Charles Darwin was a student at the University of Edinburgh Medical School from 1825 to 1827.

List of University of Edinburgh medical people is a list of notable graduates as well as non-graduates, and academic staffs of the University of Edinburgh Medical School in Scotland.

Pioneers in medicine

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Thomas Addis MB 1905, ChB 1905, MD 1908 Scottish-American physician, described the pathogenesis of haemophilia as well as the concept of renal clearance, demonstrated that normal blood plasma could correct the defect in haemophilia
Thomas Addison MD 1815 English physician, discovered Addison's disease, pernicious anemia and Addison-Schilder syndrome
William John Adie MB 1911, ChB 1911, MD 1926 British physician, described Adie syndrome and narcolepsy
Arthur Cecil Alport MB 1905, ChB 1905, MD 1919 South African physician, described Alport syndrome
Thomas Annandale MD 1860, Regius Chair of Clinical Surgery 1877–1907 Scottish surgeon, performed the first repair of the meniscus, the first successful removal of an acoustic neuroma and introduced the pre-peritoneal approach to inguinal hernia repair
Martin Barry MD 1823 English pathologist, discovered the segmentation of yolk in the mammalian ovum and demonstrated that sperm could be found inside the ovum
Edward Baxter 1877 Pioneer medical missionary to East Africa, Church Missionary Society, hunter, guide to first 'Ladies Mission' [1]
Sir George Beatson MD 1878 Surgical oncologist who pioneered oophorectomy, the removal of the ovaries in the treatment of breast cancer [2]
James Begbie MD 1821 Scottish physician, first described Graves' Disease, also known as Begbie's disease, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Benjamin Bell 1767 Scottish surgeon, father of Edinburgh's school of surgery, a significant advocate of the 'dualist doctrine' suggesting syphilis and gonorrhea were not the same disease
Charles Bell MD 1798 Scottish anatomist and neurologist, discovered Bell's palsy and the functions of the roots of the spinal nerves [3]
John Hughes Bennett MD 1837 English physician, first to describe aspergillosis and first identified leukaemia as a blood disorder
James Blundell MD 1813 English obstetrician, performed the first successful human to human blood transfusion
Richard Bright MD 1813 English physician, discovered Bright's disease, known as the "father of nephrology"
David Bruce MB 1881, CM 1881 Scottish pathologist, identified the cause of sleeping sickness and discovered Malta fever and brucellosis
Sir Thomas Lauder Brunton BSc 1867, MD 1768, DSc 1870 Discovered organic nitrates had the ability to alleviate angina pectoris
William Budd MD 1838 Scottish physician, first recognized that infectious disease was contagious and could be spread through feces
John Murray Carnochan 1834 American neurosurgeon, performed the world's first successful surgery for trigeminal neuralgia
John Cheyne MD 1795 Scottish physician, discovered Cheyne-Stokes respiration, Physician General to the British Armed Forces in Ireland
Matilda J. Clerk MBChB 1949 First Ghanaian woman to win an academic merit scholarship for university education abroad and second Ghanaian woman to qualify as a physician
Ezekiel Quarmina Allotey Cofie LDS, RCS Ed. 1949 First Ghanaian dental surgeon
Abraham Colles MD 1797 Irish physician, discovered and described the Colles' fracture, Colles' fascia and Colles' ligament
Dominic Corrigan MD 1825 Irish physician, described Corrigan's pulse and was Liberal MP for Dublin
Peter C. Doherty PhD 1970 Australian veterinary surgeon, discovered how T cells recognise antigens in combination with major histocompatibility complex proteins, awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Cuthbert Dukes MD 1914 English pathologist, devised the Dukes classification system for colorectal cancer
Charles Odamtten Easmon MBChB 1940, DTM&H 1941 first Ghanaian surgeon and the first Dean of the University of Ghana Medical School
Richard Eastell MB 1977, ChB 1977, MD 1984 British physician, pioneered treatments in osteoporosis
Robert Edwards PhD 1955 British physiologist, developed in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
John Fothergill MD 1736 Scottish physician, first identified and named trigeminal neuralgia
Thomas Richard Fraser MD 1862, Professor of Medicine 1877–1918 Scottish physician, described the calabar bean and the strophanthus hispidus
Ian Frazer BSc 1974, MB 1977, ChB 1977 Scottish-Australian physician, discovered the link between HPV and cervical cancer, co-invented the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer, CEO and Director of Research at the Translational Institute of Research, University of Queensland
David Ferrier MB 1868, CM 1868, MD 1870 Scottish neurologist, mapped the cortical function of the brain, the idea that specific areas of the brain are associated with specific behaviours [4]
Valentín Fuster PhD 1971, Research Fellow 1968–71 Prominent Spanish cardiologist, only cardiologist to receive the two highest gold medals and all four major research awards from the world's four major cardiovascular organizations, named as "one of the best doctors in America and New York" since 1992, leader of the CNIC-Ferrer polypill project, demonstrated platelets' role in CABG occlusion
Olivier James Garden BSc 1974 MB 1977, ChB 1977, MD 1987, FRCS (Edin) 1994, Regius Chair of Clinical Surgery 2000-present British surgeon, performed the first liver transplant in Scotland in 1992, president of the International Hepato-Pancreto-Biliary Association 2012–14 [5]
Robert Marcus Gunn MB 1873, CM 1873 Scottish ophthalmologist, discovered Gunn's Sign and the Marcus Gunn pupil
John Scott Haldane MB 1884, CM 1884 Scottish physiologist, invented the decompression chamber, first proposed placing a "canary in the coal mine" to warn of dangerous carbon monoxide levels, international authority on ether and respiration, discovered the Haldane effect on hemoglobin
George Harley MD 1850 Scottish physician, demonstrated that the colour of urine was due to urobilin
Percy Theodore Herring MB 1896, CM 1896, MD 1899 English physician, discovered Herring bodies
