Historical background

In Rzeszow and the Subcarpathian region, there were already tendencies and even attempts to launch medical studies since the middle of the last century. This was related, on the one hand, to the then existing shortage of physicians in the Subcarpathian region, and, on the other hand, to the problems that arose in the recruitment for medical studies at the Medical Academy in Krakow, Lublin or other academic cities in Poland. The education of young people in centers distant, very often even by several hundred kilometers from their place of residence, also generated large costs, which were often an insurmountable barrier for the most talented, and often coming from low-situated families, young people from the region to study medicine.

In 1970, through the efforts of Associate Professor Leslaw Grzegorczyk and with the successful decisions of the Senate of the Medical Academy in Cracow, a Clinical Teaching Team was established. Initially, the training of students took place in several major cities of the region, namely, Rzeszow, Przemysl, Krosno and Sanok, but in all of these places there was a lack of accommodation and related problems with the organization of the didactic process in various places and the lack of sufficient didactic supervision. Therefore, at the request of the head of the Clinical Teaching Team - Associate Professor Leslaw Grzegorczyk - the Medical Academy of Cracow established a Stationary Medical Studies Program for students in the fourth, and then fifth and sixth years of study in the 1975-1976 academic year at the Regional Complex Hospital on Szopen Street in Rzeszow. This resulted in the employment of a dozen or so independent academic staff members in Rzeszow - physicians who conducted and managed didactic classes in a very professional manner in the 1980s. These were Professors Andrzej Bentkowski, Emil Bryk, Radoslaw Cebulski, Wladyslawa Garska, followed by Marek Grzywa, Stanislaw Hady, Ryszard Korczowski, Roman Kurzbauer, Andrzej Skręt, Jacek Splawinski, Zbigniew Szmigiel, Kazimierz Ulewicz, Tadeusz Żaczek. So it was a team of experienced professors who had previously worked in other academic centers. At that time, 150 students were already being educated in Rzeszow for the IV, V and VI year of study. These students were transferred from their home university - the Medical Academy of Cracow to continue their studies in the region where they lived. Professor Tadeusz Popiela - then rector of the Medical Academy in Cracow supported the activities of the authorities of the Institute of Clinical Medicine, which resulted in its further dynamic development. A manifestation of this was a conference organized in 1985 in Rzeszow with the participation of Deputy Minister of Health Leslaw Kryst, the rector of the Academy of Medicine in Krakow Professor Mark Sych and the provincial authorities. A joint declaration was adopted that the Second Faculty of Medicine (branch) of the Medical Academy in Krakow would be established in Rzeszow. In order to carry out such an ambitious plan, attempts were made to organize other organizational units and theoretical departments, which would make it possible to include students in the educational process from the first year of study. It was agreed at the time that in 1995, i.e. after 10 years, students who complete the entire didactic process in Rzeszow will leave the walls of the Rzeszow University as the first doctors fully educated in Rzeszow.

However, the changes taking place in the country in the wake of the system transformation in 1989 changed the decision of the Academy of Medical Sciences in Cracow regarding the establishment of an independent Faculty of Medicine in Rzeszow (currently: the College of Medical Sciences), and even a decision was made to liquidate the Institute of Clinical Teaching, which took place in 1991. This was inconsistent to the extent that in the preceding years, precisely in 1989, the new Regional Hospital No. 2 in Rzeszow, which had been under construction for several years, was finally handed over, and which was to provide a modern teaching and research base for the Faculty of Medicine. In this way, Rzeszow lost, seemingly irretrievably, the opportunity to obtain the rights to study medicine or other studies related to medicine.

