Study of Medical History is not
only to express our debt
predecessors but is important in
understanding the advances that are
now taking place in theory and practice of medicine.
The "art of
healing" began thousands of years ago with the innovations of
the primitive man trying to provide relief to those close to
him, in sickness and suffering, motivated by feelings of
sympathy and kindness.
In the absence
of an obvious explanation, his limited intelligence attributed
disease and other calamities to the anger of God, the invasion
of the body by evil spirits or the influence of stars and
As a logical sequence,
the medicine he practised consisted in appeasing God by prayers and
rituals and sacrifices, driving out evil spirits from the human body.
There is also evidence
that prehistoric man improvised stone and flint instruments with which
he performed circumcisions, amputations and trephining of skulls.
It is thus obvious that
medicine in the prehistoric era (5000BC)
was intermingled with superstition, religion, magic
Elements of prehistoric medicine are still present
in many countries.
Primitive man may be extinct,
but "the supernatural theory of disease"
in which he believed is not yet
Hindu medicine is as ancient as Hindu Civilisation.
Ayurveda by definition implies "The
Science of Life".
(Ayurveda is a Sanskrit
word derived from two roots: ayur, which means life, and veda,
Its origin is traced
back to the Vedic times about 5000BC. Ayurveda is a part of the Atharva
Veda which solely deals with medicine.
Atharva Veda includes eight divisions of
Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine)
Salakya Tantra (Surgery of Head & neck,Ophthalmology
Shalya Tantra (Surgery)
Agada Tantra (Toxicology)
Bhuta Vidya (Psychiatry)
Rasayana (Anti-aging or Gerontology or Science
of Rejuvenation) and
Vajkarana (The Science of Fertility)
The Vedic Sages took passages from Atharva Veda and created
separate books dealing exclusively
Atreya Samhita is
the oldest medical book in the world. Atreya was the son of Rishi
was the son of god Brahma and one of
immortal Rishis in Vedic
Atri was Acharya (Teacher) of Ayurveda.
Vedic Brahmanas were priests
religious rites and
They were also considered
as Vaidyas (Physicians of Ayurveda).
sage physicians were the surgeons
in the ancient days.
deeply devoted holy physicians considered
health to be an important
part of spiritual life.
It is believed that the Vaidyas
received their training of Ayurveda during
into book form.
Beginning of Medicine and Surgery in India is thought
as the gifts from god Indra to Sages Bharadwaja,
of medicine and Dhanvantari, the patron saint
These two main schools made Ayurveda a more scientifically verifiable
medical system (around 1500BC).
These two scholar passed their knowledge to
two worthy men Atreya and Susruta.
Both Atreya and Susruta practised around 600BC, nearly 150 years before
Maharshi Atreya is
acknowledged as the first great
Indian Physician and Teacher.
He lived in the ancient University Taxilla about 20 miles west of modern
He learnt Ayurveda from
Bharadwaja Ashrama still exists in Prayag (in
of Uttar Pradesh).
Atreya revolutionized the medical system of Ayurveda into the system we
He held formal teachings with his students and established Code
of Medical Ethics in India (150 years before Hippocratic
- Agnivesa Samhita (800BC
- Agnivesa, one of the six
disciples of Atreya, who recorded the teachings
of his preceptor Atreya.
- Charaka re-edited
Agnivesa Samhita as Charaka Samhita in the second century (200AD).
Galen was his contemporary in the West
(130 – 210 AD).
- Charaka Samhita
describes Anatomy and Physiology.
- There are eight chapters
dealing with Pathology (Nidanasthanam).
- Charaka Samhita deals
with the symptoms, signs, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of
the heart, chest, abdomen, genital organs and extremities.
Charaka mentions two cases of disease:
- Loss of faith in Devine which leads to suffering in
spiritual, mental and physical disease.
- varies with time of the day, seasons, diet
medical knowledge was evident from his instructions on building
hospitals with maintenance of hygienic atmosphere for patients.
Dhanvantri resigned his
Royal status as 'Prince of Kasi' (Varanasi) and retired into the
forest where he dictated his Ayurveda to
Susruta of Benaras. He
described human anatomy in details in his treatise "Susruta
Susruta was the first
surgeon to perform rhinoplasty and ear lobe construction.
