1966: Foundation of a Faculty of Medicine

  Former hospital on Goethestraße Copyright: © University Hospital Aachen Former hospital on Goethestraße

The Faculty of Medicine at RWTH Aachen was founded on June 18, 1966, as Faculty VII at RWTH and as the first faculty of medicine at a university of technology. It originated from the Städtische Krankenanstalten Aachen, which were placed in the custody of the State of NRW as clinical institutions of RWTH Aachen on January 1, 1966. A significant factor for founding a faculty - as an alternative to a medical academy - was the desire for a close link between medicine and technology, e.g. within the framework of the development and intensive expansion of technical institutions for healthcare.

These goals are reflected in the mission statement, which are stated in the Faculty's first structural plan from when the faculty was founded:

  • Interrelationship Between Medicine and Engineering

    "The points of contact between medicine and engineering have been evident for a long time but have not been expressed in a organizational manner until now. This is astounding as both fields have significant scientific-theoretical characteristics, namely that they stem from natural laws and are strongly oriented towards application."
  • Reformed Education System

    "To increase the effectiveness of medical studies, the amount of material offered must be limited, and it must be taught in a unified matter, oriented towards the professional goal of being a doctor, and include bedside training at the focus early on. Aside from training to become a practicing doctor, a special education should be offered for theoretical doctors. Additional training should lead to the a biologically and medically trained engineering in accordance with the demands of current practice."
  • Forms of Organization

    "Forms of organization must be found for research and teaching in the new faculty that elastically adapt to development. The faculty is broken down into departments, sections, and divisions, for this purpose."

From the beginning it was clear that the first two goals would not be accomplished long term in the existing facilities on Goethestraße. The were viewed as a short term solution to be replaced by a new faculty building on the University's expansion area on Hörn.