University of Edinburgh Medical School

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Edinburgh Medical School

Likewise so many parts, the University of Edinburgh Medical School are also a part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Edinburgh.


From the beginning of 16th century medicine had been taught at the Edinburgh medical school, but the college didn’t get fame up and was not popular till 1726. In 1505 the medical school university was formed with the cooperation of some surgeons and barber surgeons, whereas the foundation stone of Royal collage of Physician was laid in 1681. In this way the people turned their heads towards this academic structure. For making attraction and producing magnetic lines of force to attracts the students living abroad and maintain the potency of Scottish students in Scotland, the way of giving education and teaching in college was copied from 16th century University of Padua and later on University of Leiden. The key subject of the college was anatomy, so a professor of Anatomy was appointed in 1720 whose name was Alexander Monros. After that his son and grandson, having the same name, filled the vacancy of Professor Alexander Monros and lead the students towards the glorious path of education for 128 years.

The college was completed in this way that after four years it granted the qualification of Doctor of Medicine. Thanks to the ancestors who succeeded in teaching the medicine and surgery through the eighteen century, when people have only a little awareness about medicine, doctors and physicians. The surgery was in the hands of barbers. After a little bit while the college became the Royal college of Surgeons. The magnetic lines of force attracted much more students in 1764, so that so the medicals students make a long queue for admission. Hence for the purpose, the College Garden was used and a 200-seat Anatomy Theater was built there.

These students were not only from Scotland, but they also came from Ireland, America and Colonies who were educated by a series of well learned teachers, for example Joseph Black, James Gregory and William Cullen and the Medical Society and an extra school. The Royal hospital of Edinburgh began in Robertson Close in Newington. It started in 1729 with only four beds. Interesting thing was that only two medical students were allowed to visit the hospital. Surely the Royal hospital of Edinburgh is the oldest voluntary hospital in Scotland.

In 1741a 228-bed hospital was designed by William Adam, because this hospital was not meeting the demand of the locality, so David Bryce was given permission for designing a new hospital. He worked on this project and a hospital named Royal hospital of Edinburgh near to the next door was built. In 1998 a new Royal hospital has been built at   little France, surrounded by lush green fields in the South-east of the city.

The creation of Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh

In 1670 the Edinburgh Botanic Garden was created for study of medicinal plants by Dr Robert Sibbald and Dr Andrew Balfour. It gave a foundation for the study of Pharmacology and Chemistry. Originally adjacent to Holyrood Palace, the garden measured only 40 square feet. In 1820 the garden and its contents began to be shifted to Inverleith by Robert Graham, which is its present location. In this way it became the second oldest botanic garden in Britain after Oxford. The new sciences like Physiology, Pathology and Psychiatry   introduced at Edinburgh. It also developed the Public Health. Midwifery was said to be compulsory subject of medical education.

Women’s heated battle with Medical School

In 1869 a girl Sophia Jex-Blake requested to take admission in Edinburgh University. The administration was accepted cool heartedly and given her and her friend Edith Pechy to attend the lectures of medicine. It was an interesting phenomenon that women were not allowed for medical education. British medical schools openly refused to accept women as their students. Heated battle started in seminars, meetings and public stages. This battle remains the topic of the town for nearly 20 years.

The Medical Buildings

University of Edinburgh Medical School

In the 1860’s the medical school was confined within the periphery of old College and by 1880 the new Royal hospital had been built on Lauriston Place. The construction of new medical buildings began, adjacent to the Royal hospital and they were completed after four years. They started the Medical Faculty, scientific research and practical laboratories, together.

The Medical School was designed in two courts. Professor of Anatomy, Sir William Turner who was also Principle from 1903 to 1917, was nominated in charge of the project, constructed in his supervision, a three-storey Anatomy Museum with displays of every living creature from lion to sharks. He also managed to display human anatomy as well. The museum was associated with a dissecting room, a Library and anatomy lecture theatres.

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