Surgeons of that time had
plenty of opportunity to construct the nose.
Besides those who lost
their nose in the battle, cutting the nose by the irritant "Rajas" was
the common practice.
Official punishment for
adultery was to cut the nose of the culprits.
The early Indians set
fractures, performed amputations, excised tumors, repaired
hernia and did couching for cataract.
They used over 121
different steel instruments to drain fluids, to remove kidney
stones, to sew up wounds and to perform plastic surgery. Some of
the instruments used in those days were very much like those of
today such as scissors, saws, needle, forceps etc.
In Susruta Samhita
transmission of malaria was incriminated to a biting insect,
probably mosquito. This shows that they were not only well
versed in Medicine and surgery but also in the prevention of
They were also conversant
with operative midwifery.
Original Susruta Samhita
was further revised by Nagarjuna (4th century BC), the great
The great Greek teacher
Hippocrates (460-377BC) preceded Nagarjuna near about the time
of Socrates (469-399 BC).
Susruta Samhita was
re-edited by Chakrapani in the 11th Century.
of Pathology in India- Nidanasthanam
Of the six divisions of
Susruta Samhita, second division consists of
sixteen chapters devoted
to Pathology, mainly of surgical diseases.
Nidana developed greatly
in the 7th century and was established by Madhava Kara of Bengal.
His Nidana as well as
Charaka and Susruta Samhita were translated in Arabic by the order of
Haran al-Rashid (786-806 AD) the Khalif of Bagdad.
According to Wilson, it
is likely that it might have been translated from the translation of the
book in Persian language.
Arthasastra of Kautilya (other name of Chanakya, the greatest politician
of the time), there is a mention of postmortem.Ashumrita parikshagara
(examination of men who recently died).
These reports of
inquest were also necessary in higher courts of law (Kontaka Sodhana)
during the reign of the Great Emperor Chandragupta.
The dead bodies in
cases of homicide, suicide or those who died of accidents, were kept in
an examination room, which was set apart for the purpose and the cause
of death had to be reported after post-mortem examination to higher
decomposition dead bodies were preserved by immersion in oil.
The Golden Age of Indian
Medicine was between 800BC to 600AD.
Learned men from different
countries such as China, Tibet, Afganisthan, the Greeks, Romans,
Egyptians, Persians came to the Indian Ayurvedic Schools to learn about
this World Medicine.
were translated into Arabic by the physicians like
Avicenna and Razi
Both of them quoted Indian
Ayurvedic texts and established Islamic medicine "Unani System".
This Indian Ayurvedic
System became popular in Europe and helped to form the foundation of the
European tradition of medicine.
tremendously during Buddhist Kings like King Ashoka
(226 BC), who patronized Ayurveda
as State Medicine and established Schools of
Medicine and Hospitals.
Charaka (200AD),the most
popular name in Ayurveda medicine was the Court
Physician to the
Buddhist king Kaniska during Buddhist time.
Due to the doctrine of "Ahinsa"
(non-violence) Indian Surgery suffered a setback.
With the advent of
Muslims in India,Hindu Medicine eroded due to the lack of State
help and support by the
Unani system of medicine
was introduced into India by the Muslim rulers.
By the 13th,Century
Unani system of medicine was firmly established mainly in Delhi, Aligarh,
Lucknow and Hyderabad.
During Mughal period and
subsequent years Ayurveda declined due to
the lack of state support.
With the advent of the
British in the 18th Century Ayurveda system was
India along with Western
system of Medicine.
Chinese medicine claims to
be the world's first organised body of medical knowledge dating back to
2700 BC.The Chinese system of 'bare foot doctors", and acupuncture
anaesthesia have attracted world-wide attention.
Like prehistoric medicine
in India, Egyptian medicine also dates from 2000BC.
Edwin Smith papyrus of
1600 BC described fractures, dislocation,
infection of wounds,
The best known medical
manuscript is the Ebers papyrus(1500BC) found with the
Mummy on the bank of the
It mentions coryza,
disease of the bones and joints, tumors,
disease of the
gastrointestinal tract, female genitalia, eye etc.
Egyptians had no
foundation of anatomical knowledge.
Alexandria in Egypt had their medical
in temples of their God of Medicine
All doctors were paid by the State.
