Our medical leadership and advisors are drawn from Edinburgh Medical School. This is a large medical school by UK standards and is spread across several campus in the city, including two major hospitals.
Edinburgh Medical School delivers a first-class education in first-class facilities by dedicated people who operate in medicine’s global premier league.
Edinburgh Medical School continually ranks 1st in Scotland, 3rd in the UK and in the world top 20.
At Edinburgh, research is cherished as an important component in the life of every student as a means of understanding a way of thinking that will equip them for a career in medicine that delivers positive change for humanity.
At Edinburgh Medical School, academics and students form a unique group in the UK where vets, medics and biomedical scientists work together to study the common causes of disease that affect our populations.
The Medical School has a long history, gaining formal recognition within the University in 1726.
It was, in part, a deliberate policy to boost the economy of the city by attracting foreign students to study in Scotland rather than send young Scots at great expense to the Continent.
By the middle of the 18th century, the success of the school came from teaching both medicine and surgery in a university setting, but with a clinical base in a teaching hospital.
By 1764, the numbers of medical students were so great that a new 200-seat anatomy theatre was built.
Edinburgh’s fame was enhanced later by a succession of brilliant teachers, such as William Cullen, James Gregory and Joseph Black (who discovered carbon dioxide and latent heat).
The School attracted many students from Ireland, America and the British Colonies, and Edinburgh graduates were closely involved in the founding of several of the first medical schools in the US and Canada, including Pennsylvania, Yale, Columbia, Harvard and Dartmouth.
The Edinburgh Medical School retained its place as one of the most prestigious in the world during the 19th century.
Midwifery was finally admitted as an essential part of the compulsory medical curriculum. James Young Simpson revolutionised obstetric and surgical practice with the introduction of chloroform anaesthesia in 1847.
There were enormous advances in surgery, under great names such as Robert Liston, James Syme and Joseph Lister, particularly with Lister’s introduction of antiseptic and aseptic techniques in the 1870s.
Edinburgh also played a part in the battle for admission of women into medicine, though the eventual concession of full equality with men was not achieved till 1889.
In the 20th and 21st century, famous names associated with Edinburgh Medical School include Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer who discovered adrenaline and is regraded as the founder of endocrinology, Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin, John Crofton who pioneered the treatment of tuberculosis, Michael Woodruff who performed the UK’s first kidney transplant, and Sir Ian Wilmut who cloned the first mammal, Dolly the Sheep and pioneered stem cell research.