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  • Do not let independence go to waste!

    Edward Raczyński

     



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  • On 6 July an event has been held to celebrate the founding of Edinburgh’s Polish School of Medicine. University Chancellor HRH The Princess Royal attended a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of its creation.

     

    The school was founded in 1941 by Polish medical corps attached to the military hospital at Edinburgh Castle. Thousands of Polish military personnel, academics and civilian refugees had arrived in Scotland following the invasion of Poland. Although originally intended to meet the needs of students and doctors in the Polish armed forces, the School opened its doors to civilians from the outset.  Students followed a Polish curriculum, were taught mainly in Polish, and were awarded a Polish degree. By the time the school closed in 1949, over 336 students had matriculated: 227 had graduated with a medical diploma (M.B. Ch.B.) and 19 obtained a doctorate or M.D. Since 1966, the 25th anniversary of the school, alumni have travelled to Edinburgh for reunions every five years.

     

    The Polish School of Medicine Memorial Fund was set up in 1986 by graduates and friends of the Polish School.  Their aims were to acknowledge the tremendous help the University had given to Poles during WWII and to foster links between the University of Edinburgh and Polish medical universities.  Income from the Fund provides scholarships for talented Polish medical university scientists to come to Edinburgh to undertake further study or research. Dr Zbigniew Sobol was the Initiator of the Scholarship Programme. More than 75 talented, early career medical scientists have benefitted from the scholarship programme since it was established.

     

    The Polish School of Medicine Historical Collection was established in 1986, on the 45th anniversary of the founding of the Polish School, by the late Dr Wiktor Tomaszewski who had been a senior member of staff at the Polish School and a much revered Edinburgh GP.  It is now under the care of the University Collections Division.  Dr Maria Dlugolecka-Graham has been its Honorary Curator since 2004 and together with her husband Mr Cecil Graham has continued to develop and support it. The Collection contains many medals of medical interest, sculptures, paintings, photographs and books about the School, and other artefacts.  Many of the items were gifted by Polish medical universities, former students, staff and graduates of the Polish School and by Dr Tomaszewski himself.

     

    The Chancellor presented honorary degrees to three people who have been key supporters of the School. The School’s coordinator, Dr Maria Dlugolecka-Graham, was presented with an award. Also honoured were the outgoing President of Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Professor Jacek Wysocki;, and the Vice-Rektor of Krakow’s Jagiellonian University, Professor Piotr Laidler.

     

    A commemorative medal was designed by Edinburgh College of Art jewellery and silversmithing student Daisy Tsang. The medal was presented to a number of Polish medical universities and research institutes with which Edinburgh enjoys academic partnerships.

     

    Watch a short report on the 75th anniversary of the Polish School of Medicine.

    https://youtu.be/WG0QNtR413c

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