Homer while speaking of the doctors
of the ancient world, considered the Egyptians
best of all.
Egyptian medicine dominated for about 2500 years when it was replaced by
The Greek invaded Asia minor and were
influenced by the medical knowledge of
Mesopotamia and Egypt.
leader in Greek medicine, Asculapius (2000BC) was the Greek
god of medicine.
The staff of Asculapius with a single serpent coiled around it
represents the Medical Profession.
Modern winged staff with twin snakes around a single
staff is the “wand of Hermes” (Greek messenger
god or Roman god Mercury).
Greatest Greek physician Hippocrates (460
370BC) set a high standard of moral behaviour for
the pupil of Hippocrates became doctors they had to swear an
"Thou would help the sick according to
their ability and judgement, never give poisons, not tell other people
what their patients had told them and keep both themselves and their
This "Oath of
Hippocrates" still goes by "International Oath".
It sets a high moral
standard for the medical profession and demand absolute integrity
The Greek civilization
fell into decay and was succeeded by the Roman civilization by
the 1st century BC.
borrowed their medicine from the Greeks.
Celsus (25BC to 50 AD) has
given us the cardinal signs of inflammation.
Galen (13 to 105 AD) was
the pioneer of Experimental Medicine.
He observed that the disease was due to:
- Predisposing factors
- Exciting factors and
- Environmental factors.
This is the true modern
idea. His writings were accepted as standard text books in medicine for
centuries after his death.
With the fall of Roman
Empire, Roman school of medicine disappeared.
The practice of medicine
reverted back to primitive medicine dominated by
superstition and dogma.
This period (500 to
1500 AD.) is called the "Dark Age of Medicine".
During this period Arabs
stole a march over the rest of the civilization.
literature was translated into Arabic & they developed their
of medicine known as "Unani System of Medicine".
They founded medical
schools and hospitals in Baghdad, Damascus, Cairo and other Muslim
"The Golden Age of Arabian
Medicine" was between 800 to 1300AD.
Medical historians admit
that there was interchange of thought and experience
between Hindu, Arab, Persian, Greek and Jewish scholars.
Gradual spread of Christianity led to the establishment of
religious institutions known
as "Monasteries".(Headed by religious
leaders known as monks, saints and abbotts)
These Monasteries also
rendered active medical and nursing care to the sick.
As human knowledge
advanced,medicine was revived by
removed superstition and dogma
(1514-1564) did a lot of dissections on the human body and demonstrated
some of Galen’s errors.
Revival of Medicine
Till the eighteenth
century the teaching and practice of medicine in India
was done according to the Ayurvedic or ancient Vedic Hindu
system and the Unani or Arabic system based on the
Egyptian and Greecian schools and brought to India by the Greek and Muslim rulers.
The wisdom and seniority of the great teachers Charaka
and Susruta compared to the pioneer western physicians
like Hippocrates and other famous Greek physicians were accepted
universally not only in basic medical sciences, therapeutics and
surgery but also in laying down the ethical code
for practice of
medicine and nursing.
In the early 19th
century, the British Government of India could not entrust the
health care of their own people in the hands of Ayurveda and
Unanis and they had to bring medical men from
The British Surgeons
trained a few Indians the elementary principles of diagnosis and
treatment of disease and appointed them as Native Doctors
to help them as compounders and dressers.
They received no
systematic education but had to pass through tests before being
entitled to higher pay and responsibilities.
The services of
these dedicated men were soon appreciated by the British
Surgeons and in 19th May 1822, the Medical Board of
the British Surgeons wrote to the then Secretary to the
Government of India for a more systematic education for the Native doctors which was
formally approved on 24th May 1882.
With a Government
Order dated 21st
June, 1822, the
first Medical School in British India was established.
The School opened in
October, 1824 at Calcutta Sanskrit
College with Dr. James Jamieson as the first
The period of training
was for 3 years.
The first one year was spent on lessons on
Medicine and Surgery were taught during two senior
The students had to attend the
Native Hospital, the General Hospital, the Company’s
Dispensary, the Eye
Infirmary and the
the Superintendent of
for clinical teaching.
human body was not performed and lesions in Anatomy
were learnt from dissection of lower animals
witnessing post-mortem examination at the
The students also learnt side by side the great works of Charaka and Susruta
as those of
the Arabic School.
