The McMaster University Health Sciences Centre opened in 1972 to provide health care in Hamilton's growing west end. It was designed by the Toronto architectural firm of Craig, Zeidler and Strong. The building featured a unique design concept that made it very flexible and economical for later modifications. All the permanent architectural features such as the structural frame, floors, roof and services are separated from non-permanent features such as room partitioning and ceilings. It cost $73 million dollars to build and provides 1,335,433 square feet of usable floor space. The hospital officially opened on May 27, 1972.
In 1979 McMaster University Health Sciences Centre amalgamated with Chedoke Hospitals to become Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals. In 1997 Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals amalgamated with Hamilton Civic Hospitals to form Hamilton Health Sciences.
It is the official teaching hospital for the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University which was established in 1966 as the fifth medical school in Ontario. During the 1950's and 1960's there was a great deal of criticism of medical education. It was felt there was overemphasis in the curriculum on the cramming of biological facts as opposed to behavioural and community issues, intellectual curiosity and compassion. McMaster's medical programme of small group, self-directed, problem-based learning was designed to graduate students who could solve problems and work effectively on their own throughout their careers. In this the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University has been hugely successful.