1946 The Department of Clinical Preventive Medicine was established. The aim of the department was to integrate preventive procedures into clinical practice with emphasis on social factors in disease. The initial aim of the department was markedly influenced by the Goodenough report on medical education from Great Britain.
1950 The Department of Psychiatry and Preventive Medicine was established. With the retirement of the Professor of Psychiatry, the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Clinical Preventive Medicine were combined under the headship of Professor G.E. Hobbs (1907 - 1987), a psychiatrist who had recently completed his Master's degree in public health. One purpose of combining the departments was to ensure that preventive medicine had direct access to a clinical facility. During the following 17 years, the research activity of the Department was directed mainly, although not exclusively, toward the epidemiology of mental health.
1967 Two separate departments were established: the Department of Community Medicine and the Department of Psychiatry. The Department of Community Medicine under the leadership of Dr. Carol Buck (1925 - 2004) had two divisions: (1) Family Practice and (2) Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. The purpose was to introduce Family Medicine into the Faculty of Medicine by joining it to an established department with which it shared an interest in the community aspects of health problems.
1972 The Department of Community Medicine spawned two new Departments: 1) The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine was established and 2) Family Medicine became a separate department. Liaison between the two Departments has been maintained by cross-appointments on committees that deal with matters of common interest.
1977 Dr. Buck stepped down, following her second term as Chair, and was replaced by Dr. James M Wanklin.
1979 The Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine was changed to the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics with the recruitment of the department's first biostatistician, Dr. Allan Donner. Subsequently, Dr. Donner became an international name in biostatistics and other biostatisticians were recruited.
1987 Dr. Allan Donner became Chair of the Department. During his tenure, the focus of the department became increasingly quantitative and, in addition to the historical strength in Community Medicine and Population Health, a new strength in biostatistics was evident.
2003 Dr. Martha Karen Campbell, the current Chair, replaced Dr. Donner when he stepped down after his third term as Chair. Under her leadership, a new focus in Health Services Research (HSR) is evolving. This focus builds on the historic strengths of the department in epidemiology and biostatistics. The interaction among fields within the department, as well as multidisciplinary interaction with other departments and Faculties, is a key characteristic of the department culture.