In 1833 Lord William Bentinck, the then Governor of India, appointed a
Committee to make a report on the existing
medical education and institutions in order to revise and improve on
Indian medical education.
The Committee submitted their report on October 20th
The Committee advised immediate abolition of the Native
Medical School and
suggested the formation of a
Medical College for Indians.
English was chosen as the language of instruction mainly for
utilisation of the immense wealth of
printed work and illustrations in the
Western medical literature.
On the recommendation of the Committee,
a Government Order No.28 of 28th January 1835, Medical
College of Bengal was established.
This day is still
celebrated as the Foundation day of the Calcutta Medical College. A
small hospital consisting of 20 beds was established on 1st
April 1838. In 1840 a large Hospital for women was founded with
100 beds to afford instruction in Midwifery.
Assistant Surgeon M.J. Bramley (see image) was appointed as Superintendent with
Assistant Surgeon Dr. H. H. Goodeve (see image) as his only
Gupta, a Baidya Professor of the Native Medical Institute was
transferred with two assistants from the Sanskrit College to
The period of study was
for four years and the examination was conducted under the supervision
of the Committee of the Council of Education.
The certificate qualified
them to practice Surgery and Medicine.
The illustrious band of
teachers started their work on 20th February 1835.
The designation of
the Superintendent Dr. M.J. Bramley was changed to that of
Principal and his assistant Dr.H.H.Goodeve to Professor of
Medicine and Anatomy on 5th August 1835.
O’Shaughnessy was appointed as the Professor of Chemistry and
There was no library,
museum, apparatus or hospital to
start with. A few books and apparatus were transferred from the
abolished Native Medical Institution to the Medical College.
national prejudice was the great hurdle to the study of Anatomy or
dissection. Professor Goodeve started demonstration of the parts of
human body using sheep’s brain, goat’s liver and human skeletons.Two
skeletons were purchased through Messrs.
Bathgate and Company of Calcutta and
other anatomical preparations were imported from England. Mr.Evans was
appointed as the Curator of the Museum.
January 1836 Pandit Madhusudan Gupta, accompanied by four young
students followed Professor Goodeve to an outhouse of the Medical
College building & began to dissect a dead body with his own hands. This
day will ever be marked in the Annals of Western Medicine in India when
Indians rose superior to all prejudice and boldly flung open the gates
of modern scientific medicine to fellow countrymen.
In less than 2 years time there was rapid advancement in the art of dissection. In 1848,
Professor Goodeve remarked in his introductory lecture that his pupils have dissected
more than 500 bodies.
died on 19th January 1837. The teaching suffered due
to paucity of staff and lack of a College hospital.
Government considered revision of staff and a College Council was formed
with Mr.David Hare, the respected Philanthropist as the
Secretary and Treasurer, for the regulation of the
affairs of the College.
Other members of
the College Council were:
1. Dr. Henry Goodive, Professor of Anatomy and Medicine.
2. Dr. W.B.
Shaughnessy, Professor of Chemistry and Materia Medica.
3. Dr. C.C.
Egerton, Professor of Surgery and Clinical Surgery.
4. Dr. J.
McCosh, Professor of Clinical Medicine
5. Dr. N. Wallich, Professor of Botany
6. Dr. R. Shaughnessy, Demonstrator of
April 1838, due to the liberality of Lord Auckland, a ward of 20 beds
was opened as the nucleus of the first Medical College
Hospital, from the money saved by abolition of the post of lectureship
of Clinical Medicine on resignation of Dr. McCosh.
An out-patient department
was also attached to this hospital in 1839. 70 patients, both European
and Indian, were treated in the in-patient
and 200 patients attended the outdoor
dispensary daily in 1839.
The success of this small
hospital induced the Government to construct a hospital on a much larger
scale at later date. The construction of
large female hospital for teaching in Midwifery was also
examination of the New Medical College was held on the 30th
October, 1838, after three and a half years' study of Anatomy,Physiology, Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Materia Medica,
Botany, Physics, Medicine and Surgery with the exception of Midwifery,
as there was no provision for the teaching of the subject.
