College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine

Polish medical links celebrated

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 unique wartime initiative enabled Polish students to complete their medical studies at the University.

Military ties


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.

Since 1966, the 25th anniversary of the school, alumni have travelled to Edinburgh for reunions every five years.

Honorary degrees

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.


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

75th anniversary medal

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.

Joint venture

The school resulted from initiatives encouraging Polish doctors to meet and work with their British counterparts.

More than 240 medical diplomas and degrees were awarded by the school.  Final examinations were held in 1949.

Never before or since has a sovereign state set up its own faculty as part of another country’s university.


Links were cemented at the 45th anniversary in 1986 when the Polish School of Medicine Memorial Fund and Polish School of Medicine Historical Collection were established.

Many of the artefacts from Historical Collection are now on display in The Polish Room at the University’s Chancellors Building. 


The Polish School of Medicine Memorial Fund provides scholarships for Polish doctors and medical scientists to undertake research in Edinburgh.

The University has also signed memorandum of understandings to collaborate more closely with medical schools at Polish universities.


Polish School of Medicine

Historical Collection