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Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry

London is a city of eight million people, and to be a student doctor or dentist in this sprawling capital is to learn at the very forefront of modern healthcare with all its challenges. Our Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry derives from hospitals that have played witness to great changes in the capital and in the sector. The London Hospital, for example, was the first to receive the wounded from the Western Front during World War I, while St Bartholomew’s Hospital was the first hospital in the country to offer mega-voltage radiotherapy to cancer patients.
The London Hospital Medical College, circa 1950s

The London Hospital Medical College, circa 1950s

But those hospitals’ histories stretch back to the 12th and 18th centuries respectively. What would those medical pioneers have thought about the London of the 21st century? Our students work side-by-side with today’s pioneers and help shape the professions that support the health and welfare of people not only in the capital, but all over the world.

Bringing two medical greats to QMUL

Today, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry is a QMUL faculty, but it was born from two of the UK’s leading medical teaching colleges: St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College and The (Royal) London Medical College. The former can trace its origins back to 1123 when Rahere, a courtier of Henry I, founded the hospital in collaboration with the Priory of St Bartholomew; formal recognition was awarded to its teaching activities in the early 19th century. The London Hospital Medical College was co-founded by Sir William Blizard in 1785, 45 years after the founding of its ancestral organisation, The London Infirmary - a charitable organisation established to help those in poverty as well as ‘merchant seamen and the manufacturing classes’.

The University of London builds its strength

Both St Bartholomew’s Medical College and The London Hospital Medical College were admitted to the University of London in 1900, and they developed a close association with each other and Queen Mary in the late 1960s. This long-standing tradition was enhanced when the pre-clinical training of medical students moved to Queen Mary’s new Basic Medical Sciences Building in 1990. the minds of The London, Queen Mary was not very far away, both physically and emotionally, because The London was founded in 1740 to look after the poor of the East End, and Queen Mary College was founded in 1887 for very much the same reason; instead of looking after their health, Queen Mary was looking after their minds
Professor Brian Colvin, quoted in
The Making of Queen Mary University of London

Queen Mary and Westfield College formally merged with St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1995, creating our current medical and dental faculty. Today, the school’s students, academics and institutes are based across our Whitechapel, Charterhouse Square and West Smithfield campuses, with access to innovative facilities that foster the very latest healthcare discoveries.

Discover more about our history by visiting the Queen Mary University of London Archives

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