1. Dr. Nicholson,
2. Dr. Grant,
Surgeon Apothecary to the East India Company
3. Dr. J.
Martin, Presidency Surgeon and Surgeon.
Women in the
Possibly, it was in the
year 1847 that Elizabeth Blackwell from U.S.A. became the first women to
graduate from Geneva
Philadelphians founded a separate "Women’s Medical College of
In 1865, Elizabeth Garatte
from UK entered Middlesex Hospital and completed the course, but at the
end of the year, Board of Management decided
not to allow her to sit for the
She obtained the
Diploma of Society of Apothecaries in 1865 and opened an
out-door dispensary named "Garatte Hospital"
and started private practice.
In 1870, she
obtained the M.D. degree of Paris. In 1876, Sophia Jex
Black received the degree from Edinburgh
University, but it had to be withdrawn due to social disturbances.
Later, an Act of
Parliament was passed enabling all British Medical Boards to admit women
to their examinations.
College had the privilege of sending out four women doctors
fully trained according to the regulations, in
They were Mrs.Mary Scharleib, Misses.D.White, D. Mitchell, and B. Beate.
This was possible because of the constant insistence and inspiration
from the Government of Madras and Surgeon General E. Balfour.
In Bengal, this
question was first raised in the year 1876 and it met with
favorable reception from Lt. Governor Richard Temple, but without
any practical result.
In 1881, this problem was
brought before the Medical College Council by the
Education Department, Government took a broad and liberal step in
It not only sanctioned the
admission of women in the Medical College , but guaranteed every
facility to smoothly complete their education.
scholarship of Rs. 20/- was awarded to every woman candidate for her
five years’ studies in Medical College. In Bengal, Mrs.
Kadambini Ganguly was the first native lady graduate of the Calcutta
University in 1887. Mrs. Ganguly went to England and became a
Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery.
She was placed in charge
of the outdoor patients of Eden Hospital and
officiated once as Lady Physician in-charge of Dufferin
She was placed in charge
of the outdoor patients of Eden Hospital and
officiated once as Lady Physician in-charge of Dufferin
Swarnamoyee Hostel for
Women - The ladies hostel of the Medical College for Indian
girls was built in 1884 from the donation of Rani Swarnamoyee of Kassim Bazar.
During the year 1925 to
1931 very few lady students were admitted to the Medical
College. For lady students, it was compulsory to stay in Swarnamoyee Hostel.
Most of the Hostel
students were Anglo-Indians, Christians, Brahmos, Parsis and
Evolution of different departments of the
College of Bengal:
Medical College was
opened on the 28th February, 1835 but the Medical
College Hospital known as M.C.H. was opened in the
session 1852-53. This is the oldest
hospital in the premises. It was a 350-bed
Hospital. 100 beds were reserved for Europeans and 250
beds for Indians.
Lal Seal Ward (MLS ward) for Indian Males.
Martin Ward - for European Males and
Female Surgical patients - European, Anglo-Indians and
Northern portion - Clinical Pathology Laboratory
Dr. Henry Goodive
was appointed as the Professor of Anatomy and Medicine in
Up to 1894, there were
only two Surgeons, one of them occupied the Chair of Surgery and was designated
the "First Surgeon" and the other occupied the Chair of Anatomy
and was designated as the "Second Surgeon".
Each of them had
separate Surgical-wards, with 60 beds under his charge.
In 1900 the
Department of Surgery was located in the MCH building, the Ezra Hospital
& Chunilal Seal outdoor dispensary.
In the late 19th
Century, there was only one Operation- theatre, which
accommodated both the First and Second Surgeons.
and 1880 important major operations performed were amputations,
removal of tumors and operations for bone diseases.
In those pre-antiseptic
days of surgery, high mortality rate was due to post - operative
hemorrhage and infection. Death after
operation was mostly due to sloughing, gangrene, erysepelas,
pleurisy, pericarditis, empyema, peritonitis. This is mainly due to defective
application of "Listerism".
In 1876, Dr. Kenneth
McLeod went to Edinburgh and saw Lister’s work with his own
eyes, returned to India in 1879 and introduced
"Listerism" in its proper form.
During the year
1899, Principal G. Bomford and Surgeon Richard Havelock Charles planned
to have a separate modern Surgical Hospital.