William Hewson 1762 English surgeon, isolated fibrin, known as the "father of haematology"
Henry Hill Hickman 1820 Scottish general practitioner, considered one of the "fathers of anesthesia", first experimented with carbon dioxide as anaesthesia on dogs
Thomas Hodgkin MD 1823 English pathologist, described Hodgkin's lymphoma
James Hope MD 1825 English physician, discovered the murmur of mitral stenosis [6]
Thomas Wharton Jones 1827 Scottish ophthalmologist, discovered the germinal vesicle in the mammalian ovum and described the origin of the chorion [3]
Matthew Kaufman MB 1967, ChB 1967, Prof. Anatomy 1987–2007, Prof. Emeritus 2008–13, FRS (Edin) 2008 British physician, first to derive embryonic stem cells from mouse embryos
George Kellie MD 1803 Scottish surgeon, described the Monro-Kellie doctrine on intracranial pressure
James Lind MD 1748 Scottish military surgeon, pioneer of naval hygiene, conducted the first ever clinical trial, developed cure for scurvy and typhus, first proposed fresh water could be obtained from distilling sea water
Lilian Lindsay LDS, RCS Ed. 1895 First British woman to qualify as a dentist, first female president of the British Dental Association [7]
Robert Liston 1815 Scottish surgeon, inventor of artery forceps and the Liston knife, known as "the fastest surgeon alive"
Sir Henry Littlejohn MD 1847, Prof. Medical Jurisprudence 1897–1906 Scottish surgeon and public health officer, developed IV saline injection for cholera, Edinburgh's first Medical Officer of Health and co-founded the Royal Hospital for Sick Children [8]
B. K. Misra PDC 1984-'87 Indian neurosurgeon, first neurosurgeon in the world to perform image-guided surgery for aneurysms, first in South Asia to perform stereotactic radiosurgery, first in India to perform awake craniotomy and laparoscopic spine surgery.
Alexander Monro MD 1755, Prof. Anatomy and Surgery 1754–98 Scottish physician and anatomist, described the lymphatic system, elucidated the musculo-skeletal system, described the foramen of Monro, described the Monro-Kellie doctrine on intracranial pressure
James Rutherford Morison MB 1874, CM 1874 Scottish surgeon, discovered Morison's pouch
Susan Ofori-Atta MBChB 1947 First Ghanaian woman to train as a physician
Sir William Brooke O'Shaughnessy MD 1829 Irish physician, introduced cannabis (medical marijuana) into Western medicine, inventor of IV therapy, pioneered work on telegraphy and installed 3500 miles of telegraph lines in India
Philip Syng Physick MD 1792 American surgeon, "father of American surgery", pioneered the use of the stomach pump, designed needle forceps
Isabella Pringle MBChB 1909 Scottish physician and pioneer of child health [9]
James Hogarth Pringle MB 1885, CM 1885 Scottish surgeon, developed the Pringle manoeuvre, a technique of occluding the portal triad to control hemorrhage, first surgeon in Britain to carry out a saphenous vein graft, pioneered the hindquarter amputation
John Reid MD 1830 Scottish physician, described the function of the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves
Agnes Yewande Savage MD 1929 Scottish-Nigerian physician, first woman of West African heritage to qualify in orthodox medicine [10]
Randy Schekman Exchange student 1970 American cell biologist, discovered cell membrane trafficking, discovered machinery regulating vesicle traffic, awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Edward Henry Sieveking MD 1841 English physician, pioneer in epilepsy treatments, invented the aesthesiometer, used to measure two-point discrimination, Physician to King Edward VII
Sir James Young Simpson MD 1832 Discovered chloroform anaesthesia in 1847, revolutionising obstetric and surgical practice
James Spence 1832, Prof. Systemic Surgery 1864–82 Scottish surgeon, President of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, the tail of Spence is named after him
Graham Steell MB 1872, CM 1872, MD 1877 Described the Graham Steell murmur
Sir Thomas Grainger Stewart MD 1858, Prof. Medicine 1876–1900 Scottish physician, described multiple neuritis
Harold Stiles MB 1885, CM 1885, FRCS (Edin) 1889 British surgeon, known for research in tuberculosis and breast cancer, performed first pyloromyotomy
William Stokes MD 1825 Irish physician, discovered Cheyne-Stokes respiration and Stokes-Adams syndrome
John Struthers MD 1845 Scottish anatomist, discovered and described the vestigial organ Ligament of Struthers which was used by Charles Darwin to argue the case for evolution
Mary Broadfoot Walker MD 1935 Scottish physician, demonstrated the effectiveness of physostigmine in the treatment of myasthenia gravis
John Collins Warren MD 1801 American surgeon, performed the first surgery under ether anesthesia in 1846, first dean of Harvard Medical School, co-founder of Massachusetts General Hospital
John Clarence Webster MB 1888, CM 1888 Canadian OB/GYN, known for the Baldy-Webster operation to retrovert the uterus by shortening the round ligaments
William Charles Wells MD 1780 Scottish-American physician, known for the first description of acute rheumatic fever
Patrick Heron Watson MD 1853 Scottish surgeon, pioneer of anaesthetic development, advocate of women training in medicine
Robert Willan MD 1780 English physician, founder of the speciality dermatology, described several dermatological diseases including impetigo, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, erythema infectiosum and ichthyosis
Samuel Wilson MB 1902, ChB 1902, BSc 1903, MD 1912 British neurologist, described Wilson's disease
Gordon Wishart MB 1983, ChB 1983, MD 1992 British breast surgeon, identified P-glycoprotein in breast cancer, introduced early patient discharge following breast surgery, pioneered minimally invasive parathyroid surgery, pioneered pre-operative axillary lymph node breast cancer staging
William Withering MD 1766 English botanist and physician, discovered digoxin
Alexander Wood MD 1839 Scottish physician, invented the first hypodermic syringe
William Cleaver Woods MB 1882, ChM 1882, MD 1882 British Australian, physician, politician and pioneer in Australian medical science specializing in X-rays for diagnostic applications and perhaps the first in the world to utilize X-rays for the treatment of cancer

