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Indian Journal of Surgery
Medknow Publications on behalf of Association of Surgeons of India
ISSN: 0972-2068
Vol. 68, Num. 1, 2006, pp. 58-62

Indian Journal of Surgery, Vol. 68, No. 1, January-February, 2006, pp. 58-62


Indore charitable hospital to MGM medical college: A journey of more then 150 years

Departments of Surgery (Retd.),*Opthalmology (Retd), M.G.M. Medical College and M. Y. Hospital, Indore
Correspondence Address:Departments of Surgery (Retd.), M.G.M. Medical College and M. Y. Hospital, Indore

Code Number: is06018

The History of MGM Medical College, Indore and Modern Medicine is Central India dates back to 1837, when Britishers appointed Dr. - Bruce as Resident Surgeon to look after the British troops and their families.

Dr. Murray started a small dispensary in Holkar territory in 1847 which was taken over by Dr. E. Ropey in 1848

The Indore Charitable Hospital

Dr. Impey (1847-1854) and Dr. W.G. Kane (1851-1871) This second Institution was built on the recommendation of Sir. R. Hamilton and was excellently and conveniently located between the British Residency area and the City of Indore in an open space adjacent to the meeting point of the principal roads of the City of Indore and the adjacent towns. This building had a Central room which served both as a Dispensing room as well as an Operation Theatre. On either side of the central room there were two wards sufficiently large to accommodate 25 beds each.

The expense incurred in building this Hospital was Rs. 8,500/- chiefly granted by Tukoji Rao Holkar-II. This hospital started functioning on 1st Sept. 1849, with Dr. E. Impey as the Superintendent. 25 of the beds were reserved for the military & travelling troops & the other 25 were reserved for the public & called as Charity Wards. This premier institution was therefore nomenclatured as the Indore Charitable Hospial.

At the time of its inception, there were no special facilities for female patients. Seeing their natural modesty & purdah system Dr. Impey had another building constructed for females. It had 2 rooms for 10 beds & attached godowns. This building when unoccupied by women was used for Infectious diseases & epidemics. The cost of this building was Rs. 2,800/-.

In 1851 there was the Indore Charitable Hospital & the Indore City Dispensary & there were dispensaries in Ujjain, Ratlam, Dhar & Manpur.

In 1852 the Surgical armamentarium used to be one amputation case, one hydrocele case, one eye case, one cupping case, one pocket case and stomach pump & one tooth instrument. This shows the meagre surgical set up of that time. The surgical book recommended was a manual by Drouitt. The entire maintenance of the Hospital, amounted to Rs. 250 per month.

Dr. Arthur Newenham (1854)

By 1855 the number of Malwa Dispensaries had risen to tea ten & they were supervised by Dr. Arthur Newenham M.D. who was the Residency Surgeon and the Superintendent at this time. The combined indoor & outdoor attendance of the Indore Charitable Hospital was only 2124 in the year. To every admitted patient one or two blankets, a dari and a charpai was given. The diet cost one anna, 2 pie per person per day and consisted of dal, rice, ghee, atta and vegetables. Meat & wine were given when required.

The surgeries consisted of removal of tumours from fingers and ears and removal of ureteral calculus measuring 1.1/2" x 1.3/4" and weighing 54 grams. 16 ozs of fluid from a hydrocele was removed. Maggots in the nose were initially treated by turpentine and later on more successfully by calomel. Electricity was successfully used for treating paralysis of the bladder caused by a fall.

Dr. T. Beaumont (1864-1881)

In 1864, Dr. Beaumont took over charge as the Residency Surgeon.

In 1864, the outdoor patients attendance in the Indore Charitable Hospital was about 2500 annually and 18 major operations were performed in the entire year. Dr. Beaumont′s devotion, zeal and humanitarian attitude soon brought major structural and functional changes in the Indore Charitable Hospital.

