The NHS came into being in the UK, including Scotland, in 1948. However, Scotland had long had its own distinctive medical tradition which centred around its medical schools rather than private practice.

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has had an important and historic role here. For example, the College established a laboratory in 1887, to both carry out original medical research and to offer a free diagnostic service for physicians. And in 1895, The Extra-Mural School of Medicine was established by the College, in collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, to formalise the medical education taking place outside the city’s only university at the time - The University of Edinburgh.


The College has created a timeline covering the period from when the NHS began in 1948 to 2018, and the NHS' 70th birthday. This timeline includes key events, seminal reports and important medical innovations. The timeline also covers key actions and people associated with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, to highlight the important role that the College has played - and continues to play - in the NHS and in the wider medical community.


Click here to view the College's celebratory NHS 70 webpages.