Dr. Kadambini Ganguly: First woman student of Calcutta medical college , first practicing woman doctor of India and first western medical trained woman doctor of South Asia and whole of the British colonial countries

Guy Alfred Wyon MD with distinction 1915 One of the 1916–1917 team which resolved the issue of potentially-fatal TNT poisoning in British World War I shell factories, preventing further deaths of female employees
Nanshan Zhong MD 1981 Chinese pulmonologist, discovered the SARS virus in 2003, President of the Chinese Medical Association

Founders of medical schools and universities

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
Francis Badgley MD 1829 Co-founder and professor of the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine
Samuel Bard MD 1765 Founder and President of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, described diphtheria, presidential physician to George Washington
George Birkbeck MD 1799 English physician and founder of Birkbeck, University of London
John Carson (physician) 1776 Original Trustee, University of Pennsylvania and original incorporator and Fellow of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Dugald Christie MB 1882, CM 1882 Founder of Mukden Medical College in China, now known as the China Medical University
Godfrey Howitt MD 1830 Co-founder of the University of Melbourne Medical School
Andrew Fernando Holmes MD 1819 Co-founder and dean of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine
Francis Richard Fraser MB 1910, ChB 1910, MD 1922 Founder and first director of the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, now part of the Imperial College School of Medicine, vice-chancellor of the University of London
Sophia Jex-Blake 1873 Founder of the London School of Medicine for Women (now UCL Medical School) and the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women
John Morgan MD 1763 Founder of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, founder of the American Philosophical Society, served as Chief Physician and Director General of the Continental Army
Charles Nicholson MD 1833 co-founder and chancellor of the University of Sydney, co-founder of the University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine
Benjamin Rush MD 1768 Founding Father of the United States, Surgeon General of the Continental Army, founder of Dickinson College
Nathan Smith 1797 New England physician, founder of the Yale School of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, University of Vermont College of Medicine and the medical school at Bowdoin College
John Stephenson MD 1820 Co-founder of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine
Thomas Peter Anderson Stuart MB 1880, CM 1880, MD 1882 Co-founder of the University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine
Colin S. Valentine LLD 1876 Medical missionary, founded coeducational Agra Medical Training Institution ,[11][12]
Benjamin Waterhouse 1778 Co-founder of Harvard Medical School