In 1865, Dr. Beaumont performed the first cataract surgery on scientific lines at the Indore Charitable Hospital. It is indeed an interesting fact that from this time to 1881 when he retired Dr. Beaumont did all eye operations under General Anaesthesia using chloroform as an anesthetic agent.

Little must have Dr. Beaumont realised the tremendous impact his eye surgery was to have in the forth cominc years. The remarks in the Central India Agency Reports 0 1868 depict the status of Dr. Beaumont and were indicative of the stature he was to achieve "People travel long distance to consult Dr. Beaumont whose skill and kindness are proverbial. In operation of eye, he has been very successful." In this very year, separate huts were erected for cases of infection and contagious diseases.

In 1871 another ward was constructed to accommodate 18 patients. The Raja of Dhar donated Rs. 1000/- to construct five substantial little houses for respectable persons or females.

Such was the impact of Dr. Beaumont′s personality and surgery that the Raja of Dhar became his unequivocal admirer and granted funds to build a separate hospital for lepers adjacent to Indore Charitable Hospital.

Dr. Beaumont was not only an Ophthalmic Surgeon but also an excellent General Surgeon in addition to being an equally good physician. His observation on phagedenic ulcers, fevers and leprosy speak of the incisive innate intelligency which he possessed. His devotion to medical science and the nobility of his character are clearly depicted when we go through his report when he was plagued by the not so good results of amputations. "The results of the operation of the year were successful and might easily have made them much more so by simply avoiding to operate in a few desperate cases which gave the greater number of deaths, but I consider it my duty, to operate in all cases if the patient wishes it, when there is a possibility of saving life, which if left alone, must necessarily be lost."

An epidemic resulted in a sudden influx of a large number of patients in 1872. For this a large grass shed and "chhappar" were erected which served as a permanent wards for a couple of years. A male and female waiting room, dispensary room, prescribing room, which also served as an operation room were constructed and the large grass shed no longer required, was knocked down.

In 1875, 10 lithotomies were successfully performed and 3 obstetric operations were performed in Indore for the first time. In 1879, 20 single roomed houses were constructed with small a cooking place in each.

Plastic Surgery was also successfully carried out. In the words of Dr. Beaumont "Last year I operated on a bunniah for a very unsinghtly harelip. The lip united so evenly and perfectly as to have scarcely a trace of the operation. The man was so delighted that he has become quite an impassioned of plastic surgery, seizing villagers with harelips in the market places and hauling them to the Hospital.

Dr. Beaumont had advocated a pupil, Ganpat Singh, in the Indore Charitable Hospital. Pleased with his work he sent him to the sub-assistant surgeons classes for two years and he acquired a well grounded knowledge of the profession.

In 1878, Dr. Beaumont establised the first Medical School in Central India enrolling four native students Gopal Purrusram, Gopal Bajee Rao, Assadyar Khan and Atmaram Raghoba, This School in the next century was rechristened "The King Edward Medical School" and finally blossomed into the authors′ Alma Mater, the "Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College" a glorious heritage indeed!

Dr. Ganpat Singh worked in the capacity of an Assistant Superintendent was an excellent teacher in the Medical School and a skilled surgeon of no mean repute.

Prof. Lister′s antiseptic methods of treatment of wounds was introduced in the Hospital in 1880 and in 1881, 70 large abscesses were treated by this method with good results.

Dr. D. F. Keegan (1881-1894)

In June, 1881 Dr. T. Beaumont retired and Dr. Surgeon Major D.F.Keegan took-over charge as a residency surgeon in the Indore Charitable Hospital.

In Dec. 1881 the Surgeon General, Government of India, Dr. Cuningham visited the Indore Charitable hospital and remarked that he was most agreeably surprised at the great amount of surgical & medical work done at Indore Charitable hospital.

Dr. Keegan continued the excellent clinical & surgical work established initially by Dr. Beaumont at the Indore Charitable Hospital He became internationally known for using a forehead skin flap for the reconstruction of cut-nose for the first time in the world. The result of this work culminated in the printing of a book on Rhinoplasty Operation in 1900 and the results therein match the finest surgery done any where in the world today.

