The Philippine Medical School was founded in 1905 in Manila. It was incorporated later to the University of the Philippines as the U.P. College of Medicine and Surgery. The name was later shortened to the University of the Philippines College of Medicine. Its first dean was Dr. Paul Freer; Dr. Fernando Calderon became the first Filipino dean of the college.
The University of the Philippines Health Sciences Center was established in 1967. The Center was established by law to provide training and research in the various health sciences. It became an autonomous member of the University of the Philippines System in 1979. The Center was further renamed University of the Philippines Manila in 1982. In 1983, UP Manila was reorganized to conform to the other autonomous universities of the UP System.
The UP College of Medicine is one of seven resident degree-granting units of the University of the Philippines Manila.
The college is proclaimed Center of Excellence in the field of medical education by the Commission on Higher Education. It has produced several topnotchers in the national licensure exams for Filipino physicians.
The college regularly competes with the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute, University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, and Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation, in producing the top scorers in the medical licensure exams. Nonetheless, it enjoys the highest passing rates among all medical schools in the country.