Leaders in medicine

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
John Abercrombie MD 1803 Wrote Pathological and Practical Researches on Diseases of the Brain and Spinal Cord, the first textbook on neuropathology, known for Abercrombie's degeneration, the deposition of amyloid between cells
William Alison MD 1811, Prof. Medicine and Physic 1822–56 Scottish physician, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, advocate of preventative social medicine
Andrew Balfour MB 1894, CM 1894, MD 1898, BSc 1900 Scottish physician, Medical Officer of Health in Khartoum, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Thomas Graham Balfour MD 1834 Scottish physician, President of the Royal Statistical Society, Staff Surgeon at the Royal Military Asylum
Joseph Bell MD 1859 Scottish surgeon, lecturer at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and personal surgeon to Queen Victoria, served as the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes
Seneka Bibile PhD 1952 Founder of the Sri Lanka National Pharmaceuticals Policy
Alexander Biggam MB 1911, ChB 1911, MD 1942 Scottish physician, Major General in the British Army, Honorary physician to King George VI
Sir Gilbert Blane 1773 Physician to the King (George IV and William IV) and the Prince of Wales, instituted health reform in the Royal Navy
James Couper Brash BSc 1908, MB 1910, ChB 1910, Chair of Anatomy 1931–54 British anatomist, President of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland from 1945–1947
Walter Channing 1811 American obstetrician, co-founder of Boston Lying-In Hospital, now Brigham and Women's Hospital, Professor of Obstetrics and Medical Jurisprudence at Harvard Medical School 1815–54
Robert Christison MD 1819, Prof. Medical Jurisprudence 1822–32, Prof. Materia Medica and Therapeutics 1832–77 Scottish physician, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, President of the British Medical Association, Physician in Ordinary to the Queen in Scotland, expert in toxicology, key witness in the Burke and Hare trial
John Conolly MD 1821 English psychiatrist, co-founder of the British Medical Association
James Craik MD 1750 Physician General of the Continental Army, personal physician and close friend of George Washington
Graham Creasey BMSc 1970, MB 1972, ChB 1972, FRCSEd 1979, Residency in Neurosurgery 1972–1986 Scottish neurosurgeon, Professor of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine
William Cullen 1736, Prof. Physiology 1756–89 President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (1746-7), President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1773–75), first physician to the King in Scotland
Daniel John Cunningham MD 1876, Prof. Anatomy 1903–1909 Scottish physician and anatomist, author of Cunningham's Textbook of Anatomy and Cunningham's Manual of Practical Anatomy
Stanley Davidson MB 1919, ChB 1919, Chair of Medicine 1938–59 British physician, author of Davidson's Principles and Practice of Medicine, the first medical textbook to sell over a million copies
Andrew Duncan Jr. MA 1793, MD 1794, Prof. Med Jurisprudence 1807–32 Creator of the journal Edinburgh New Dispensatory, Chief Editor of the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal
Andrew Duncan Sr. 1768, Prof. Medicine 1773–1824 President of the Royal Medical Society and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, first physician to the King in Scotland, founder of the Harveian Society, founder of the first lunatic asylum in Edinburgh
Emmanuel Evans-Anfom MBChB 1947, DTM&H 1950 Ghanaian physician, university administrator and public servant; Vice Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (1967−1973)
Joseph Fayrer MD 1859 English physician, physician to King Edward VII, expert on snake venom
Wong Fun MD 1855, PhD 1857 First Chinese student to study medicine in the west, Deputy-Chief of Boji Hospital
William Tennant Gairdner MD 1845 President of the British Medical Association
Kate Granger, MBE MBChB 2005 Founded the #HelloMyNameIs campaign
John C. Boileau Grant MB 1908, ChB 1908 Anatomist, author of Grant's Atlas of Anatomy
James Gregory MD 1774 President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and author
Charles Hastings MD 1818 English physician, co-founder of the British Medical Association
Gertrude Herzfeld MD 1914 First practising women surgeon in Scotland, chair of the British Medical Association [13]
Francis Home MD 1750, Prof. Materia Medica 1768–98 President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, co-founder of the Royal Medical Society, made the first attempt to vaccinate against measles
Sir Robert Hutchison, 1st Baronet MB 1893, CM 1893, MD 1896 Scottish physician, author of Hutchison's Clinical Methods
Charles Illingworth MB 1922, ChB 1922, MD 1929, ChM 1939 President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Surgeon to the Queen in Scotland
Obadiah Johnson MB 1886, CM 1886, MD 1889 Nigerian physician, second Nigerian to qualify as a doctor, author of A History of the Yorubas from the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the British Protectorate
Adam Kuhn MD 1768 Co-founder and President of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, founding Professor of Materia Medica at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
John Coakley Lettsom 1768 Philanthropist, founder of the Medical Society of London
Barry Kay MBBS 1963 Immunologist and president of the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Lim Boon Keng MB 1892, CM 1892 Singaporean physician, co-founder of the Singapore Chinese Girls' School, recipient of the Order of the British Empire as an officer, President of Xiamen University
