Surgeon, teacher, dean, humanitarian – Philip Price is rightly remembered as the Founding Father of the modern-day School of Medicine. Dr. Price came to the University of Utah in 1943 to oversee the establishment of the four-year program as Chair of the Department of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at the Salt Lake County General Hospital. It was Dr. Price to whom the responsibility fell to recruit a faculty who would live up to the high ambitions he had set for himself when he accepted Dean Cyril Callister’s challenge.
With the nucleus of “young Idealists” in place by the time of his appointment as Dean in 1955, the next phase of Dr. Price’s vision that a Medical School worthy of its name have its own University Hospital took shape. Over the next seven years land was set aside on the upper campus, plans for construction made and the oft-times exasperating details for financing hammered out. A formal Groundbreaking ceremony was held in July, 1959, but it was not until January, 1962 that work began. By that time, after nearly twenty years of quiet dedication, Dr. Price, who had already announced his intention to retire participated in his last formal function: laying the cornerstone of the Medical School/Hospital he had determined to make a reality.