History – University of Copenhagen

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Avicenna Directories > History



The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a World Directory of Medical Schools since 1953. The last printed edition (7th ed., 2000) lists institutions of basic medical education in 157 countries. After the year 2000 updating has been done electronically, the latest covering information received before the end of 2007.

In August 2007, the WHO and the University of Copenhagen signed an agreement, which gave the University responsibility for the development and administration of the new directory with the assistance of the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME) which has a long-standing collaboration with WHO. In 2011, all rights to the database were transferred from the University to WFME. WHO will continue its involvement together with other partners.

From August 2008, the data of the World Directory of Medical Schools has been available on this website.  Information concerning individual schools and countries is continuously updated in response to requests from medical schools and national authorities.


Avicenna - ibn-Sina - was a physician and philosopher active 1000 years ago, noted for his syntheses of knowledge from both East and West. He had a lasting influence worldwide in the development of medicine in its widest sense: what is now known as health sciences. The use of Avicenna's name symbolises the worldwide partnership that is needed for the care and promotion of the health for all.