History of The Institute of Medicine (1), Yangon


A course in medical science was first introduced in Burma in 1923-24 at Rangoon College, on the premises of the Rangoon General Hospital. In 1929, the classes were transferred to the present building at Lanmadaw, the foundation of which was laid by Sir Harcourt Butler, on 2nd February, 1927. The medical college became a constituent college of the University of Rangoon in 1930.

From 1942-1945, during the Second World War, there was a temporary suspension of the M.B.,B.S. course. A modified course was conducted instead, on the successful completion of which the Licentiate of the State Medical Board (L.S.M.B) was conferred. Although the medical college building remained intact, all the laboratory equipment, and all the mounts and specimens collected in the Pathology and Forensic Medicine Department Museums were completely destroyed, and valuable books from the College library were also lost.

After the war, all the constituent colleges of the reconstituted Rangoon University became Faculties, and the Medical College became the Faculty of Medicine, under the administration of the Dean.

On promulgation of the University Education Act in May, 1964, the Institutes of Medicine were established. In 1973, the administration of the three medical Institutes and the Institute of Dental Medicine was transferred to the Ministry of Health, and came under the direct control of the Department of Medical Education, now known as the Department of Health Manpower.

Post-graduate courses were instituted at the three Institutes of Medicine in 1964, the Dean of the courses being responsible to the Rector for their organization and administration. With the addition of new courses in 1970, the Board of Postgraduate Medical Studies came under the administration of the Director. With the institution of the Department of Medical Education in 1973, the Board has been under the direct charge of the Director-General of the Department of Medical Education, now known as the Department of Health Manpower.

Reproduced from Handbook of Institute of Medicine (1) Yangon  (1991-1992)


[Dr Maung Maung Nyo's addition] :

The history of Institute of Medicine (1) as given in the official
version is too short and incomplete. Some important mile stones were left behind, namely: 
(1) the Genral Medical Council of Great Britain and Northern Irelnd (UK) recognised
 the MBBS degree of the Rangoon University and hence Rangoon Medical College in
1937 so that our medical graduates did not need to sit for LRCP & MRCS before 
working in UK or before pursuing further studies like MRCP & FRCS.Sayagyi 
U Aye got MBBS in 1936 so he had to sit for LRCP & MRCS.Sayagyi Eye U Ko Gyi 
passed MBBS in 1937 so that he could study DOMS straight.
(2) The medical course at Rangoon Medical College could be started only in 1923/24
academic year due to the Rangoon University students' first strike. So our pioneers in 
medicine like U Ba Than, Col Min Sein ,Daw Yin May and U Maung Gale had to study 
in Calcutta and got M.B.(Calcutta), not M.B.B.S. (Calcutta). Professor Dr Khin Maung 
Win (Pathologist) was a graduate of Bombay University, and hence his first degree was 
M.B.,B.S. (Bombay).  Dr Maung Muang Taik got M.B.,B.S. from University of  
(4) L.S.M.B. course was introduced only for a short time and the recipients were only 
three. I remember Professor U Aung Than of Dental College and Professor Daw Phayt 
of Microbiology as the two recipients of LSMB.the other person was probably
Col Myint Aung, the military surgeon and first professor of surgery at IM2.(3) The 
students of L.M.P. ( Licentiate of Medical Practice) were also taught at the Rangoon 
Medical College.The successful students were appointed as sub-assistant surgeons, 
a rank lower than the MBBS graduates.
(5) A condensed course for MBBS degrees for the LMPs were also run at the Rangoon 
Medical College. Col Hla Han is one of the successful LMP students to earn an MBBS 
degree.Professor U Aung Nyunt of Mandalay was another LMP who passed the 
condensed course.
Addendum (2) by Dr Maung Maung Nyo:

Thank you very much for your appreciation on the history of our alma mater, Medical College of Yangon, the 
foremost medical institution in the far east before the second world war and after. Actually, the Institute of 
Medicine 1 and hence the former Medical College is the mother institute of all other institutes of medicine in 
Burma including the Institute of Dental Medicine. The Medical Faculty of Rangoon University (as the our 
medical college was formally called after independence) opened the Branch Faculty of Medicine (BMF) in
Mandalay in 1954 that became the Institute of Medicine Mandalay in 1964.

The profesors of Anatomy and Physiology were also appointed as the part-time professor and head of 
respective subjects in Medical College 2, Mingaladon until that college became Institute of Medicine 2, 
Yangon in 1964. The Dental College was also first opened as a constituent of the faculty of medicine and it
later became the Institute of Dental Medicine in 1964.

The basic sciences of dental medicine were taught by the departments of anatomy and physiology, later of 
biochemistry until lately up to 1992.now, all the first Deans of all the Institues of Medicine and Dental 
Medicine in Burma were the graduates of our Medical Faculty.

How proud we should be! I am fortunate to have attended the University of Rangoon premedical intermediate 
class (1955/56), branch medical faculty at Mandalay (1956/59), Faculty of Medicine, Yangon (1959/61) and 
worked at Institute of Medicine 2 (1964/1985) and at Institute of Medicine 1 (1985/1998).

To know the history of your alma mater is like honouring your mother and to take pride on her is like singing 
her praises; both will bring blessing (mingala) to you.