In 1910, the
foundation stone was laid down for this commodious
Surgical Block with 80 beds, 8 cabins and one special cabin.
The work was completed in
This Hospital was
meant to commemorate the visit of, the then Prince of
Wales,to India and hence the name "Prince of Wales Hospital".
This Hospital, PWH
as it was then called,was opened formally by H.E.Lady Hardinge.
Sir John Anderson,the Governor of Bengal, laid down the foundation of the
"Casualty Block" and "Sisur Nivas" building which was completed
in 1945 and named as "Sir John Anderson Casualty Block".
The Department of Anaesthesiology was under the Department
March, 1847, for the first time a surgical operation was performed
ether anaesthesia by the Professor of Surgery,
Dr. R. O’Shaughnessy.
First chloroform anaesthesia was administered
The first chloroform
anaesthesia in India was administered on
From that time
onwards and for next 80 years chloroform became the sole
displacing ether completely.
The influence of
British Raj was at its highest during this period and all
available literature upto 1928 shows that choloroform was the only
From 1880 onwards pre-anaesthetic
injection of Morphine was used before chloroform anaesthesia
in Medical College Hospitals
This results in smoother anaesthesia and reduced doses of chloroform.
One Boyle’s apparatus with flowmeter was installed in the operation
of Medical College Hospitals between
The first portable anaesthetic apparatus was imported in
students could be traced in the "Rules of
the Medical Faculty
of Calcutta University,
All students were expected to administer 10 anaesthetics during
their course in the 4th year class.
It will be of interest to mention here that in Great Britain
teaching of anaesthesia for undergraduates
started much later and only in 1918.
and Gynecology Department:
The enthusiasm of Sir Ashley Eden, Lt. Governor General of Bengal
for the advancement of medical education made him to
for a separate
The general plan and architecture was
conceived by Dr. J.Edmondstone Charles,the
Professor of Midwifery (1863-1883).
It was designed by Mr.Anley under the supervision of Mr.
Girdiling and foundation stone was laid in October
inaugurated by Sir Ashley Eden on 19th April 1882, with
accommodation of 41 European and 42 Indian patients.
It was first occupied by patients on 17th
July 1882. It housed 100 beds and offered training in Midwifery for
and Eurasian nurses for deployment at other centres.
The isolation block for cholera cases
at the north of Eden
Hospital was completed
in 1910.Here, Sir Leonard Rogers carried out his remarkable research on
Cholera ward was shifted to Campbell Hospital and this
was converted to septic ward
for Eden Hospital
named “Green Ward” after Col. C.R.M. Green, the
Professor of Midwifery (1907-1917).
This conception of a separate septic-ward was a novel idea.
Various wards of Eden Hospital were named as:
G.M. Ward -
Obstetric-Lying-in-Ward, named after Prince Golam Mohamed.
Obstetric-Lying-in-Ward, named after the Lord
Dalhousie, who laid the
foundation stone of the Medical College,
Canning Ward -
Gynaecological Ward, named after Lord Canning, Governor General of India.
Leicester Ward- Gynaecological Ward,
named after Lt. Col. J.C.H. Leicester, Professor
of Midwifery. (1919-1928).
Ward- Paying Obstetric ward.
6. Maugher Ward
- M.T.P. Ward- named after Mary Helen Mauger
initial stage, it was difficult to get labour cases to be delivered by
there were only 50 confinements, in 1993 it was 2000.
Lady students were not allowed to conduct labour cases along with the
male students and they had to go elsewhere.
Green Armytage (1926-1933) strongly objected to this arrangement and
permitted both male and female students to
The maternity block and OPD of Eden facing Chittaranjan
was constructed in 1925.Eden Hospital was so renowned that the daughter
of the British
Prime Minister Ramsay McDonald,
then living in Singapore,
came here for confinement.
Long before the establishment of Calcutta Medical College in 1835,East India
Company had a small Eye Infirmary in Halliday
Street, Calcutta, with Simon Nicholson as the
Ophthalmic surgeon (1816
Eye Infirmary was shifted to Medical College Hospital
in 1880.Sir James
Ronald Martin (1817-1839) was the 1st
The new three storied separate Eye Infirmary
was planned and
opened by Col. Koppinger in 1928.
