The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel was founded in 1740.
The London Hospital Medical College, the medical school based at The Royal London, opened in 1785.
It was England 's first medical school and offered a pioneering kind of medical education, providing teaching in theory as well as clinical skills.
The teaching premises were expanded in 1854, when buildings in Turner Street were built and opened. These buildings are still in use by the present School of Medicine and Dentistry.
In 1900, The London Hospital Medical College became a constituent College of the University of London in the Faculty of Medicine. Between the two World Wars, medical students at The London needing to complete the first MB in Biology, Chemistry and Physics attended Queen Mary College before proceeding to second MB at The London.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson trained at The London between 1863-64, studying dissection and anatomy, and went on to found the London Hospital for Women. Few women studied medicine at The London until after WWII, though there was a short period toward the end of the First World War when The London did admit women due to a shortage in medical professionals. Dorothy Russell was amongst this generation of female medical students, and she went on to have a long and successful career.
In 1948, women were finally admitted to study medicine on equal terms to their male colleagues without restriction, following a decision by the University of London's Senate which required that all London medical schools comply. Learn more about Women in Medicine and Dentistry here.
The Dental School at The London opened in 1911. During the inter-war period, a few women were admitted to study dentistry, including Dorothy Waterfield, who became a dental anaesthetist. The admission of women in 1948 was welcomed by the Dental School, since there was a shortage of dentists and students studying dentistry after the end of WWII. An enlarged Dental Institute was established in the early 1960s, which accommodated the expanding student numbers during that time. Dental education developed during the 1970s to increase the collaboration between dentists and other professionals.
Barts and The London have had a long association since 1968. The two joined in 1992 to form Barts and The London NHS Trust. The merged medical colleges became part of Queen Mary, University of London in 1995, forming Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry.
You may learn more about the history of The London Hospital Medical and Dental Schools, by browsing the website, visiting the Archives and reading these two informative histories:
- London Hospital Medical College 1785-1985 by John Ellis, and
- The Dental School 1911-1991 by S. Francis Fish