Robert Lim MB 1919, ChB 1919, PhD 1920, DSc 1924 Singaporean physician, Lieutenant General and Surgeon General of the Army of the Republic of China
David Maclagan MD 1805 Physician to the Forces, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Douglas Maclagan MD 1833, Prof. Forensic Medicine 1864–1885 Scottish physician, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, President of the Royal Medical Society and the President of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
John George Macleod MB 1938, ChB 1938 Scottish physician, author of Macleod's Clinical Examination
Normand MacLaurin MD 1854 Vice-President of the Executive council of the Legislative Council of New South Wales, Chancellor of the University of Sydney
Samuel Manuwa BSc 1926 Nigerian surgeon, Inspector General of Medical Services and former Chief Medical Adviser to the Federal Government of Nigeria [14]
Barbara Mawer BSc 1957, PhD 1961 Biochemist and medical researcher, regarded as a "highly influential figure in the calcium homoeostasis field" [15]
Sir James McGrigor, 1st Baronet 1788 Founder of the Royal Army Medical Corps
Claire McLintock MBChB 1989 President of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (2018–2020), President of the Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (2007–2009), President of the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand (2009-2011), Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2019 "for services to haematology and obstetrics"
B. K. Misra PDC 1984-'87 Indian neurosurgeon, Vice-President of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies, former President of the Asian Australasian Society of Neurological Surgeons, and the Neurological Society of India. Recipient of Dr. B. C. Roy Award, the highest medical honour in India
Frederick Montizambert MD 1865 Canadian physician, first Director-General of Public Health in Canada, President of the Canadian Medical Association, President of the American Public Health Association, inductee to the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Robert Muir MA 1884, MB 1888, CM 1888, MD 1890 Scottish pathologist, author of Muir's Textbook of Pathology
George Newman MD 1895 English physician, Chief Medical Officer of England
Thomas Bevill Peacock MD 1842 English cardiologist, founder of the London Chest Hospital and expert on valvular heart disease
Philip Raffaelli MB 1979, ChB 1979 Surgeon General of the British Armed Forces, Vice Admiral in the Royal Navy, Governor of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
Mabel L. Ramsay 1904, 1905 First woman president of the Plymouth Medical Society, third woman elected a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons
Hugh Robson MB 1941, ChB 1941 Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield
Sydney Selwyn BSc, MB, ChB, MD Authority on the history of medicine, designed the Florence Nightingale 10 pound note, pioneer in bone marrow transplantation
Sheila Sherlock MB 1941, ChB 1941, MD 1945 First woman in the UK to be appointed professor of medicine, published over 600 papers, founded the liver unit at London's Royal Free Hospital
William Shippen Jr. MD 1761 Surgeon General of the Continental Army, co-founder and president of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
Austin Smith PhD 1986, MRC Prof. of Stem Cell Research 2003–06 Co-recipient of the Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine, Director of the Wellcome Trust/MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute
John Smith MD 1847 Founder of the Edinburgh school of dentistry, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, President of the British Dental Association, co-founder of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children
Sydney Smith MB 1912, ChB 1912, MD 1914, Regius Chair of Forensic Medicine 1928–53, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine 1931–53, Rector of the University of Edinburgh 1954–57 Scottish forensic pathologist, published the textbook Textbook of Forensic Medicine in 1925
Thomas Stewart Traill MD 1802, Prof. Med Jurisprudence 1833–1862 Founder of the Royal Institution of Liverpool and the Liverpool Mechanics' Institution
Ekkehard von Kuenssberg MB 1939, ChB 1939 founder and President of the Royal College of General Practitioners
Alexander Burns Wallace MB 1922, ChB 1922, Reader 1946–1970 Scottish plastic surgeon, co-founder and president of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons and founding editor of the British Journal of Plastic Surgery, developed the Wallace rule of nines, a guide to estimate the proportion of body affected by burns
Joanna Wardlaw BSc 1979, MB ChB 1982, MD 1994, Professor of Applied Neuroimaging 2002–present Internationally recognised expert in neuroimaging
Robert Whytt 1734 President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, first physician to the King in Scotland, wrote book on diseases of the nervous system
David Wilkie MB 1904, ChB 1904, MD 1909, ChM 1909, Prof. Systematic Surgery 1924–38 Scottish surgeon, regarded as the "father of British academic surgery"
Caspar Wistar MD 1786 American physician and anatomist, described the posterior part of the ethmoid bone, President of the American Philosophical Society and Society for the Abolition of Slavery
Asrat Woldeyes MD 1959 Ethiopian surgeon, physician, university dean, and political party leader