During the Second World War Eye Infirmary gained prominence
by receiving and treating the casualties of the eyes
from Burma front.
Nose Throat (ENT)
Till 1923-24 there was no ENT service in the Medical College
Dr.N.J. Juda who studied in Calcutta Medical
College for three years and went to England, where he
completed his M.B.B.S. course.
He came back to Calcutta at the end of the First World War.
In 1923-24, Dr Juda set up some facilities at the Department to
examine ENT outpatients and to perform minor operations.
He sent his assistant Dr.Satyaban Roy to Edinburgh for training
After the retirement of Dr. Juda, Dr. Satyaban Roy was placed
in charge of the ENT Section.
During the centenary year of the College in 1935, Sir
John Anderson Casualty Block was inaugurated and its
corner was kept apart for ENT
A miniature operation theatre was set up there. A few beds for ENT indoor patients were allotted in the MLS.
Ward and Martin Ward.
With the foundation of Medical College in 1835, the
Dissection Room was located near the chest Department
Dissection of human body was not in practice due to
strong national prejudice.
At that time
Dr. H. H.
Professor of Anatomy
On the 10th January 1836, Pandit Madhusudan Gupta,
Umacharan Sett, Dwarka Nath Gupta, Raj Kristo Dey, along
with Prof. H.H
Goodeve dissected a human body and utilised it in a lecture.
In 1857, a resolution was taken that the head of a non-clinical
department would not be allowed to
associate himself with a
In 1890, Dr Daniel
O'Connell was Professor of Anatomy.
From 1895 to 1905 the
chair of Professor was occupied by Sir Havelock Charles.
Present Dissection hall and Lecture-theatre were constructed
The new Anatomical and Biological Museum was
It owes a debt to Sir Havelock Charles (1895-1908) for its origin.
From 1835 to 1845, Prof. H.H. Goodeve used to teach
Physiology in addition to his various other
In 1885, Prof.
(Dr) J.T. Pearson took over charges as
Physiology, Comparative Anatomy and Zoology
Later, Physiology became an independent discipline
and the first
whole time Professor of Physiology was
Prof. (Lt.Col.) J.E.
Ewart in 1873.
The last European Professor of the department was
He had a major role in
reshaping the syllabus, modernising it and rewriting
practical notebooks for the students.
The first Indian to be appointed as Professor through Public
Service Commission was Prof.(Dr) Premankur De, who
served this department between 1932 to 1948.
Department of Pathology was started in the year 1871 on
publication of a General Order (No.370) dated
4th April 1867.Assistant Surgeon Dr.
J.E.P. Mac Connell became the first
Professor of Pathology.
Pathology Museum was set up and it grew to be
one of the finest
Pathology Museum in the world, in the early part of
In 1904, Pathology Department was liberally supplied with
apparatus, models, and microscopes and for the first time in the
history of the College,
the students were provided with microscopes for
In the same year, Colonel Sir Leonard Rogers joined as the Professor of
Pathology (1904-1921) and carried out his famous
work on Cholera.
Using hypertonic saline he reduced the mortality rate of
to about half compared to previous 11
His other notable work
included treatment of amoebic dysentery by various salts of emetine.
Due to his initiation, the Govt. of India sanctioned a Scheme
the establishment of the School of Tropical Medicine.
Calcutta School of Tropical Medicine was established in 1921
with Sir R. N. Chopra as the first Professor.
In 1922, Major G
Shanks replaced Col. Rogers and in 1932 Dr M.N. De joined as the first
Indian Professor of Pathology.
In 1925, Postgraduate classes in Leprosy was first
Leprosy Department of the Calcutta Tropical School.
department started functioning with Dr. P.C. Chakrabarty as Professor
who was then also the Professor
He was succeeded by Dr.
of Radiotherapy was opened in 1910 by Lady Minto at the Lady Minto
In 1920 the
combined with the Department of Radiology.
The Chief Radiologist was Professor Galstaun.
took its inception with introduction of Dentistry as a
special subject in May 1861
Dr. J.P. Smith was
appointed as the Lecturer.
was established in 1864.
Dr. Smith was succeeded in 1875 by Dr. W.T. Woods.
