Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine

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Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
Former names
  • Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School
  • King Edward VII College of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya
  • Faculty of Medicine, NUS
Parent institution
National University of Singapore
DeanProf Chong Yap Seng
Kent Ridge

1°17′47″N 103°46′47″E / 1.2963°N 103.7796°E / 1.2963; 103.7796Coordinates: 1°17′47″N 103°46′47″E / 1.2963°N 103.7796°E / 1.2963; 103.7796

The Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, established in 1905, is the first institution of higher learning in Singapore and the genesis of the National University of Singapore. The School is one of many who offer medical programmes in the Asia Pacific region. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019 by subject and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings by Subject 2019 list NUS Medicine as the leading medical school in Asia. Its distinguished alumni include cabinet ministers of Singapore, well-known doctors and a Prime Minister of Malaysia.


The Centre for Translational Medicine (MD6) building

The Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine was first established as the Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School in 1905 to train physicians from the British colonies of present-day Singapore and Malaysia.[1] It was located within a former women's mental asylum at Sepoy Lines. The start of this medical school was significant in two ways. It was meant to train local men and women to bring Western medicine to the local population. It was handsomely supported by local merchants who took advantage of the tax exemptions of the time not to garner more wealth, but to give generously to public causes. Tan Jiak Kim gave the largest individual sum. Another donor, Tan Chay Hoon donated a building to the school in memory of his father, Tan Teck Guan. The Tan Teck Guan Building was built in 1911.[citation needed]

In 1921, the school was renamed the King Edward VII College of Medicine after receiving a donation from the Edward VII Memorial Fund[2] founded by Lim Boon Keng. In 1926, the College of Medicine Building was built to house the college in addition to the Tan Teck Guan Building. The dental school was founded soon after.[citation needed]

During World War II, the college continued operating even with the Japanese occupation of Singapore, but not without consequences. The first casualty was a fourth-year medical student based at Tan Tock Seng Hospital who was fatally wounded by Japanese shells during the Battle of Singapore. While his friends were burying him, they were spotted by Japanese soldiers and eleven were killed on the spot. The dead are commemorated by the SGH War Memorial.[citation needed]

In 1949 the KECM then merged with Raffles College, which specialized in the humanities and teacher training, to form the Singapore campus of the University of Malaya (UM). The medical school became the Faculty of Medicine of UM, and students in Malaysia wishing to study medicine would go to the campus in Singapore. UM eventually split into UM (Kuala Lumpur) and the University of Singapore in 1962, with the medical school coming under the University of Singapore while and UM in Kuala Lumpur established the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya.[citation needed]

Through a series of mergers with other universities, the University of Singapore would eventually form the National University of Singapore (NUS). The medical school became the Faculty of Medicine within the university and in 1982, it left its old buildings at Sepoy Lines behind to move into its new campus at Kent Ridge. The historic College of Medicine and Tan Teck Guan buildings which it previously occupied are currently owned by the Ministry of Health and listed as national monuments by the National Heritage Board.

In 2005, the centenary of the medical school and also that of the university, the medical school was renamed the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in honour of philanthropist and doctor Yong Loo Lin following a SG$100 million endowment from the Yong Loo Lin Trust. The gift enabled the medical school to expand its infrastructure and facilities.[3]


The School comprises 18 departments and 2 centres such as the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Anaesthesia, Anatomy, Biochemistry, Diagnostic Radiology, Medicine, Microbiology, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Orthopaedic Surgery, Otolaryngology, Paediatrics, Pathology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Psychological Medicine, and Surgery.

Admission and Programmes[edit]

The School uses the British undergraduate medical system, offering a full-time 5 year undergraduate programme leading to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). For Nursing, the Bachelor of Science (Nursing) (conducted by the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies) is offered.

Notable people[edit]


King Edward VII College of Medicine (1925–49)
Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical School (1905-1921)
  • Abdul Latiff bin Abdul Razak (1919), the first Malay to be a qualified physician[6]
  • Chen Su Lan (1910), social reformer and anti-opium activist
  • Charles Joseph Pemberton-Paglar (1917), founder of Paglar Maternity and Nursing Home (now Parkway East Hospital)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Manderson, Lenore (2002). Sickness and the State: Health and Illness in Colonial Malaya, 1870-1940. Cambridge University Press. p. 15. ISBN 9780521524483.
  2. ^ Heritage Places of Singapore. Marshall Cavendish International. 2011. p. 165. ISBN 9789814312950.
  3. ^ History Archived April 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "First Malay woman doctor dies". The New Paper. 21 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Former Presidents – Benjamin Sheares". istana.gov.sg.
  6. ^ Mariana Isa; Maganjeet Kaur (15 September 2015). Kuala Lumpur Street Names: A Guide to Their Meanings and Histories. Marshall Cavendish International Asia Pte Ltd. pp. 204–. ISBN 978-981-4721-44-8.

External links[edit]