In the situation that arose, the director of the Institute of Clinical Teaching, Professor Leslaw Grzegorczyk, moved to work at the Higher School of Pedagogy in Rzeszow in 1992, where he joined the graduate level education in physical education. In the same year, Professors Ryszard Cieślik, Władysława Garska, Stanisław Hady and Jan Przybyłowski joined the team, as well as independent researchers in related fields, Professors Stanisław Krawczyk, Zygmunt Wnuk and Jerzy Piórecki. Professor Leslaw Grzegorczyk, M.D., became the first director of the Institute of Physical and Health Education, as this was the name adopted for the institute due to the participation of several professors - doctors - in the training, as well as an attempt to maintain continuity with the Institute of Clinical Teaching. In 1994, Kazimierz Obodyński, PhD, became the director of the institute, and the institute became part of the Pedagogical Faculty of the WSP in Rzeszow.

In 1996, Andrzej Kwolek, M.D., a specialist in neurology and rehabilitation, was admitted to the institute, which enabled the establishment of a specialty in rehabilitation in the physical education major. This specialty was treated as an interim stage for the establishment of an independent major in physical rehabilitation, and after the name change made by the Ministry of Health in 1997 to physiotherapy, as a medical major. Due to the increasing number of independent academics coming from medical backgrounds, they attempted to establish a separate medical faculty or collegium medicum at the College of Education.

The concrete manifestation of these activities was the establishment of the Association of Professors of Medicine in Rzeszow, which was registered in the register of associations by a decision of the Regional Court in Rzeszow on May 20, 1999. As its main statutory objective, the Association adopted "the organization of independent scientific workers in the field of medicine or with a doctoral degree in medical sciences, and the uniting of their efforts to establish a Clinical Teaching Institute in the medical faculty of the future University of Rzeszow." The founding members of the Association were professors and habilitated doctors Andrzej Bętkowski, Ryszard Cieślik, Lesław Grzegorczyk, Marek Grzywa, Stanisław Hady, Ryszard Korczowski, Andrzej Kwolek, Andrzej Skręt, Andrzej Skwarcz, and doctors Stanisław Bajcar, Jarosław Janeczko, Wojciech Kądziołka, Zbigniew Kozdronkiewicz, Sławomir Łukasik, Piotr Małek, Andrzej Pogorzelski, Wrzesław Romańczuk and Józef Rusin. The President of the Association was elected Prof. Andrzej Kwolek, MD, PhD. WSP Andrzej Kwolek, and deputy chairman Prof. dr. hab. n. med. Marek Grzywa. Representatives of the Board of Directors of the Association, with the Dean of the Faculty of Pedagogy of the WSP, Prof. Ryszard Cieślik, at a meeting with the then Governor Zbigniew Sieczkos, presented the existing possibilities, and at the same time the necessity of establishing a Medical College (currently: College of Medical Sciences) in the real shape of the University of Rzeszów, which was already drawing up at that time. Thus, at the time of the establishment of the University of Rzeszow in 2001, the medical community of the Subcarpathian region was to a large extent already prepared for further work on the establishment of the faculty.

In the long process towards the launch of the current College of Medical Sciences, the creation of the first "medical" course of study - physiotherapy - proved particularly significant. This fact convinced many physicians that it was possible to create majors in medical sciences at the WSP, and that arriving at clinical teaching (training of physicians) must take a different (indirect) route than was previously the case. Discussions held at the Institute of Physical and Health Education resulted in a proposal to the rector of the WSP to create a new field of study - PHYSiotherapy. The WSP Senate, by resolution of October 22, 1998, created this new field of study. The following year, 1999, on February 19, the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Education approved the WSP Senate's resolution and set the start of undergraduate studies with a deadline of February 2000. As of April 1, 1999, the rector appointed Dr. Prof. nadzw. WSP Andrzej Kwolka as Plenipotentiary of the Rector for the launch of a new field of study. Following numerous efforts, the Mayor of Rzeszow, Andrzej Szlachta, agreed to lend (lease) free of charge for 3 years to the WSP, for the needs of the Institute of Physiotherapy, the building of the former medical clinic on Hoffmanowa Street, effective January 1, 2000. This lending (not transfer of ownership), however, did not allow the university to obtain a grant from the Ministry for the renovation of the building, as it was not owned by the university. Despite this, the necessary adaptation of the building was carried out very efficiently from the modest resources of the WSP, and as early as February 17, 2000, the official inauguration of the new course - physiotherapy - was held, and as of February 18, full-time classes began with the first group of 55 students. Earlier, after appropriate competition procedures, Prof. Dr. Marek Grzawa and Dr. Prof. Nadzw. WSP Andrzej Pluta, and the structure of the Physiotherapy Institute (in the initial period of the Physiotherapy Department) was developed, and a core group of assistants and administrative and economic staff was hired. The director of the Physiotherapy Institute became Dr. Prof. nadzw. WSP Andrzej Kwolek, the deputy for scientific affairs was prof. dr. hab. n. med. Marek Grzywa, and after his resignation, dr. hab. prof. nadzw. WSP Slawomir Snela, while the deputy for didactic affairs was Dr. n. med. Halina Gregorowicz-Cieślik.