Forensic and State Medicine:
the Medical College was established in 1835, Medical Jurisprudence was
not in the curriculum.
In 1845, the system was remodelled and Dr. F.J Mouat
entrusted to teach Medical Jurisprudence.
In 1850, an
independent chair was created and Dr. C.T.O.
Woodford was the first Professor (1850-1860).
period, Dr. Norman Chevers wrote a valuable treatise on the subject
which became the college text book.
Mackenzie (1879-1894) did original work on "Changes
on dead bodies" in and around Calcutta,
accepted as the guideline in establishing the time since death
Courts of Law.
The Science of
Dactylography was started in Bengal and the
Finger Print Bureau was started in Calcutta in
1897 with the
help of Professors of Medical
In 1892, the Central
Medical Council of Great Britain recognized
the medical degrees
of Calcutta University.
In 1906, L.M.S. course was
abolished and from 1907 M.B. degree course was introduced. Henceforth,
was included in Part II of the course.
The Professor of Medical Jurisprudence was also the Police
Surgeon of Calcutta.
the post of the Police Surgeon was created and the Professor of Medical
relieved of the
the Police Surgeon.
Other Hospitals and Institutes:
Since Judaism demands special diet and religious rituals , the Jews felt
very uncomfortable to stay in
To alleviate this difficulty, Mrs. Mozelle Ezra established the Ezra
Hospital in 1886 and
to the memory of
The administration and maintenance of the hospital
remained under the control of the Ezras up to 1926, and later
was handed over to the Government.
All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health (Preventive and Social Medicine):
In 1931, the League of Nations Health Organization held an
European Conference on Rural Hygiene.
This Conference called
for the establishment of "Rural Health
Centres". In India, between 1931-39, seven Model Health Units were set up.
Government of India established All India Institute of
Hygiene and Public Health in 1932 with assistance of Rockefeller
The object of this Institute was to develop Human Resource in the field
of Public Health, in Urban Health Centres
and Rural Health Units of India.
Independence, teaching in the Hygiene Department of Calcutta Medical
College was imparted by one of the officers
the Public Health of
Hospital of Calcutta:
Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research)
In 1918, Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932) identified the
carrier of Malaria, the female, anopheles
mosquito while working in
General hospital, Calcutta.
the first British
to be awarded the Nobel Prize
(Medicine, 1902) for his research.
Indianisation of teaching and
In 1911, for the
first time in history, the chair of Anatomy
was thrown open to Indians.
Dewan Bahadur Hira Lal Basu became the first Professor of Anatomy.
In 1921,a separate chair of Pharmacology was created and Lt. Col R.N.Chopra
was appointed in the post.
In 1923, Sir Kailash Chandra Bose was appointed Hony.
Physician and Major Hussan Suhrawardy, Hony.Surgeon.
In 1930, Dr.M.N.De was appointed as the 1st
Resident Physician (R.P.).
In 1932, Dr. M.N. De joined as the first
Indian Professor of Pathology.
In 1937, when Prof. M.N.
the Professor of Clinical
Trivedi joined in his place.
Before 1930, qualified
nurses for the Medical College Hospitals were supplied from European and
In 1930, six Indian
probationer nurses were taken into Medical College
Hospital for training.
In 1933, Dr. M. N.
Sarker was appointed as the first Indian Second
Professor of Midwifery and later the Resident Surgeon (R.S.)
of Eden Hospital.
In 1934, Dr. L. M.
Banerjee was appointed as the first Indian Professor of Surgery.
has evolved over many centuries from the pre-Vedic era to
the present time.
In the late 20th
century, in many medical disciplines doctors have benefited
from the revolutionary
development of digital computers
and their automated information management and analytical
By using newer
methods of computer and information sciences, anatomists,
radiologists have made
outstanding contributions to science, medicine, and education.
sciences and informatics methods is essential for the present generation
who will shape the future
in research, clinical knowledge, and teaching.
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R.: Calcutta Medical Gazette, 1882.
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H. : A History of Medicine, 1951.
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- W.H.O.: World
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- Diamond, E.G.: J.A.M.A.:218:1558,1971
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Indian Inst Hist Med Hyderabad. 2000 Jan-Jun;30(1):1-14
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special reference to Atharvaveda.
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