The history of the University of Medicine 1, Yangon, began with the establishment of the Government Medical School in Myanmar in 1907 at the old Rangoon General Hospital’s premises and the introduction of a course in medical sciences. It was a four-year medical course known as Licentiate in Medical Practice (LMP) course, and the successful candidate was offered a certificate of license for medical practice. In 1923-24, the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) course was introduced at the old Rangoon College building at the site of the present Neurology Department of the Yangon General Hospital. The foundation stone of the Medical College building, the present main building of the University of Medicine (1) at Myomakyaung Road, was laid by Sir Harcourt Butler on the 2nd February 1927, and the classes were transferred to the new building in 1929.

The Medical College became a constituent College under the University of Rangoon in 1930 and was placed under the Board of Administration, on which the Vice-chancellor of the University of Rangoon and the Inspector General of Civil Hospitals served as Chairman and Vice-chairman respectively. Academic matters and general administration were attended by the principal with the help of the Medical College Council (Academic Body). In 1937 the medical (MBBS (Rgn)) degree conferred by the University of Rangoon gained recognition of the General Medical Council of Great Britain.

During the Second World War, from 1942 – 1945, there was a temporary suspension of the MBBS course. A modified course was conducted instead; the Licentiate of the State Medical Board (LSMB) was conferred on the successful completion. After the war, the University was restructured on a unitary pattern and the previous constituent colleges (Rangoon College, Judson College, Medical College, and Teacher Training College) became the Faculties with the respective Dean as the Head of each Faculty. As a result of these activities, the Medical College was transformed into “Faculty of Medicine”, under the University of Rangoon which effect from 26th September 1946. The classes accepted the old pre-war students of medical college. The new intake of 30 students began in 1947. On the declaration of Independence of Burma on the 4th January 1948, all the senior British and Indian officers of the Health Department and the Faculty of Medicine left Burma. The position of National Health in Burma was far from satisfactory. Then, the Burma Medical Council tried for re-employment of the retired doctors and asked for the aid of private practitioners for part-time employment in government service but these efforts were not successful. There were shortages of doctors in Hospitals, the Health Departments, and the Faculty of Medicine. The need was felt most acutely in the rural areas. Very few qualified doctors rallied to the need of the country, and the Faculty of Medicine was kept functioning with inadequate equipment and teaching personnel.

In May 1962, the University Act was abolished and the Faculty of Medicine as part of the University of Rangoon came under the Administrative Committee of the Education Ministry of the Revolutionary Government. The new University Education Act was promulgated on the 29th May 1964 and the professional institutes were established through this Act; one of which was Institutes of Medicine with the Rector as Head of each Medical Institute. In the same year, the postgraduate courses were introduced.

1Professor (Lt. Col.) T. F. OwensIMS1930 – 1931
2Professor (Lt. Col.) L. A. H LackMB, ChB, IMS1931 – 1933
3Professor (Lt. Col.) R. V. MorrisonMD, FRCP (Edin), IMS1933 – 1938
4Professor (Lt. Col.) R. H. MaloneMD, DPH, IMS1938 – 1939
5Professor (Major) G. M. IrvineMD, LMFRCS (Edin), IMS1939 – 1941
1Dr. W. Burridge 1946 – 1947
2Professor Min SeinMB (Cal) FRCP (Edin)1947 – 1948
3Professor Ba ThanMB (Cal) FRCS1948 – 1949
4Professor Min SeinMB (Cal) FRCP (Edin)1949 – 1951
5Professor Ba ThanMB (Cal) FRCS1951 – 1953
6Professor Min SeinMB (Cal) FRCP (Edin)1953 – 1955
7Professor Ba ThanMB (Cal) FRCS1955 – 1957
8Professor Min SeinMB (Cal) FRCP (Edin)1957 – 1959
9Professor Mg GaleBA, MBC (Cal) DPH1959 – 1964
1Professor Ba ThanMB (Cal), FRCS (Edin), FACS, FICS1.10.1964 – 30.8.1971
2Dr. Pe KyinMBBS (Rgn), FACS1.9.1971 -31.8.1972
3Dr. Tun MinMBBS (Rgn)1.9.1972 – 9.5.1984
4Professor Hla MyintMBBS (Rgn), DTM&H (Edin), FRCP (Edin)26.6.1984 – 10.9.1987
5Professor Tin Aung SweMBBS (Rgn), FRCP (Edin), DTM&H (Edin)16.11.1987 – 12.12.1988
6Professor Mg Mg SeinMBBS (Rgn), ChM, FRCS (Edin), FRCS (Eng)31.12.1988 – 6.6.1991
7Professor Mya OoMBBS (Rgn), FRCP (Edin), FRCP (Glas), FRCP (London), DrMedSc (Hon) (Ygn)6.6.1991 – 25.9.1996
8Professor Kyaw Myint TunMBBS (Rgn), MRCP(UK), FRCP (Edin), DrMedSc (Hon) (Ygn)27.9.1996 – 16.9.1997
9Professor Kyaw MyintMBBS (Rgn), MRCP (UK),FRCP (Edin), FRCP (Glas), FCCP, DrMedSc (Hon) (Ygn)17.9.1997 – 20.2.1998
10Professor Myo MyintMBBS (Rgn), FRCS (Edin), MChOrth (Lpool),DrMedSc (Hon) (Ygn)21.2.1998 – 24.6.2007

Note: “Rangoon” was changed to “Yangon” in 1989, along with the change from “Burma” to “Myanmar”. All medical institutes in Myanmar were transformed into medical universities in 2005.

1Professor Aye Maung HanMBBS (Rgn), DCH, MMedSc (Paed), MRCP (UK), FRCP (Edin), FRCPCH (London), DrMedSc (Paed)6.7.2007 – 22.9.2009
2Professor Pe Thet KhinMBBS (Rgn), MMedSc (Paed), MRCP (UK), FRCPCH (London), DipMedEd1-6-2009 – 30.3.2011
3Professor Than ChoMBBS (Rgn), MMedSc (Ortho), FRCS (Edin), FRCS (Glasg), DrMedSc (Ortho), DipMedEd18.5.2011 – 11.11.2013
4Professor Thet Khaing WinMBBS, MMedSc (Int Med), MRCP(UK), FRCP (Edin), DipMedEd6.2.2014 – 20.4.2015
5Professor Zaw Wai SoeMBBS, MMedSc (Ortho), FRCS(Glasg), DrMedSc (Ortho), DipMedEd20.5.2015 to 16.5.2021

Because of the Military Coup which happened on February 1, 2021, the administrative body of the university was fallen under the control of the Military Council. To uphold the democratic standards and academic freedom of the university, the Interim University Council (IUC) was established on May 17, 2021. On May 30, the Interim University Council (IUC) of University of Medicine 1, Yangon was recognized as a self-administrative university council by the Ministry of Education of the National Unity Government (NUG) of Myanmar. 

1H.E. Professor Zaw Wai Soe
Union Minister
Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health
National Unity Government
MBBS, MMedSc (Ortho), FRCS(Glasg), DrMedSc (Ortho), DipMedEd17.5.2021 – 22.7.2021
2Professor Khin Maung LwinMBBS, MMedSc(Surg), FRCS(Edin), DrMedSc(Neurosurgery), DipMedEd23.7.2021 to date