The Adelaide Medical Students’ Society was officially founded at 2pm on Thursday May 21st, 1889.
As the first few cohorts of medical students advanced through the course since the Adelaide Medical School was established in 1885, the question of whether to form a Society to advance and protect the interests of medical students at the University of Adelaide began to be brought forward. At the time, the senior medical students took the matter into consideration but it was felt that the time was ‘not yet ripe’ for the formation of such a Society.
At the beginning of 1889, with all five years of the course now represented, as was the length of the course at the time, it was decided that a meeting to reconsider the question was now warranted. The inaugural general meeting of the Society, held in the Medical Theatre, was presided over by Professor Sir Edward Charles Stirling and with much enthusiasm and unanimous agreement it was decided that a Society should be formed in connection with the University of Adelaide.
Professor Sir Stirling, one of the founders of the Medical School, had the distinction of becoming the AMSS’ first President, and the lecturers and professors of the Medical School became the Vice-President’s of the AMSS.
Founding Members of the AMSS
President: Sir E.C. Stirling
Members: Drs Goldsmith, Lynch, Robin, Verco, Morgan, Beyer, Giles, Mead, Powell, Seabrook, Cavanagh, Embling, Good, Gunson, Moule, Cudmore, Shanahan, Gibbes, Sangster, Giviro, Corben, Russell, Goode and Fowler.
Since these early and historical beginnings by the founding members, the AMSS has grown into a most prominent body in the Adelaide Medical School, representing the educational, political, recreational and health interests of all medical students. Over the years, its officer-bearers and committee members have also gone on to become national and international leaders in the world of medicine. Baron Howard Florey, Nobel Prize recipient for his role in the extraction of penicillin and one of the Adelaide Medical School’s most famous graduates, was in fact an AMSS alumnus and in his time held the position of Honorary Secretary – the equivalent of the modern day AMSS President.
One hundred and twenty-five years later, the AMSS continues to exist today as the primary body of medical student representation at the University of Adelaide, and renown as one of the most significant and professional student societies in Australia.