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The precursors of the WCH, Cunren and Renji Hospitals, were set up in 1892 by the joint efforts of Christian missions from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. In 1914, the School of Medicine of West China Union University (WCUU) was established and both Renji and Cunren Hospitals became the teaching hospitals of the university. In 1924, the WCUU opened enrollment to women and became the first co-educational university inland.

In 1937, when the War of Resistance Against Japan broke out, the universities in the affected areas such as Nanjing Central University, Jinling University, Jinling Woman Arts & Science College, Yanching University, and Cheeloo University were moved to Chengdu and managed together with WCUU. At that time, the Huaxi medical campus became a gathering place for medical experts and talents. In July 1938, the Union Hospital was established together by WCUU, Nanjing Central University, and Cheeloo University. In 1946, a new hospital of WCUU, named "University Hospital" or "West China Hospital", was built in Guo Xue Alley, Chengdu City, where it still stands today.

The school and the hospital have changed their names for many times due to different reasons. WCUU was taken over by the Central Government of PRC in 1950 and renamed Sichuan Medical College in 1953 as part of an organizational adjustment, and the hospital was renamed as the College Hospital of Sichuan Medical College accordingly. Subsequently in 1985, Sichuan Medical College was renamed as West China University of Medical Sciences, and the hospital was renamed as the First University Hospital of West China University of Medical Sciences (WCUMS). Finally, when West China University of Medical Sciences and Sichuan University merged in October 2000, the school was officially named the "West China School of Medicine/West China Hospital of Sichuan University" till now.