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130 Years of Medicine in Hong Kong




“130 Years of Medicine in Hong Kong” – Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, established in 1887 and renamed the Hong Kong College of Medicine in 1907, was the territory’s first institution of higher learning. In 1911, when the University of Hong Kong was founded, it was amalgamated into the Faculty of Medicine as the University’s premier faculty.


Our Faculty is of course inextricably linked with the development of medicine in Hong Kong and the surrounding region while at once being intertwined with the city’s development. Throughout our history, students and staff have shared wisdom, spread compassion and showed commitment, for the advancement of the health and wellbeing of the Hong Kong people.


On the propitious occasion of our 130th birth year, we also celebrate the important anniversaries of and salute our longstanding hospital partners, who have grown with us and have shared in our achievements – Alice Memorial Hospital and the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Charity Foundation (130th), Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital (95th), Tsan Yuk Hospital (95th), Queen Mary Hospital (80th), Grantham Hospital (60th), HKU-Shenzhen Hospital (5th), and the commissioning of Gleneagles Hong Kong Hospital in the spring of 2017.


A wide array of celebratory activities, including academic conferences, reunions and outreach programmes, have been planned for the year, leading up to the finale of the Homecoming Dinner on December 17, 2017 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.


“1” signifies the Faculty’s many achievements and impacts on Society

  • Established in 1887, the Faculty of Medicine (formerly known as the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese) was both the first tertiary education institution in Hong Kong and the first local school of medicine.
  • From its modest beginnings, the Faculty has grown to become the largest faculty of the University, with over 400 full-time academic and academic-related staff and 800 research and research-related support personnel. The undergraduate student population is about 2,900 and postgraduates number 1,500.
  • The Faculty of Medicine’s Remarkable Breakthroughs:

1955:   Pioneered anterior approach for surgical treatment of spinal tuberculosis, known as the “Hong Kong Operation”

1959:   First transoral approach performed for the surgical treatment of upper cervical spine dislocations and tuberculosis in the world

1964:   First Pharyngo-laryngo-oesophagectomy in the world

1964:   First open-heart surgery in Hong Kong

1969:   First kidney transplant in Hong Kong

1977:   First microsurgical thumb replant in Hong Kong

1983:   First antenatal screening for hereditary blood disease established in Hong Kong

1989:   First maxillary swing operation for recurrent nasopharyngectomy in the world

1990:   First bone marrow transplant in Hong Kong

1991:   First liver transplant in Hong Kong

1992:   First heart transplant in Hong Kong

1994:   First allogeneic cord blood transplant in Hong Kong

1994:   First emergency adult-to-adult left lobe living donor liver transplant in the world

1995:   First lung transplant in Hong Kong

1995:   First baby in Hong Kong conceived through intracytoplasmic sperm injection was delivered

1996:   First in the world to conduct an adult-to-adult right lobe living donor liver transplant

1996:   First in Asia to show improved respiratory health in children in response to pollutant reduction after the implement of anti-air pollution law

2000:   First intervertebral disc transplant in humans in the world

2001:   First radiofrequency ablation for cancers in Hong Kong

2001:   First catheter based endomyocardial transplant of autologous bone marrow stem cell for treatment of severe coronary artery diseases in the world

2003:   First to discover the SARS coronavirus

2003:   First to identify the source of SARS coronavirus infection

2004:   First to characterize the epidemiology of SARS coronavirus

2004:   First domino liver transplant in Hong Kong

2005:   First to identify the natural reservoir of SARS coronavirus

2008:   First in the world to develop and launch a publicly accessible index (Hedley Environmental Index) with hourly estimation of air pollution impact on adverse health outcomes and economic costs

2009:   First remotely controlled expandable device implantation surgery to treat children with scoliosis in the world

2010:   First to develop a patented prescription drug, an oral arsenic trioxide preparation for the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukaemia

2010:   First combined heart and liver transplant in Hong Kong

2011:   First dual thoracic spinal cord stimulation for heart failure in the world

2011:   First extra-cranial intravenous-cranial vascular bypass and craniofacial resection for locally advanced recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the world

2012:   First in the world to describe a model of coronavirus evolution, based on the 23 novel human and animal coronaviruses discovered over 10 years

2013:   First to characterize the epidemiology of H7N9 influenza in the world

2014:   First subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator in Asia

2014:   First exome-chip analysis of lipid traits in Chinese

2016:   First live birth by assisted reproduction with preimplantation genetic screening (PGS) using next generation sequencing for couples having chromosomal error in Hong Kong


“3” symbolizes the core values medical professionals:



“0” is the distance between the Faculty and the Community:

  • For the past 130 years, the Faculty of Medicine has been safeguarding the health of Hong Kong’s general public, and uniting the medical profession of Hong Kong. In the face of social challenges and major healthcare crises, each and every member of the Faculty strives to heal the sick with love and care altruistically. In the future, they will continue to devote themselves to this commitment, for the well-being of our society.