Pioneers in science and humanities

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
John Anderson MD 1862 Scottish zoologist, first curator of the Indian Museum in Calcutta
Joseph Black MD 1754 Scottish physician and chemist, discoverer of carbon dioxide, latent heat and specific heat
James Braid 1814 Scottish surgeon, pioneer of hypnotism and hypnotherapy
Alexander Crum Brown MA 1858, MD 1861, Prof. Chemistry 1869–1908 Scottish physician and chemist, discovered the double bond of ethylene, introduced the name kerogen for insoluble organic matter in oil shale
Robert Brown 1793 Scottish botanist, named and described the cell nucleus and cytoplasmic streaming, discovered Brownian motion, discovered the difference between gymnosperms and angiosperms
Thomas Brown MD 1803 Scottish metaphysician
Charles Darwin 1827 English naturalist, published the theory of evolution, author of On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man
Erasmus Darwin 1755 Physician, poet, author and evolutionary biologist
Robert Edmond Grant MD 1814 Scottish physician, biologist, mentor of Charles Darwin
William Gregory MD 1828, Chair of Chemistry 1844–1858 Scottish chemist, introduced "muriate of morphia" and "Gregory's salt" a mixture of morphine and codeine
Thomas Charles Hope MD 1787, Prof. Medicine and Chemistry 1799–1843 Scottish physician, chemist, discovered the element strontium, demonstrated that water reached its maximum density at 4C in "Hope's experiment", President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
James Hutton 1747 Scottish physician and geologist, known for theories on deep time and the Gaia hypothesis
John Kirk MD 1854 Scottish physician, botanist, companion of David Livingstone, identified the Zanzibar red colobus, British Consul in Zanzibar
Neil Gordon Munro MB 1888, CM 1888, MD 1909 Scottish physician and anthropologist, one of the first people to study the Ainu people of Hokkaido
Richard Owen 1825 English biologist, coined the word "Dinosauria", opponent of the theory of evolution
William Prout MD 1811 English physician and chemist, known for Prout's hypothesis, discovered hydrochloric acid in the stomach and improved the barometer
David Boswell Reid MD 1830 Scottish physician and inventor, expert on ventilation, President of the Royal Medical Society
Daniel Rutherford MD 1772, Prof. Medicine and Botany 1786–1819 Scottish physician, chemist and botanist, first to isolate nitrogen in 1772
Charles Wyville Thomson MD 1845 Chief scientist of the Challenger expedition, discovered animal life at depths of 1200m
Edward Turner MD 1819, Lecturer in Chemistry 1823–27 Scottish chemist, first Professor of Chemistry at University College London
Thomas Young 1794–95 English polymath and optical physicists, performed Young's interference experiment and contributed in the fields of optics and solid mechanics