In 1883, the Indore Charitable Hospital was the first in India to adopt the then modern operation of Lithotripsy of one sitting for bladder stones.

In 1885 the Viceroy of India, Lord Dufferin and Lady Dufferin visited the Indore Charitable Hospital and the Viceroy was pleased to express his approval of the working of this Hospital.

In 1885 Bigelow′s operation (Litholapaxy or rapid evacuation) for bladder stones was introduced. Indore Charitable Hospital was one of the first in India to treat boys with bladder stones by this method of surgery.

In 1886 a female ward was constructed of a cost of Rs. 1500 and in 1887 a female medical class was started in the Medical School enrolling 6 female students.

In 1887, at the Indore Charitable Hospital 518 major surgeries were done and of these, 296 operation were on the eye. Many cataract surgeries were done with successful results in over 90% of cases. What a wonderful record for Dr. Keegan!

Dr. Caldecott (1894-1897)

In 1894, Dr. Keegan retired and Dr. R. Caldecott took over the charge of Residency Surgeon in the Indore Charitable Hospital. Earlier in 1885 Dr. Caldecott had been posted at the Indore Charitable Hospital when Dr. Keegan was on privilege leave from 9th August to 10th November, 1885. At that time, he introduced local Anaesthesia in Ophthalmic Surgery at the Indore Charitable Hospital. The local Anaesthetic agent was Cocaine.

In 1894 the depreciation of the Rupee and also the imposition of custom duty strained the resources of the hospital. A year later the Bohras of Ujjain rebuilt a large row of hospital buildings.

Dr. G.H.D. Gimlette (1897-1901)

Lt. Col. Gimlette remained as the Residency Surgeon up to 1901 when Lt. Col. Sir James Roberts took over charge as Residency Surgeon, Indore. Though Dr. Gimlette was better known as General Surgeon particularly skilled in the operation of Litholapaxy, yet his skill as an Ophthalmic Surgeon was also well established.

Dr. Roberts (1901-1912)

During Dr. Roberts administration the number of students who were to become "Hospital Assistants" rose from nearly twenty to eighty by 1904. he was the first to suggest the introduction of Specialists to improve the efficiency of the Hospital. In his words "The Work of these Large Hospitals should be parcelled out into Departments each under the charge of men whose endeavour it will become to train themselves as Specialists, & who will have the sole responsibility of their charge." He also recommended the creation of a Sanitary Department to deal with public health sanitation, vital statistics & epidemiology.

The Maharaja Tukoji Rao Hospital opened 1901. The Caldecott memorial eye Hospital was constructed at a cost of 39,500/- and was completed in 1905.

The medical school which had come to be known as the Central India Medical School was rechristened as the King Edward Hospital and Medical School in 1911. at this time a separate operating Block, T.B. ward and administrative rooms were constructed and by 1912 completed. The old Daly College Building was given to the Medical School in 1910 and education continued to be imparted in this handsome traditional architectural marvel till the construction of the M.G.M. Medical College Building in 1948.

Dr. F. A. Smith (1912-1921)

The Indian Medical Degrees Act No. VII of 1916 was passed. With this Act the Superintendents of the Hospitals were deprived the right of giving a recognizable qualification to the Medical Students. Matriculation became essential for admission to the Medical School. To get a recognized Medical Degree students had to appear in the LOPS examination of Bombay or LMP examination of Nagpur. The advent of the first world war put a serious set back to the development and maintenance of the Hospital. After the world war Khan Sahib Lukman Bhoy of Ujjain constructed a new Bohra ward. The Keegan′s Ward was rebuilt at a cost of Rs.25000/- from the KEH and Medical School Fund.

Dr. G. D. Franklin (1921-23)

At this time the operation theater was repaired and the laboratory extended.

Five new Blocks were erected for compounders. Dark-room and accessory room was added to the X-ray room. The paucity of funds led to the closure of the school for a year and no new admissions were made during that time.