On June 7, 2001, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland passed the Law on the Establishment of the University of Rzeszow. This day is celebrated annually as the Feast Day of the University of Rzeszow. After the visitation, by the decision of the State Accreditation Commission in 2001, the Institute of Physiotherapy was granted the right to conduct first- and second-level studies (master's degree) in this field. The efforts of the first and second rectors of the University of Rzeszow, Professor Tadeusz Lulk and Professor Włodzimierz Bonusiak, were realized in 2003, when the University received permission to create a major in nursing and midwifery. The rector's plenipotentiary for the creation of this specialty became UR Professor Slawomir Snela, MD, PhD, and after receiving his doctoral degree, Wrzeslaw Romanchuk, MD, who also became the first director of the Institute of Nursing and Midwifery. He was credited with inviting eminent professors of medicine from Warsaw to work at the UR, which made it possible to meet the requirements of the State Accreditation Commission and obtain accreditation for education in these fields at the undergraduate level. After the death of Professor Wieslaw Romanchuk, the director of the Institute of Nursing and Midwifery became Professor Pawel Januszewicz, and Monika Binkowska-Bury, MA. The head of the Department of Nursing was Prof. dr. hab. n. med. Józef Ryżko, and the head of the Department of Obstetrics was Prof. dr. hab. n. med. Andrzej Skręt.

The conditions for the establishment of the Faculty of Medical Sciences (now: College of Medical Sciences) were fulfilled during this period. By decision of the UR Senate on May 27, 2004, it was separated from the Faculty of Pedagogy as the Faculty of Health Sciences. The Minister of National Education and Sports established the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Rzeszow by Order No. 13 of July 4, 2005. The first dean of the new faculty was elected Prof. Ryszard Cieślik, M.D., Ph.D., and the vice-deans were Dr. Małgorzata Marć, M.D., Ph.D., Ph. Teresa Pop. The Council of the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2005 decided to change its name to the Faculty of Medicine. The UR Senate approved this decision by a resolution of November 24, 2005. The new name of the Faculty took effect on April 1, 2006.

At that time, the Faculty of Medicine (today: College of Medical Sciences) included three medical faculties: physiotherapy, nursing and midwifery. The great interest in medical faculties and the great needs in this area were conducive to the further development of the youngest faculty at UR. Therefore, on February 8, 2007, the Medical Faculty Council passed a resolution to launch three new fields of study at the Medical Faculty of the University of Rzeszow starting from the 2007/2008 academic year. These were: lifeguarding - full-time and part-time first degree studies, public health - full-time and part-time first degree studies, public health with specialization in electro radiology - full-time first degree studies. The existing needs and interest allowed us to make another decision to launch a dietetics major from the 2011/2012 academic year. At the time, the UR Faculty of Medicine (currently: the College of Medical Sciences) had 8 titular professors, 10 habilitated doctors - UR associate professors, 47 doctors of science, 1 doctor and 27 master's degree holders. It had its own, mostly renovated, two-story building on Warszawska Street for the physiotherapy major, which was well-equipped thanks to winning and implementing a project under the Integrated Regional Development Operational Program, while classes for the nursing and midwifery majors are held in a partially adapted academic canteen donated to the faculty and both provincial hospitals.

