Opening of the Medical School in 1883

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The medical school commenced teaching in March 1883 with four students in a four-roomed cottage built between the Great Hall of the University and Parramatta Road. Initially, the medical school staff consisted of Professor Anderson Stuart as the only full-time academic and one mortuary attendant. Hence, the students began their medical training by dissecting under the eagle eye of Anderson Stuart himself.

From the beginning, Anderson Stuart pursued a programme of academic excellence and expansion, and over almost four decades as Dean he attracted first class colleagues from the leading Scottish universities, promoted post-graduate training for the first generation of local graduates, and adroitly amassed support for his grandiose building programme. The Faculty of Medicine remains proud to honour his vision and achievement. He established University-based medical education in Sydney at a time when most English practitioners were still the product of apprenticeships and hospital-based medical schools. This was in tune with the aspirations of the new generation of native-born Australians who saw first rate professional education as a key route to emergence from colonial status.[1]