The Royal Free, University College and Middlesex Medical Students’ Association has a proud and illustrious past. Formed in the wake of the merger between the three constituent medical schools in 1998, it has since gone from strength to strength and now provides social events, sports teams, societies, welfare services and representation to the 1200 or so medical students at UCL Medical School.
UCL Medical School itself was formed over a number of years from the merger of three different institutions the Middlesex Hospital, University College Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital.
The Middlesex Hospital was opened in Fitzrovia in 1745 by Charles Bell and had its first cohort of medical students join in 1746. University College Hospital was opened in 1834 as the North London Hospital, with the purpose of providing the then newly opened University College London with a hospital to train medical students – the governors of the Middlesex Hospital had refused to share its facilities with UCL.
Our third constituent school was first known as The London School of Medicine for Women. It was established in 1874 by Sophia Jex-Blake as the first medical school in Britain to train women. In 1877 The Royal Free Hospital agreed to allow students from LSMW to complete their clinical studies there and by 1896 was renamed The London Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine for Women and became part of the University of London.
Throughout the next one hundred years the London medical schools enjoyed a fierce rivalry. Somewhat understandably therefore, it was not until 1987 that the Middlesex Hospital and University College Hospital merged their medical schools to form University College & Middlesex School of Medicine (UCMSM).
The final chapter of RUMS’ history comes in 1998 when The Royal Free & University College Medical School (now rebranded to UCL Medical School) was formed from the merger of the Royal Free and University College medical schools. However, in appreciation of the historic beginnings of UCLMS, we have retained the name “RUMS” and are fiercely proud of it to this day.
Our crest today represents our three constituent schools. The ship represents UCH, the lion represents the Royal Free and the cutlasses represent the Middlesex, whilst the Rod of Asclepius is the international symbol of medicine.