In October 2006, Professor Ryszard Cieslik, M.D., dean of the then Faculty of Medicine, passed away. The Rector of the UR appointed Professor Dr. habil. n. med. Józef Ryżka to perform the duties of dean. After a by-election in December 2006, Prof. UR Dr. habil. n. med. Andrzej Kwolek became dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

In October 2007, the dean of the Faculty, Professor Andrzej Kwolek, was awarded the title of professor of medical sciences, and received the diploma from the hands of Professor Lech Kaczynski - President of the Republic of Poland.

During the 2008-2012 term of university authorities, the authorities in the then Faculty of Medicine were as follows:

Dean: Prof. dr. hab. n. med. Andrzej Kwolek

Prof. dr. hab. n. med. Andrzej Skręt - Vice Dean for Academic Affairs,

Dr. n. med. Małgorzata Marć - vice-dean for Nursing, Midwifery, Emergency Medicine, Public Health and Dietetics

Dr. n. o kult. phys. Teresa Pop - associate dean for physiotherapy.

At the time, the UR Faculty of Medicine (currently: the College of Medical Sciences) employed 14 titular professors, 12 postdoctoral fellows - UR associate professors, 168 doctors of science, 3 physicians and 50 master's degree holders. There were 212 teaching staff on contractual terms. In 2011, the Faculty of Medicine obtained the right to confer the degree of Doctor of Health Sciences.

During the 2012-2016 term of university authorities, the authorities in the Faculty of Medicine were as follows:

Dean: dr. hab. n. med. Artur Mazur, prof. UR

Vice Dean for Academic Affairs: Bartosz Korczowski, MD, prof. UR.

Pro-dean: Monka Binkowska-Bury, MD, PhD.

Pro-dean: Julian Skrzypiec, Ph.


At the end of 2015, the long-standing efforts of the various above-mentioned distinguished employees of the University of Rzeszow and representatives of the medical community of the Subcarpathian region found their happy ending in the form of the launch of a medical faculty in Rzeszow. The first, historic yearbook of about 100 students began studying in the 2015/2016 academic year. Shortly after that, as early as the beginning of the next academic year, the organizational preparation, competence of the scientific staff and infrastructural facilities necessary for the education of future medical students were positively evaluated by the Polish Accreditation Commission. In 2014-2017, the visits of the Polish Accreditation Commission also included other faculties conducted at the Faculty of Medicine (now: at the College of Medical Sciences), i.e. nursing, midwifery, physiotherapy, dietetics. In addition, in 2014 the midwifery major and in 2015 the nursing major were visited by the National Accreditation Council for Schools of Nursing and Midwifery. All inspections resulted in the issuance of a positive evaluation. Teaching in the medical faculty is associated with the dynamic development of the College, the expansion of the number of independent researchers and the creation of new clinical departments. In 2019, the faculty obtained doctoral rights in the discipline of medical science.

During the 2016-2019 term of university authorities, the authorities in the then Faculty of Medicine were as follows:

Dean: prof. dr. hab. n. med. Artur Mazur

Vice-dean for science: prof. dr. hab. n. med. Bartosz Korczowski

Pro-dean: Dr. Katarzyna Dereń

Pro-dean: Dr. Justyna Wyszyńska.

On October 1, 2019, the College of Medical Sciences was established as a result of transformation from the UR Faculty of Medicine due to a change in structure at the University of Rzeszow.

The current College consists of the following units:

  • Institute of Medical Sciences
  • Institute of Physical Culture Sciences (created from the transformation of the former Faculty of Physical Education UR)
  • Institute of Health Sciences
  • The Natural and Medical Center for Innovative Research
  • Medical Simulation Center
  • Subcarpathian Athletics Center.