Sarojini Naidu Medical College & Hospital,a specialized Tertiary Level Health Care Institution is situated in Agra. Agra, an historical city is famous for its monuments of archeological importance, the major among which are Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. The antiquity of Agra goes back to the prehistoric days and is said to have been associated with relics of Krishna, Kansa and Mahabharata. The name ‘Agra’ was coined after name of great saint Aangirus, but it was developed mainly during the reign of Emperor Akbar during the Mughal reign.
S. N. Medical College itself is honored with the prestige of being one of the first three Medical Schools of the country, being established in year 1854, during the reign of British Empire. The history of this institute in face runs parallel with the evolution and development of Medical Education in the State of Uttar Pradesh. Lt. Governor Sir James Thomson was the founder of this school, who laid the foundation stone in year 1854. It was then named after him as Thomson School, and the main objective of its establishment was to produce Medical Assistants and training the Doctors for working in Indian Army, and to look after the health of Military personnel. The East India Company first made the plans of the school and the maintenance cost was also borne by it. The hospital attached to the Agra Medical School since 1854 was known as the Thompson Hospital. The first batch of Indian doctors passed out from the Medical School in 1857, when India was vigorously engaged in its struggle of freedom.
The first Principal of this School was Surgeon John Murray’ (1854-58), and at that time rest of the staff of school consisted of two European Assistant Surgeons and two Indian Sub-assistant Surgeons.
From 1872 onwards, civilian students were also started being admitted to the L.M.P. Course, which was later changed into L.S.M.F. by the U.P. State Medical Faculty.
In 1883, a separate section for the training of the female students was established at the Lady Lyall Duuerin Hospital and the first batch consisting of four female students was admitted. This was abolished in 1942 and amalgamated with the Medical College. The newly added wards were named after the Principals of those times. Hilson ward was added to the Thomson Hospital in the year 1886. It was named after the name of Lt. Col. A. J. Hilson, who remained as Principal of the Medical School from 1876 to 1887. Massive expansion of the school took place in 1892 when a new Operation Theatre, Outpatients Department and Willcocks ward were added to the hospital buildings.
There used to be a single storied centrally situated building with carved curved arches and minarets. This building initially acted as the examination hall and a hall for holding the annual school functions. Subsequently it was utilized as the Medical School Library. This building even today houses the Central Library of the Medical College, of course, after having undergone some changes. Today this Central Library building stands sand-witched between the newer multistoried building complexes of the Medical College.
During the years 1904 to 1906 further expansion of the school buildings was done. The old Lecture Theatre I (does not exist today), Lukas ward, old Pathology Department Building and old Dissection Hall were added. Total number of students at that time in Agra Medical School was 300, with 80 lady students in the lady Lyoll Hospital. The minimum qualification for admission was School Leaving Certificate.
Year 1939 was an important time for Agra Medical School, when it was upgraded to full fledged Medical College for meeting the growing demands for qualified Doctors in the then United Provinces. The College then started awarding degree of M.B.B.S. of Agra University (now Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Univeristy) at the initiative of Smt. Vijay Laxmi Pandit, the then State Minister of Health. Lt. Col. J.C. Bharucha, IMS, was the Principal at the time of change over, and first batch of M.B.B.S. doctors passed out in the year 1944.
In 1947, the Medical College was renamed as Sarojini Naidu Medical College after the name of first Lady Governess of Uttar Pradesh, poetess and freedom fighter, Bharat Kokila Smt. Dr. Sarojini Naidu. The name of the Thomson Hospital was also changed to Sarojini Naidu Hospital after attainment of independence. This college, soon after its inception, was recognized by the Medical Council of India in 1948 and the General Medical Council of Great Britain. The first batch of postgraduate M.D./M.S. students passed out in 1948.