Dr. W. R. Battye (1923-1928)

Immediately on joining, Dr. Battye improved the financial condition of the school restructuring the fees and obtaining donations. The Medical School was then restarted in 1923. In 1923 The European Infantry Barracks (Gora Barracks) were converted into Medical Hostel to accommodate about 130 students. In 1928 a Leprosy Ward and Ear Nose and Throat Department were added.

Dr. J. R. J. Tyrell (1928-1931)

Dr. Tyrell remained in the Hospital for three years only. After his retirement he joined the Holkar State Services as Inspector General for Civil Hospitals and member inchage of the Medical Department. In both these capacities he helped the Institution considerably. A female out patient and Maternity department was added.

Dr. R. F. D. Mac Gregor (1931-1933)

Dr. Mac Gregor remained incharge for a very short tine to be succeeded by the dynamic Dr. Nicholson.

Dr. M. A. Nicholson (1933-1945)

During his period a Children ward was added in 1936. the Hostel Dining Hall was constructed at a cost of Rs. 25000/- which was donated by Rai Sahib.

Jamnalal Ramlal Kimtee in 1937. Donations also resulted in the construction of a Building for Physiology Department, Laboratory and Ladies waiting room. These were later used as Drug Laboratory. In 1-938 the Government of India enunciated the policy of having only one class of Medical Practitioners that is the graduate of medicine. It now became essential to convert the school into a college. The second world war presented its own problems but in 1944 Col. Dr. Nicholson issued an appeal for collection of funds. The idea of reservation of seats on contribution was mooted and a system of capitation fees was introduced.

Dr. H. W. Farrell (1945-1947)

In his brief stay of two years he advanced the College and Hospital projects.

Dr. S. K. Mukhrji (1947-1948)

During Dr. Mukhrji′s brief charge of nearly four months it was decided to change the name of Central Indian Medical College to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College. The panel of Inspectors from Agra University inspected the Institution for according permission to start the college.

Dr. B. C. Bose (1948-1966)

Dr. B.C. Bose was appointed the first Principal of M.G.M. Medical College in March 1948 and the foundation stone of the Medical College and M. Y. Hospital were laid by the Union Health Minister, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur on 6th June 1948.

Though the college was started in July 1948 it remained a private institution and the students had to pay a capitation fees of Rs. 1500/- in addition to the tution and other fees. This state of affairs lasted upto March 1957 when the college was taken over by the Madhya Bharat Government and the capitation fees abolished.

The handsome Medical College building was completed in 1954 at a cost Rs.18 Lakhs and the Maharaja Yeshwant Rao Hospital in 1955. Maharaja Yeshwant Rao donated IRS. 35 Lakhs for the M.Y. Hospital which in all was constructed at a cost of Rs. 66 lakhs. The College was designed and constructed by a Hungarian architect Mr. Heinz. The next expansion was in the form of construction of the Manorama Raje T. B. Hospital with a contribution of Rs. 5 lakhs from Maharaja Yeshwant Rao.

The M.D. and MS courses were started in 1953 and Diplomas from 1956 onwards. Further expansions were the construction of the Preventive and Social Medicine Block in 1958, a 90 bedded Cancer Hospital in 1969, a new Outdoor Block in 1970, a separate Microbiology Block in 1975 and Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya in 1985.

A 90 bedded Cancer Hospital was commissioned in′1969 and it has the privilage of having the most modern cathetron therapy. It is one of the better Cancer Hospitals of the country having diagnostic and therapeutic equipments worth Rs. 50 lacs.

The two storeied new spacious Out-door block was completed in 1970 and has brougth much needed relief to the out-patients. It also houses the Artificial Limb Fitting Center, which is one of the 30 centers in India started by the Artificial Limb Corporation of India and aided by the State Govt.

The college started in1948 with an admission of 50 students annually. This was increased to 75 in 1956, when the college and hospital. buildings were completed. The present admission strength has gone to 140 students annually from 1976 without actually doubling the facilities.

