HISTORY OF THE ACADEMY OF MEDICINE OF MALAYSIA
The Academy of Medicine was founded in Singapore in 1957 to assure the maintenance of a high standard of professional and ethical practice. Professor Gordon Arthur Ransome, then Professor of Medicine in Singapore, was the first Master. It was decided that in the context of Malaysia, one organisation embracing all medical specialties would be more appropriate rather than independent colleges for separate specialties. This was a radical departure from the system which existed in the United Kingdom and Australia.
Following the separation of Singapore from Malaysia on 9th August, 1965, an autonomous Academy of Medicine of Malaysia was formed in 1966. It was registered on 22nd December 1966 under the Societies Act (1966). The motto it adopted was “Terus Maju” and Dr Mohd Din bin Ahmad, the first Malaysian Director-General of Health, was elected its first Master. The founder members were the specialists from Malaysia who were already members of the Academy of Medicine in Singapore.
After Independence and with the foundation of the first medical school in Kuala Lumpur, several specialty associations were established to promote professional development in their respective specialties and to organise scientific meetings and conferences. The College of Physicians and the College of Surgeons were established in 1974 and were modelled after the Royal Colleges in the United Kingdom. With so many separate organisations, professional development of medical specialists was in danger of becoming increasingly fragmented. This concern prompted the Academy of Medicine to play the lead role in bringing the various specialties together and to enable the specialists in the country to speak with one voice. In the 1990s the restructuring of the Academy began in earnest. After much negotiation the College of Physicians and the College of Surgeons amalgamated with the Academy of Medicine in December 1995. Over a period of time, chapters within Colleges evolved and became Colleges of the Academy. Currently there are 11 Colleges under the umbrella of the Academy of Medicine.