Key dates

19th Century 20th Century 21st Century

19th Century

1850s

1850
The University of Sydney was founded.

1856
13 June
Sydney Medical School was formally created on June 13 when the Senate appointed a Board of Examiners that included Professor John Smith, Professor of Chemistry and Experimental Physics and eight Sydney medical practitioners.

Professor John Smith was the first Dean of Sydney Medical School.

Professor John Smith (University of Sydney Archives)

1870s

1874
By 1874 there had been 11 successful candidates for the MB examination.

1880s

1882
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital was the University's first teaching hospital.

Children's Ward at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (University of Sydney Archives)

1883
The medical school commenced teaching in March with four students in a four-roomed cottage built between the Great Hall and Parramatta Road. Initially the medical curriculum was five years with the first year spent in the the Faculty of Arts.

Drawing of the original medical school by John Shewan (University of Sydney Archives)

1883
Sir Thomas Anderson Stuart was the second Dean of Sydney Medical School. To strengthen the Medical School's teaching staff, he turned to the Edinburgh Medical School and recruited Alexander Robert, Scot Skirving, J T Wilson and D A Welsh.

Professor Anderson Stuart (University of Sydney Archives)

1888
The Medical Society was formally recognised by Senate.

1890s

1890
JT Wilson became Professor of Anatomy when Anderson Stuart relinquished the position to concentrate on his other duties.

The medical course was lengthened to five years.

1891
The first part of the Anderson Stuart Building was completed.

Anderson Stuart building under construction 1880s (University of Sydney Archives)

1893
Sydney Medical School had been training for 10 years. Now 100 students had enrolled in the first year of medical training.

The first female medical students, Iza Coghlan and Grace Robinson, graduated.

Group portrait of fifth year medical students 1893 (University of Sydney Archives)

20th Century

1909
Sydney Hospital becomes a teaching hospital of the University of Sydney.

1920s

1920
J T Wilson becomes the third Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1922
The Anderson Stuart building was completed.

Anderson Stuart Building (University of Sydney Archives)

1923
St Vincent’s Hospital becomes a teaching Hospital of the University of Sydney. This hospital was later to become a teaching hospital of the UNSW.

1925
A E Mills becomes the fourth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1926
The Medical Program was extended to six years.

D A Welsh becomes the fifth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1930s

1930
C G Lambie was appointed to the first full time Chair of Medicine.

J C Windeyer becomes the sixth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

Sir Harold Dew was appointed to the first full-time Chair of Surgery.

The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine was established, funded by the federal government and controlled jointly by the government and the University.

1932
Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn becomes the seventh Dean of Sydney Medical School.

Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn (University of Sydney Archives)

1933
The medical school outgrew the Anderson Stuart Building and the University received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to construct a new building.

The Blackburn Building, named in honour of Sir Charles Bickerton Blackburn who was Dean of the Medical School from 1932 to 1935 and Chancellor of the University from 1941 to 1964, was opened to clinical students.

1936
Sir Harold Dew becomes the eighth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1940s

1947
Royal North Shore becomes a teaching hospital of the University of Sydney.

1950s

1952
Sir Edward Ford becomes the ninth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

Sir Edward Ford (University of Sydney Archives)

1956
Sydney Medical School was 100 years old.

1957
B T Mayes becomes the tenth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1960s
1960
F R Magarery becomes the eleventh Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1965
The Bosch Building was erected on a site adjoining the Blackburn Building. Lecture theatres were opened in 1965. The Bosch Building was named in honour of George Henry Bosch, a Sydney businessman who has been the Medical School's greatest benefactor. Through Bosch's generosity, full-time chairs in histology and embryology, medicine, surgery, and bacteriology were established between 1927 and 1930.

George Henry Bosch (University of Sydney Archives)

1966
Sir John Loewenthal becomes the twelfth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1970s

1972
DC Maddison becomes the thirteenth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1974
RS Gye becomes the fourteenth Dean of Sydney Medical School and the first full-time Dean.

1978
Westmead Hospital becomes a University of Sydney teaching hospital. It was the first hospital, since Royal Prince Alfred, to be built as a teaching hospital.

1980s

1983
The Centenary of the Medical School at the University of Sydney was celebrated.

1986
The five-year curriculum which had been introduced 12 years earlier was replaced by a revised six-year course.

1987
The School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine closed and the School of Public Health was established with funds from the then Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services.

1989
John Atherton Young becomes the fifteenth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

1990s

1991
The Canberra Clinical School opens.

1992
The Medical School took the major decision to move to a four-year, graduate-entry curriculum with a completely new admissions process and a new curriculum based largely on problem based and self directed learning.

1995
The Children's Hospital moved from Camperdown to Westmead.

1997
The first students were admitted to the new, Graduate-entry, University of Sydney Medical Program.

Stephen Leeder becomes the sixteenth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

Broken Hill University Department of Rural Health (BHUDRH) is created.

First graduates of the new medical program with Professor Steve Leeder and Professor Ann Sefton

21st Century

2000s

2001
Dubbo Clinical School commenced its operation.

The Northern Rivers Department of Rural Health (NRUDRH) was established.

2002
Andrew Coats becomes the seventeenth Dean of Sydney Medical School.

2004
The new facilities of the School of Rural Health, based in Dubbo, were officially opened.

2005
The combined Science-Medicine degree was offered for the first time.

2006
Sydney Medical School celebrated its 150th anniversary.

The Canberra Clinical School was transferred to the Australian National University Medical School.

Bruce Robinson

2007
Professor Bruce Robinson was appointed eighteenth Dean of Sydney Medical School.