Postgraduate degree courses were started in 1954 and the Diplomas in 1956. At present there are 87 students registered for M.D. M.S. and 36 for Diploma annually. Sanction for starting few more Diplomas is expected.

The development of the subspecialities has kept pace with the growth of the institution. There are speciality sections of cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, haematology, endocrinology, dermatology, venereology and chest in the department of Medicine. By the end of 1978, a dialysis unit was set-up. In Surgery, there are cardio-thoracic and paediatric units while Opthalmology has an Argon Laser Photo coagulater and also an Eye Bank. Paediatrics has its special clinics, peripheral services, neonatology section and its own established biochemistry laboratory. The Department of E.N.T. is doing microlaryngeal surgery. The Department of pathology is well equipped and has got laboratories for microbiology, immunology, cytology and a well established blood bank. In the development of these specialities, there was substantial help from Rockfeller foundation, World Health Oraganisation, Technical Co-operation mission and Colombo plan. These contributions were both in equipment and fellowships. Mention must be made of Shri Govindram Seksaria, Badjatia K.B. Illava and R.C. Jall Trust, who donated generously for the development of Cardiology, Indigenous Drug Research and Nutritional laboratory, Haematology and Dialysing unit respectively.

Various All India conferences have been regularly hosted begining from All India Paediatric conference in 1956.

Research work is being done in every Dept. and over 1,200 publication have come out of this institution both in Indian and Foreign journals.

Partly from ad-hoc grant of Madhya Bharat Govt. and party with Foreign aid the library was organised. It now has 19,000 books 124 currently subscibed journals and 102 journals with back numbers. Microfilm reading and photo copying services are also available.

The college of Dentistry was established in 1961 and was first of its kind in M.P.

The college of Nursing for training students for the Degree of B.Sc. (Nursing) was started in 1960 and its new building was completed in 1968. 25 students are admitted every year. A separate hostel has been completed in 1977.

The college is one of the 25 college selected by the Govt. of India for Rural Oriented Medical Education Programme under′which all the primary Health centers are taken by the college in a phased programme, thereby making specialty care available in the rural areas.

Dr. B. B. Ohri (1948-1968)

Dr. Ohri headed the department from its beginning. He worked as Surgeon & Ophthalmologist in K.E.M. Hospital from 1938 to 1948 & as Prof. Anatomy, Asstt. Surgeon to Resident Superintendent Jt. & Surgeon of His Highness Holkar along with Col. Nicholson.

He was pioneer in lifting the Department & bringing new specialties specially Cardiothoracic Surgery & Peadiatric Surgery. Closed Cardiac Surgery was started along with Dr. Chamanlal Nagrath in 1959 and was one of its few centers in the country doing so. Similarly a separate unit of Peadiatric Surgery was started in 1958 and is continuing till date. This surgical center was renowned for its major surgical procedures & patients from neighbouring states of UP, Maharashtra, Rajasthan & Gujrat used to come with confidence. Plastic Surgical procedures of Rhinoplasty & various pedicle grafts were commonly done, since 1948 when such procedures were not been done at most of the places.

He became President of ICS in the year 1960 -1964 and took part actively in various activities of ICS.

Department surgery is developing gradually in all Fields. Established modern of trauma centre. Intensive Burn Unit. Intensive Surgical Unit. Pediatric Surgery and Pediatrics Surgery - neouatolocv Unit Urology Centre, Plastic Surgery and Neuro Surgery Unit.

More than 600 Album of this college are working in various capacities in LTSA Dr. C. S. Ranawat - a renowned Orthopedic Surgeon who was accorded Padma Bhushan by Govt. of India is one of theist Similarly more than 300 Alumini are in U-K- and other part of the world achieving great heights in their fields.

It is a well equipped institution serving not only NI.R but the people of Central India[Table - 1],

Copyright 2006 - Indian Journal of Surgery

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