We have a long, illustrious history of training doctors, dating back more than 250 years. Among our alumni we can count some of the founders of medicine. We are well known for our innovative approach to developing education and our graduates are really ready for the rigours and rewards of a challenging and changing profession. 

Hunter portrait 2 Cropped

1733 St George’s Hospital opens at Lanesborough House at Hyde Park Corner. The new Hospital is arranged on three floors and accommodates 30 patients in two wards, one for men and one for women.

1751 Formal Registration of apprentice doctors begins.

1754 The eminent surgeon John Hunter begins to undertake courses of study at St George's.

1796 Edward Jenner (student from 1770 to 1774) successfully performs the first vaccination against smallpox, leading to the eventual complete eradication of the disease in 1980. The hide of Blossom, the cow used in Jenner’s smallpox experiment, was presented to St George's, University of London by Jenner’s son in 1857, and has remained in the university’s possession since.

1800 With the Lanesborough House building falling into disrepair, a competition is held to design a new 350-bed hospital building. This is won by William Wilkins, an English architect whose most famous work is the National Gallery.

1844 Benjamin Brodie, surgeon at St George’s Hospital, is appointed as the first President of the Royal College of Surgeons. Brodie would also go on to be appointed the first President of the General Medical Council in 1858.

1858 Gray’s Anatomy, the product of the collaboration between Henry Gray and demonstrator in anatomy Henry Vandyke Carter, one of the greatest artistic and scientific achievements is published.

1867 Mr Atkinson Morley leaves his savings to St George's Hospital for the building and maintenance of a convalescent home remote from the noise and epidemic of central London.

1895 Patrick Manson is appointed lecturer in Tropical Medicine and gives the first ever series of lectures on tropical diseases at St George’s. Manson went on to found the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1899.

1899 Edward Wilson qualifies at St George's Hospital Medical School. On qualification he is asked to join Captain Scott's first Antarctic Expedition, leaving England in 1901 as junior surgeon and zoologist. In 1910 he joins the ill-fated expedition led by Scott to the South Pole and perishes with other members of the party on their return from the South Pole.

1915 St George’s is the first university in London to admit female students during World War One. Helen Inglby, one of the four women accepted alongside Ethelberta Claremont, Marian M. Bostock and Elizabeth O'Flynn, goes on to become Pathologist of the Albert Einstein Medical Centre in Philadelphia in 1945.

1939–1945 During the Second World War St George's becomes a unit of the Emergency Hospital Service, providing 200 beds for war casualties and 65 beds for the civilian sick.

1948 The NHS comes into being on 5 July 1948 to provide healthcare for all citizens, based on need, not the ability to pay.

1954 Aubrey Leatham is appointed as St George’s first consulting cardiologist. Leatham is best known for designing a new and improved version of the stethoscope, and for inventing the world’s first endocardial cardiac pacemaker.

1958 The first indwelling pacemaker operation is carried out at St George’s.

1973 Building starts on St George's new site at Tooting, London.

1976 The first phase of the Medical School opens in Tooting with 80 students.

1978 Pioneer of fertility treatment Patrick Steptoe, (alumnus, MBBS 1939), is responsible, alongside biologist and physiologist Robert Edwards, for developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF), leading to the birth of the first test-tube baby in 1978.

1980 St George's at Hyde Park closes its doors for the final time and HM Queen Elizabeth II opens the new St George's Hospital and Medical School at Tooting on 6 November 1980.

1995 The Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, a joint collaboration between SGUL and Kingston University is established, offering health and social care education in nursing, midwifery education and radiography.

2000 St George’s is the first UK institution to launch the MBBS Graduate Entry Programme (GEP), a four year fast-track medical degree course open to graduates in any discipline.

2008 50 years after the first pacemaker operation was carried out at St George’s Hospital, the 50,000th operation is also successfully performed at the Hospital.

2011 The first cohort of medical students enrols graduate medicine programme at the University of Nicosia, Cyprus.

2013 The Postgraduate Diploma Physician Associate Studies Teaching Team wins the first ever Prospects Postgraduate Award for the Best Teaching Team (Science, Technology and Engineering).

2014 Research carried out by the Population Health Institute on the effects of parental smoking on the  respiratory health among children results in a Westminster Bill to ban smoking in cars when children are present.

For more information about the history of St George's, see our Archives and Special Collections page

Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 March 2018 16:55