine and Surgery was established at the Sant' Andrea Hospital.
In 2010, with the Statute Reform and the new University Law which reorganized the faculties, medical studies were divided into 3 faculties: the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medicine (with 3 degree courses in Medicine and Surgery- one at the Polyclinic, one at the Polo Pontino and one in English – and the courses in Pharmacy and in Biotechnology); the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry (with 3 degree courses in Medicine and Surgery at the Polyclinic and a degree course in Dentistry); the Faculty of Medicine and Psychology (with a degree course in Medicine and Surgery at the S. Andrea Hospital and courses in Psychology). The 3 medical faculties also organize numerous courses in the 4 Bachelor degrees for the Healthcare Professions (Nursing, Rehabilitation, Technical Studies and Prevention) for a total of more than 100 courses (both 3-year and specialist courses lasting five years); together with many Specialization Schools in the health area; and different Research Doctorates and Level I, II and III Post-graduate courses.
The Teaching of Pharmacy in Rome
The history of “Pharmacy Studies” in Rome can be traced back to the very distant past. From 1303 to 1808, first the University of 'Aromatari' and then the College of Apothecaries founded in 1429 by Martin V, were responsible for the regulations governing the pharmaceutical profession within the jurisdiction of the Papal State, as well as for the professional-teaching activities along with the “registration” of new apothecaries. In 1808,“Pharmacy Studies” were included among the 3 disciplines taught in the Archiginnasio Romano, one of the oldest Italian universities founded by Pope Boniface VIII, who on 20 April 1303, with the Papal Bull "In suprema praeminentia dignitatis", established the "Studium Urbis" in Rome.
“Pharmacy Studies” were ruled by the Church for centuries and Pharmacy became a regular university course in 1872, i.e., when the Regia Università of Rome was officially established. Pharmacy studies were then organized into 2 normal university courses, one in Pharmacy and the other in Chemistry and Pharmacy, which included a very wide variety of topics which allowed the “future” pharmacists to acquire a theoretical and practical preparation far from the mainly empirical preparation of the “ancient” apothecaries.
The decree n. 2090 of 27/10/1932 marked the actual beginning of the Bachelor course in Pharmacy and Chemistry in particular article 317 states that: “The School of Pharmacy awards the Bachelor in Chemistry and Pharmacy, the Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy and the Diploma in Pharmacy. The course for the Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and Pharmacy lasts five years, the Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy four years and the Diploma in Pharmacy for four years”. Finally becoming an autonomous discipline, Pharmacy Studies achieved Bachelor Degree status. Rome's Faculty of Pharmacy was officially established in 1932. Along with the Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy, a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology was introduced in 1967. This last innovative course was aimed at a specific skill in the field of design, synthesis, production and control of medicines. With more recent further reforms, together with the the 2 five years’ Master Degrees (Pharmacy, and Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology) established in compliance with European directives, a Bachelor Degree in Applied Pharmaceutical Sciences was created. In the Academic year 2008/09 a new 5 years’ Masters Degree in Pharmacy, with the lessons given in English, was organized by University of Tor Vergata in Rome, while the Faculty of Pharmacy of “La Sapienza” has been the only university, within the Lazio Region holding different degree courses in the field of Pharmacy. In the Faculty of Pharmacy of “Sapienza” a multi-disciplinary scientific community personally and constantly follows students during their theoretical and practical studies. At present, the Faculty of Pharmacy became is part of the new Faculty of “Pharmacy and Medicine”.
1) Luigi Stroppiana (1985). Storia della Facoltà di Medicina e Chirurgia. Istituzioni ed Ordinamenti. Edizioni dell’Ateneo-Roma;
2) Luigi Stroppiana (1980). Il Policlinico Umberto I. Università degli Studi di Roma. Arti Grafiche E. Possidente & F.lli, Roma.
3) Adalberto Pazzini. Storia della Facoltà Medica di Roma Vol. 1 e 2. Università degli Studi di Roma, Roma *Some of the information was provided by Prof. Leonardo Colapinto, President emeritus and member of the Nobile Collegio Chimico Farmaceutico Romano, professor in the History of Pharmacy, 'La Sapienza' University, Rome.
Text edited by Prof. Eugenio Gaudio and Adriana Memoli