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Osmania Medical College Alumni Association

Medical Students An incident connected with the opening of the first ever medical school at Chudderghat in September 1846, is worth remembering. It is said that his Highness Nawab Nazir-ud-Dowalah, the Nizam of Hyderabad, fell ill in 1843 and he did not recover for quite sometime under the treatment of the Unani hakims. The then British Resident in Hyderabad. Mr.Fraser, recommended treatment of the ailing Nizam by the Residency Surgeon Dr. William Campbell Maclean. The Nizam recovered. The Western system of medicine went high in Royal esteem and he ordered the establishment of a school for teaching it in Hyderabad with Dr. Maclen as its Superintendent A note from the Resident to Siraj-ul-Mulk Bahadur, dated 18th July, 1846, stated.

A note from the resident of Siraj-ul-mulik bahadur, dated 18th July, 1846, stated.

I have recently abolished Bolarum Medical School in consequence of sufficient number of medical pupils having been educated there to supply the wants of the contingents for some years to come. There being a set of chemical apparatus, books, anatomical figures etc., belonging to the school, I would strongly recommend to His Highness the establishment of the Civil School of Medical, to be placed under the charge of Dr. Maclean, the Residency Surgeon, who has sufficient leisure for the purpose of Superintending it and whose ability as a medical officer, conciliatory demeanor and attachment to the natives of India, render him eminently qualified for the duties of this situation. I would propose to educate 30 pupils at this school (the number to the increased if circumstances shall render this expedient), not of the lower and illiterate classes but intelligent young men of good character whether Christian, Mohammedan or Hindu, of respectable family and connections, who have already received a tolerable education and who possess sufficient means to subsist themselves and purchase their own books without requiring the assistance of the Circar in this respect.

The attendance of no other young men would be wished for but such as have a disposition for the study of medicine, and who would willingly exercise their knowledge when required as medial practitioners in the city of Hyderabad and in the different taluks of His Highness\'s Dominion.

They would be taught Anatomy, Chemistry, Pharmacy, the practice of Medicine and Surgery, in the latter of which branch of the art, though one of the most useful, the natives of India are at present grossly deficient.

A Further note from the Resident to Siraj-ul-Mulk Bhadur, dated 17th August, 1846, stated:

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your note of this date and to acquaint you that it has afforded me much pleasure to learn that his Highness and Nizam assented to the establishment of an institution which promises to be so highly advantage to this country. Besides those branches of the Science of Medicine referred to in my note of the 18th ultimo, I am happy to be able to add that Dr. Maclean, is fully competent to give instructions in Midwifery to any number of women. Mohammedan, Hindu or Indo-Britons who may be willing to receive it. An acquaintance with his branch of medicine is of the highest importance and there is unhappily no one of which the natives of India are more absolutely ignorant, nor one in which ignorance leads more frequently to the more fatal results.

It was, however, not possible to. introduce teaching in English medium in Nizam\'s territory English language was not at all favoured by the Mohammedan population of Hyderabad. The prejudice against it was such that knowing. the language amounted to. demeaning oneself in social esteem. Even those who knew English were hesitant of acknowledging their acquaintance with it and very rarely communicated in that language. Under these circumstances, the only channel through which the knowledge of Western medicine could be brought to the pupils was through the local language, Urdu.

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