Non-medical accomplishments

Name Class year Notability Reference(s)
William Johnston Almon 1836 Nova Scotian physician, Canadian Senator from Nova Scotia, Canadian MP for Halifax
William Babtie LRCP (Edin) 1880, LRCS (Edin) 1880 Scottish surgeon, recipient of the Victoria Cross, Lieutenant General in the British Army
Hastings Banda MB 1941, ChB 1941 Malawian politician, 1st President of Malawi from 1966 to 1994
Gustavus Richard Brown MD 1768 United States Representative from Maryland, physician at George Washington's deathbed.
William Buchan MD 1761 Author of the book Domestic Medicine
Logan Campbell MD 1839 New Zealand physician, Mayor of Auckland, co-founder of Auckland Savings Bank, Superintendent of Auckland, known as the "Father of Auckland"
William Crawford MD 1781 United States Representative from Pennsylvania's 5th and 6th Congressional districts
John Crawfurd MD 1803 Scottish physician, Governor of Singapore
James C. Crow MD 1822 Scottish inventor of the sour mash process for creating Bourbon whiskey, creator of the Old Crow brand of Bourbon whiskey
Campbell Mellis Douglas MD 1861 Canadian army surgeon, recipient of the Victoria Cross [16]
Henry Edward Manning Douglas LRCP (Edin) 1898, LRCS (Edin) 1898 Scottish surgeon, recipient of the Victoria Cross, Major General in the British Army
Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle MB 1881, CM 1881, MD 1885 Novelist, creator of the character Sherlock Holmes
Bernard Friedman MB 1921, ChB 1921 South African surgeon, co-founder of the anti-apartheid Progressive Party
Oliver Goldsmith 1754 Anglo-Irish novelist, playwright, author of the novel The Vicar of Wakefield and the children's tale The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes
James Graham MA 1879, MB 1882, CM 1882, MD 1888 Australian physician, 38th Mayor of Sydney [17]
William Jardine MD 1802 Co-founder of Hong Kong conglomerate Jardine, Matheson and Company, Whig MP for Ashburton
Henry Halcro Johnston MB 1880, CM 1880, MD 1893, BSc 1893, DSc 1894 Scottish botanist, represented Scotland internationally in rugby union, Colonel in the British Army
James Jones MD 1796 United States Representative from Virginia
Kerry Lang MB 1998, ChB 1998 British triathlete, British Triathlon Vice Champion of the Year 2009
Henry Latimer MD 1775 United States Senator from Delaware
Lim Chong Eu MB 1944, ChB 1944 Malaysian politician, served as Chief Minister of Penang for a record 21 years, co-founder and president of Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia
George Logan MD 1779 United States Senator from Pennsylvania
Robert McIntyre MB 1938, ChB 1938 Scottish politician, leader of the Scottish National Party from 1947 to 1956, first SNP MP for Motherwell
Valentine Munbee McMaster MD 1853 British army surgeon, recipient of the Victoria Cross [18]
Samuel L. Mitchill MD 1786 United States Senator from New York
David Monro MD 1835 Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives, MP representing Waimea
George Ernest Morrison MD 1895 Australian adventurer, The Times correspondent in Peking during the Boxer Rebellion
John Moultrie MD 1749 American politician, acting governor of East Florida
Mungo Park 1791 Scottish explorer, first westerner to have travelled to the Niger River
John Rae MD 1833 Scottish explorer, discovered the fate of the Franklin Expedition, discovered Rae Straight, showed that King William Land was an island
Peter Mark Roget MD 1798 British physician and author, published Roget's Thesaurus
Samuel Seabury 1753 First American Episcopal bishop, first bishop of Connecticut
Bhagvat Singh MB 1895, CM 1895 Indian prince, Maharaja of the princely state of Gondal
Samuel Smiles MD 1832 Scottish author and biographer, wrote the book Self-Help
William Henry Thomas Sylvester LRCS (Edin) 1853 British army surgeon, recipient of the Victoria Cross [19]
Robert Stirton Thornton MB 1884, CM 1884 Minister of Education for Manitoba, President of the Medical Council of Canada
Alec Boswell Timms LRCP (Edin) 1903, LRCS (Edin) 1903 Scottish-Australian rugby union forward, played for Scotland and participated in the 1899 British Lions tour to Australia
Thomas Tudor Tucker MD 1770 United States Representative from South Carolina, longest serving Treasurer of the United States, presidential physician to James Madison
John Batty Tuke MB 1881, CM 1881, MD 1890 Scottish psychiatrist, Conservative MP for the University of Edinburgh and St Andrews
Sir Charles Tupper MD 1843 6th Prime Minister of Canada and father of confederation

Faculty (who were not also graduates of the medical school)

