President William V. S. Tubman envisioned this medical school to train doctors for Liberia and Africa at large. He obtained the assistance of the Italian government, the Vatican and the A. M. Dogliotti Foundation that made his dream a reality, the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine.
The Catholic Church, under Pope Pius XII collaborated with the Italian government to build the physical structure of the medical college campus, which at the time included the academic building, a dormitory, an
administrative office building and a teaching hospital, the St. JosephCatholic Hospital.
The Foundation – Professor Achille Mario Dogliotti in
collaboration with the University of Torino provided
professors to teach at the pre-medicine and pre-clinical
levels of the program of the A. M. Dogliotti College of
Medicine from 1966 through 1989.
Historical Highlights of the A.M. Dogliotti College of Health & Life Sciences
Conception of the Vision for Liberia to training its own medical doctors was made by President William V. S. Tubman sometimes in the early to mid 1960’s
- Mobilization of Technical and Financial Support for the establishment of a medical school in Liberia was a joint venture involving the Governments of Liberia and Italy, as wells as the Holy See (Vatican) and the Dogliotti Foundation during the period of 1964-1966. The agreement between the Italian Government and the A. M. Dogliotti Foundation to support the establishment of the medical school in Liberia was finalized in 1966. Since the Italian academic institution that was assigned the task of developing and implementing the curriculum of the medical school in Monrovia, Liberia was the University of Torino located in the city of Torino, the new medical school was named the Monrovia-Torino College of Medicine. This Monrovia-Torino College of Medicine in Liberia was affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Torino.
- Groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Monrovia-Torino
College of Medicine was done in 1966 in Congo Town, Monrovia, Liberia.
President William V. S. Tubman represented the government of Liberia,
Archbishop Francis Carroll represented the Holy See (Vatican) and the Italian
Ambassador accredited near Monrovia represented the Italian government.
The original campus of the medical school included an academic building, a
teaching hospital (currently the Catholic Hospital), a dormitory and an
- While the campus of the medical school was under construction, the one-year pre-medical program of the college was started on the campus of the St. Patrick High School in Monrovia in March of 1966
- In 1967, the Monrovia-Torino Medical College facilities were formally inaugurated. During this same year, the pre-medical program of the Monrovia-Torino College of Medicine was incorporated into the science college curriculum of the University of Liberia.
- In 1968, The Monrovia-Torino College of Medicine admitted its first set of first year medical students.
In 1970 the Monrovia-Torino College of Medicine was merged with the University of Liberia as the seventh academic program, and the second professional school (the Law School being the first professional school).
At this same time the college was renamed the Achille Mario Dogliotti College of Medicine, after the late Italian philanthropist and founder of the Dogliotti Foundation in Italy.
- In 1971, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital was inaugurated and became the teaching hospital of the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine. The first class of medical students entered the clinical program of the medical college at the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in July 1971.
- In December 1973, the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine graduated its first set of medical students with the degree of doctor of medicine (MD).
- In 1982, the A. M. Dogliotti College of Medicine reached a milestone with the graduation of its first 100th medical doctors when 16 students graduated in that year.
- The support of the Italian government and the Dogliotti Foundation was scaled down according to plan in the 1980’s before the inception of the 14-year civil war of Liberia which started in December 1989.
The Liberian civil war adversely affected every aspect of the medical college program to the point that the institution was closed in May 1990 and then reopened with the bare minimum training capacity in 1992. After the re-opening, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Roman Catholic Church of Liberia were the major supporting organizations of the medical college.