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Which Medical School Is the World's Oldest?

The world's oldest medical still in operation is in Montpellier, France. Chartered by the Catholic Church in 1220, the school has nearly 7,000 students in its medical program today.

Some form of medical school in Montpellier may have been in operation from 1000 A.D. Historians say the town was an important spice and trading outlet, borrowing much of its medical knowledge from Islamic and Jewish merchants.

The astrologer and physician Nostradamus is one of the school's most famous students; he started school there in 1522. Historians aren't sure whether the popular tabloid prophet graduated from the institution--or was booted out for practicing apothecary, something frowned on by the school's administrators.

The oldest medical school in North America is the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. It was established in 1765.

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About the Author

Sean Kelley

Sean Kelley is an award-winning journalist and blogger. His work has appeared on CNN.com, in Health magazine, and in numerous online and print publications.

He lives on a farm in Alabama where he raises tomatoes and honey bees.