The University of Alabama System—composed of the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa), the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville--was created in 1969. At the same time, the Medical College of Alabama, located in Birmingham, became known as the "University of Alabama School of Medicine."

The state legislature recognized a need for coordinating the medical education programs throughout the state, especially within the newly formed system and mandated a study for such a plan. The resulting program, adopted by the board of trustees in 1972, was the University of Alabama System Medical Education Program (UASMEP), which encompassed the university's medical education programs, including its residency programs, but specifically excluded nursing.

The regional campuses at Tuscaloosa and Huntsville were established in 1972, and the Huntsville campus joined UAB in 1995. The Montgomery regional campus was established in 2012 with classes beginning in 2014, and the Montgomery Internal Medicine Residency program has been affiliated with the school since 1978. The Selma Family Medicine Residency program was established in 1977.

Under a revised operating plan adopted by the board of trustees in 1980, the University of Alabama School of Medicine now has responsibility for all aspects of this program: educating and training candidates for the MD degree, providing graduate education in biomedical and related health sciences, developing and analyzing new knowledge both in basic and in clinical sciences, and understanding and appreciating the socioeconomic factors involved in providing medical care. The school and its faculty must also provide patient care, not only for the benefit of clinical education, but also to help meet the medical care needs of the region.

In the predoctoral medical education program, the first two basic science years are taught on the main campus of the University of Alabama School of Medicine at Birmingham; the last two clinical years are divided among the main campus and the three branch campuses in Huntsville, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa. The four units are accredited as the University of Alabama School of Medicine by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, which approves all programs in medical education in the United States and Canada.