UQ celebrates 80 years of teaching medicine

29 Aug 2016

Generations of the state’s doctors have started their medical careers at The University of Queensland, which is celebrating 80 years of medicine in 2016.

The program has graduated more than 13,000 students over the past eight decades, forging an enduring connection to the state’s medical community.

Dean of Medicine Professor Darrell Crawford said the anniversary provided an opportunity to reflect on UQ’s distinguished history of health and medical leadership.

“We are proud to celebrate 80 years of teaching, and to continue to be the leading provider of medical education and research within our state,” Professor Crawford said.

“I am especially proud of the more than 2500 unpaid clinicians – mostly alumni – who return to the University to teach in the medical program and pass on their broad experience to a new generation of learners.”

Established in 1936, UQ’s Faculty of Medicine offered Queensland’s first complete medical course.

Classes were held in various hastily adapted buildings across the city, until the purpose-built Mayne Medical School at Herston was officially opened in 1939.

The school has grown to become a global medical school, delivering Australia’s largest medical program with nine state-of-the-art clinical schools across Queensland.

“Close links with major hospitals and health services across Queensland ensure students are at the forefront of clinical teaching and practice,” Professor Crawford said.

The school’s reach has also extended internationally, with clinical schools located in New Orleans and Brunei, giving medical students an opportunity to be part of a global medical experience.

To celebrate the anniversary, more than 600 guests attended an 80 Years of Medicine Gala Dinner at Brisbane City Hall on Saturday night.

The event showcased family connections among alumni, including families with three generations of medical graduates.

UQ celebrates 80 years of teaching medicine

Guests included descendants of the inaugural class and father and son Bert and Peter Klug, graduates of the classes of 1953 and 1978.

Dr Bert Klug, who is now 94, survived the Holocaust and migrated to Australia in 1948.

“I had always had the ambition to become a doctor but because of war time events my education had been interrupted,” Dr Klug said.

“When we came here I still wanted to be a doctor and I was able to obtain an interview with the Dean of the Medical School who at the time was Professor Meyers.”

Professor Errol Solomon Meyers had been an ardent campaigner for a medical school in Queensland and the ES Meyers Lecture Theatre at the Herston campus is named in his honour.

The 80 Years of Medicine celebrations will continue when the Mayne Medical School Building at Herston opens its doors to the public during Brisbane Open House on Sunday 9 October.

Media: Kim Lyell, Faculty of Medicine, k.lyell@uq.edu.au+61 7 33465214, 0427 530647.