The history of the University of Medicine (1), Yangon, began with the establishment of the Government Medical School in Myanmar in 1907 at the premises of the old Rangoon General Hospital, and the introduction of a course in medical sciences. It was a four-year medical course known as Licentiate in Medical Practice (LMP) course, and the successful candidate was offered a certificate of license for medical practice. In 1923-24, the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course was introduced at the old Rangoon College building at the site of the present Neurology Department of the Yangon General Hospital. The foundation stone of the Medical College building, the present main building of the University of Medicine (1) at Myomakyaung Road, was laid by Sir Harcourt Butler on the 2nd February 1927, and the classes were transferred to the new building in 1929.
Student Admission & Medical Graduates
The Medical College became a constituent College under the University of Rangoon in 1930 and was placed under the Board of Administration, on which the Vice-chancellor of the University of Rangoon and the Inspector General of Civil Hospitals served as Chairman and Vice-chairman respectively. Academic matters and general administration were attended to by the principal with the help of the Medical College Council (Academic Body). In 1937 the medical (MBBS (Rgn)) degree conferred by the University of Rangoon gained recognition of the General Medical Council of Great Britain.
During the Second World War, from 1942 – 1945, there was a temporary suspension of the MBBS course. A modified course was conducted instead; on the successful completion, the Licentiate of the State Medical Board (LSMB) was conferred. After the war, the University was restructured on a unitary pattern and the previous constituent colleges (Rangoon College, Judson College, Medical College and Teacher Training College) became the Faculties with the respective Dean as the Head of each Faculty. As the result of these activities, the Medical College was transformed into “Faculty of Medicine”, under the University of Rangoon with effect from 26th September 1946. The classes accepted the old pre-war students of medical college. The new intake of 30 students began in 1947.
On the declaration of Independence of Burma on the 4th January 1948, all the senior British and Indian officers of Health Department and the Faculty of Medicine left Burma. The position of National Health in Burma was far from satisfactory. The then Burma Medical Council tried for re-employment of the retired doctors and asked for the aid of private practitioners for part time employment in government service but these efforts were not successful. There were shortages of doctors in Hospitals, the Health Departments and the Faculty of Medicine. The need was felt most acutely in the rural areas. Very few qualified doctors rallied to the need of the country, and the Faculty of Medicine was kept going with inadequate equipment and teaching personnel.
In May 1962, the University Act was abolished and the Faculty of Medicine as part of the University of Rangoon came under the Administrative Committee of the Education Ministry of the Revolutionary Government. The new University Education Act was promulgated on the 29th May 1964 and through this Act were established the professional institutes; one of which was Institutes of Medicine with the Rector as Head of each Medical Institute. In the same year, the postgraduate courses were introduced.