The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta saw its first class of students in 1913. At the time, the faculty offered a three year course with clinical surgery in the second year. Students then moved to eastern Canada to complete their clinical training.

After the First World War the university realized the need for a full medical instruction program and built the first complete medical school west of Winnipeg. In 1922 the Department of Surgery was born.

Today the department offers programs in undergraduate, postgraduate and graduate studies. The department consists of 14 divisions:

And the following Unit:

From past to present, the Department of Surgery has been a leader, achieving a balance between technology and the human element that defines the art of surgery.