History of the General Practice section
The history of academic General Practice at the University of Edinburgh was inextricably linked with the local history of the practice and teaching of medicine for the less advantaged in the community, and fore-shadowed developments world-wide. Key dates in this history are:
|1776||Dr (later Professor) Andrew Duncan proposed a Public Dispensary for the treatment of those who could not afford medical care.|
|1777||He built a house for this purpose in Surgeon's Square, but the project met with considerable resistance amongst the medical fraternity.|
|1783||Having gained sufficient influential support and charitable funding he opened the Royal Public Dispensary in Richmond Street, with the aim of enabling:
|1878||James Mackenzie (later Sir James) graduated in medicine from the University of Edinburgh. In his subsequent career in general practice (in England and St Andrews) he gained an international reputation for clinical research.|
|1937||The Edinburgh Royal Public Dispensary moved to new premises in West Richmond Street.|
|1948||On the same day as the launch of the National Health Service, Dr Richard Scott established a small general practice within the Dispensary, to be a 'teaching General Practice' for the University of Edinburgh, adopting an approach to clinical medicine that emphasized the individuality of the patient and the effect of ill-health upon the family.|
|1956||Realising the value of the teaching provided by this Practice, the University of Edinburgh's Faculty of Medicine set up a Department of General Practice within the University, the first in the world.|
|1963||Sir James Mackenzie's daughter endowed, in her father's memory, a Chair in Medicine in Relation to General Practice at the University of Edinburgh, and Richard Scott was appointed the first Professor of General Practice in the world.|
|1998||The department of General Practice became a section with the Division of Community Health Sciences.|
|2010||The General Practice section combined with the Public Health Sciences section to be the Centre for Population Health Sciences.|
For a fuller account of the history of medical care-general practice and teaching in Edinburgh, please see General practice and the Edinburgh Medical School: 200 years of teaching, care and research.(PDF - 491KB), an article from the Journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, January 1984, by Dr Donald M. Thomson.
Alternatively, a Powerpoint presentation gives historic images and key milestones in the history of CHS-GP and Mackenzie Medical Centre, and some developments since. PDF (3MB).