St Mary's Hospital Medical School

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Coordinates: 51°31′3.3″N 0°10′23.8″W / 51.517583°N 0.173278°W / 51.517583; -0.173278

St Mary's Hospital Medical School
TypeMedical school
Established1854 (St Mary's Hospital Medical School)
1988 (Merged with Imperial College London)
1997 (Imperial College School of Medicine)
AffiliationsImperial College London

St Mary's is the youngest of the constituent schools of Imperial College London, founded in 1854 as part of the new hospital in Paddington. During its existence in the 1980s and 1990s, it was the most popular medical school in the country, with an application to place ratio of 27:1 in 1996.[1]

St Mary's continued comparatively unmoved by the other nomadic medical schools in the area, until its merger with Imperial College in 1988, and the foundation of Imperial College School of Medicine in 1997 by the merger with Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School.

Doctors to Be[edit]

Doctors to Be, a biographical documentary series first broadcast on BBC Two by BBC Television, followed 10 medical students who enrolled at St Mary's Hospital Medical School in the 1985 intake. It started with admission interviews in November 1984, then followed their lives as medical students for five or six years, and ended with their first experiences of working as busy junior hospital doctors in the National Health Service.[2] A sequel Doctors to Be: 20 Years On was first broadcast on BBC Four in 2007 and provided an update on the careers and lives of the same people after they had qualified.[3]

Student life[edit]

St Mary's Hospital, London was traditionally regarded as the refuge of sons of Welsh farmers and miners arriving by train from nearby Paddington station. St Mary's Hospital Medical School thus developed a reputation for sporting prowess, with the rugby club actually predating the Rugby Football Union. The sporting traditions of Mary's are reflected with its alumni, such as the Welsh rugby captain JPR Williams (commemorated in the annual ICSM vs. Imperial Varsity Rugby match, the JPR Williams Cup); and Roger Bannister (commemorated in the annual ICSM vs. Imperial Varsity athletics meet), the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. The first woman to graduate from St Mary's Hospital was Jean Ginsburg in 1952.[4]

St Mary's Hospital has an equally rich history in the arts. The dramatic society staged performances of operettas at Wilson House, London, which on occasion were graced with a royal visit and a performance from Princess Margaret. This royal association continued until recent times with the Queen Mother being the patron of the soirée – the post opera comedy night – until her death in 2002 (the post has remained unfilled following its failure to be won in the post-soirée raffle of the same year).

The student clubs of the hospital had many United Hospitals victories.

St Mary's Swimming Pool[edit]

The swimming pool in the basement of the Medical school building was built in 1932. It was opened by the Queen Mother who was the royal patron of the pool and was often spotted having a dip. Sir Alexander Fleming became familiar with the water polo team's commendable sportsmanship, which influenced his decision to come to St Mary's from Scotland.[5]

Clubs and Societies[edit]


Graduates of St Mary's Hospital Medical School can join the St Mary's Association.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ BMJ
  2. ^ Spindler, Susan (1992). Doctors to Be. BBC Books. pp. 1–3. ISBN 0-563-36095-X.
  3. ^ "Episodes from Doctors to Be: 20 Years On broadcast in 2007". BBC. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
  4. ^ Richmond, Caroline (14 June 2004). "Jean Ginsburg". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Alexander Fleming: the Scot who changed world medicine". Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Obituaries - Tom Kemp". Daily Telegraph. 3 January 2005.
  7. ^ "St Mary's Paddington a rugby powerhouse". Daily Telegraph. 20 March 2008.
  8. ^ "Augustus Taylor Rowe obituary". Toronto Star. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 18 August 2013.
  9. ^ In the news: Andrew Wakefield – Times Higher Education

External links[edit]