Name Department Notability Reference
George Barger Prof. Chemistry in Relation to Medicine 1919–37 British chemist, identified tyramine, contributed to the synthesis of thyroxine and Vitamin B1
Clare Blackburn Chair of Tissue Stem Cell Biology 2011-present British embryologist, first to grow a whole organ, a thymus, inside an animal
John Crofton Prof. Respiratory Disease and Tuberculosis 1952–77, Dean of Medicine 1964–66, Vice Principal of the University 1969–70 British physician, pioneered the treatment of tuberculosis, known as the Edinburgh method [20]
William Cullen Prof. of Chemistry and Medicine 1755–66, Prof. of Institutes of Medicine 1766–73, Prof. of Medicine 1773–90 Scottish physician, first demonstrated artificial refrigeration
Vincent du Vigneaud National Research Council Fellow 1928–29 American biochemist, discovered oxytocin, awarded the 1955 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Charles ffrench-Constant Professor of Medical Neurology 2007-present British neurologist, first to identify adult glial precursor cells [21]
John Gaddum Chair of Materia Medica 1942–58 British pharmacologist, discovered Substance P, a neuropeptide
Varsha Jain Research "Space gynaecologist" [22]
Robert Evan Kendell Chair of Psychiatry 1973–90, Dean of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine 1990–94 Welsh psychiatrist, Chief Medical Officer of Scotland 1991–96 [23]
James Learmonth Chair of Surgery 1939–56 Scottish surgeon, performed lumbar sympathectomy on King George VI to treat his vascular disease
Joseph Lister Prof. Clinical Surgery 1869–77, FRCS (Edin) 1855 Scottish surgeon, introduced carbolic acid to sterilize surgical instruments
Barrie Marmion Robert Irvine Chair of Bacteriology 1968–79 English microbiologist, developed the first vaccine against Q fever [24]
Edvard Moser Post-doctoral researcher 1995–97, Honorary Professor Norwegian neuroscientist, discovered entorhinal grid cells, awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine [25]
May-Britt Moser Post-doctoral researcher 1995–97 Norwegian neuroscientist, discovered entorhinal grid cells, awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine [25]
John Savill Prof. Medicine 1998-present, Dean of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine 2002-present Scottish physician, CEO of the Medical Research Council 2010-present
Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer Chair of Physiology 1883–1933 English physiologist, regarded as the founder of endocrinology, discovered adrenaline, coined the terms endocrine and insulin
Robert Sibbald Prof. of Medicine 1685–1722 Scottish physician, first described the blue whale, founder of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Edwin Southern Post-doctoral researcher MRC Mammalian Genome Unit 1967–85 Developed the Southern blot, founder of Oxford Gene Technology, received the 2005 Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research [26]
James Syme Prof. Clinical Surgery 1833–48, FRCS (Edin) 1823 Scottish surgeon, invented the Mackintosh raincoat, conducted the first exarticulation of the hip, known for Syme's amputation
Michael Woodruff Chair of Surgical Science 1957–76 British transplant surgeon, performed the first ever kidney transplant in the UK at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1960
Andrew H. Wyllie Prof. Experimental Pathology 1992–98, FRS 1995 Scottish pathologist, discovered the importance of programmed cell death, coined the term "apoptosis"

See also


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  11. ^ University of Edinburgh (1889). Alphabetical list of graduates of the University of Edinburgh from 1859 to 1888: (both years included) with historical appendix (including present and past office bearers) and separate lists of honorary graduates and graduates with honours ... Edinburgh: J. Thin.
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  15. ^ Jacqueline Berry. "Mawer, (Elizabeth) Barbara (1936–2006)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/97190. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  16. ^ Kaufman, MH (2011). "Three Licentiates of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh who were decorated with the Victoria Cross". J Med Biogr. 19 (3): 111–6. doi:10.1258/jmb.2011.011030. PMID 21810849. S2CID 42655107.
  17. ^ Caldwell, Margaret. "Sir James Graham (1856–1913)". Graham, Sir James (1856–1913). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  18. ^ (PDF). London Gazette Retrieved 15 November 2013. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ "A CRIMEAN V.C" (PDF). British Medical Journal. 1 (3091): 456. 1920. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.3091.456. PMC 2337460. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Obituaries: Sir John Weynman Crofton". Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 9 September 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Professor Charles ffrench-Constant | The Academy of Medical Sciences". Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  22. ^ "Varsha Jain - CASE". Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  23. ^ "Nobel prize winners". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 10 August 2013.
  24. ^ "Barrie Patrick Marmion". Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  25. ^ a b "Nobels for research pioneers". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  26. ^ "Edwin Southern, DNA blotting, and microarray technology: A case study of the shifting role of patents in academic molecular biology" (PDF). LSSP Journal. Retrieved 24 May 2014.