The University of Santo Tomas Hospital celebrates this year an existence of 60 years.
But the essence, objective and spirit of the institution as a training hospital for the University of Santo Tomas' medical school can claim a history of four centuries.
The San Juan de Dios Hospital, the precursor of the USTH, was founded in 1577 by a Franciscan lay brother, Fray Juan Clemente. On October 29, 1875, his royal highness King Alfonso of Spain decreed that the three-centuries-old hospital, located in Intramuros, become the clinical training institution for medical students of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Santo Tomas, which was then located at Intramuros. On March 23, 1887, Dean Mariano Marti, M.D., established residency and externship programs at the San Juan de Dios Hospital.
World War I and II became a major turning point for the San Juan de Dios Hospital. During the Japanese occupation, the Quezon Institute was transferred to the San Juan de Dios Hospital. St. Paul's Hospital, located in the Walled City, was later ceded to UST for its clinical training for the duration of the war. It was the first time that the university operated a hospital of its own.
In July 1944, when the American Maryknoll Sisters of the hospital were interned by the Japanese Army, the Daughters of Charity helped them administer the hospital.
But St. Paul's Hospital and the medical school were not spared the ravages of war. In the course of the Liberation of Manila in February 1945, Intramuros was totally destroyed, and all the structures, including the university and its facilities, lay in ruins. But in the aftermath of the war, the occupation of the university campus on España and its conversion into an interim camp by the Americans proved to be a blessing in disguise.