Our History

The 2000’s

2007  
Introduction of the new 1 year Foundation Health programme, based at Tamavua campus, and Bachelor of MLT
2006
Restructuring as a result of the Council review implemented. New director positions created and corporate management revamped. Former schools renamed departments.
Pasifika Campus opened by the Vice President, His Excellency Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi
2005
FSMed Council appoints sub committee to review the entire FSMed structure and its services
Construction of new EU funded Pasifika Campus completed.
Professor David Brewster appointed new Dean
2004
Dr Baravilala leaves FSMed; Dr Eddie McCaig acts as Dean
2003 
Construction begins on the new campus site at Extension Street
2001 Signed in 2001 a Memorandum of Understanding with the EU through the Forum Secretariat’s Regional Funding for the development of the new  campus, value at 7.5m Euros
 
The 1900’s

1999 Dr. Wame Baravilala appointed Dean of the Fiji School of Medicine. Council of the University of the South Pacific endorses the conferring of degrees of Master of Medicine, Master of Public Health Practice, and the Bachelor of Environmental Health. Council of the Fiji School of Medicine approves 5-year capital development plan and staff professional training and development plan.
Fiji PM signed an agreement with the EU for some infrastructural developments and the New Campus Development was part of the agreement.
First class of new FSMed postgraduate public health programme graduates.
1998 Fiji School of Medicine goes autonomous. FSM -USP Memorandum of Understanding is reviewed and signed. By Dean Samisoni and Vice Chancellor Esekia Solofa.  
1997  AusAID-funded clinical postgraduate programmes commence at the Fiji School of Medicine under the management of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. 10th MBBS class graduates. Fiji School of Medicine goes on the Internet and receives the Tabua Award for best website.
Dr Apenisa Ratu joins FSM as Secretary. Later renamed Registrar.  
1996  Governments of Australia and Fiji agree to project establishing postgraduate clinical programmes at Fiji School of Medicine. Discussions started with the EU on the project and infrastructure and autonomy were important recommendations of the FSMDP.
1995 This FSMed DP was endorsed at a meeting of Regional Ministers of Health in 1995 and subsequently by the Fiji Cabinet.
1994 First lot PCPs return to their own communities for the fourth year of PHC internship
A team funded by AusAID expanded on the 1989 WHO plan of Action and put together the FSMDP (FSMed Development Plan). 
1993 New Minister for Health appointed followed by appointment of new Permanent Secretary for Health as well. Question of administrative autonomy for FSM appears to be put on hold. New Extension to CWMH opened by Prime Minister Rabuka.
1992 Mr T Vakatawase (FSMed Secretary) passes away and is replaced by Mr E Qovu. First year intake for PCP/MBBS programme increased from 30 to 40 with 50% of place allocated to students from regional countries outside Fiji .
1991 After a series of workshops during 1989-1990, the new curriculum was introduced and the first batch of 32 PCP students enrolled in February.
Dr Jimione I Samisoni appointed Head of School.
1990 Mr E Kelei replaced Mr B S Kumar as Secretary/ Administrator in January. Mr T S Vakatawase replaced Mr Kelei in June. Dr J I Samisoni appointed Supernumery Head of School.  
1989  Professor I.C Lewis joined the School as Head of School
WHO Plan of Action for FSM
1988 Dr B Cameron, Senior Clinical Tutor/Consultant (Surgery) acted at Head of School. The commencement of MBBS programme was delayed because of shortage of teachers.
2nd lot of 14 MBBS graduates passed out.
1987 First batch of 20 MBBS graduates graduated from the School.
1986  Mr B S Kumar replaced Mr J L Bhai as Secretary/Administrator of the School in June.
1985 Cabinet of Government of Fiji requested USP "to look into the feasibility and conditions under which it would be prepared to take over the Fiji School of Medicine as a separate and distinct School of Medicine within the University".
Last group of Diploma in Dental Surgery [DDS] candidates graduated. The Fiji School of Medicine produced a total of 146 dental graduates in the preceding 35 years.
1984 FSM Advisory Board replaced by Minister of Health and Social Welfare (Hon Dr A Kuruisaqila) with a new autonomous FSM Council comprising an Independent Chairman (Dr S B Tabua)
Professor H Lander appointed Head of School on secondment from the University of Adelaide, South Australia.
Mr M I Khan, a Senior Civil Servant, was appointed Secretary/Administrator of the School after a period of training at USP.
Centre of administration moved to Hoodless House.
The Fiji School of Medicine produced a total of 789 medical graduates in the Century of its existence.
1983 The Hardy/Frank Report ( University of Adelaide ) for re-organisation of the School was presented in July, accepted by Cabinet.
1982 First group of 36 MBBS students enrolled after Foundation Year at USP. Three year Dental Course implemented.
Physiology Laboratory renovated and re-equiped (Lady Barker Trust). Anatomy museum created, library space doubled and clinical teaching area prepared in CWM Hospital .
Dr J Jhinku Audio-visual Centre opened in association with the Library at Hoodless House.  
1981  An `External' MBBS Degree was to be awarded by USP.
First FSM graduate granted Membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists [MANZCP].
1980 First FSM graduate granted Membership of College of Radiologists of Australia [MCRA].
1979  USP received the Report of WHO Consultants (Second Cole Report) concerning the future relationship of FSM to USP, and a subcommittee of the Senate was established to study its implications for the University. USP agreed to award a Degree in Medicine.
First FSM graduate granted Fellowship of College of Pathologists of Australia [FCPA].
1978  Hoodless House pathology laboratory extension built by Government of Fiji and equipped by WHO.
Clinical Library opened.
1977 Amphitheatre extensions to Hoodless House built with funds from New Zealand Lepers Trust Board and the Government of New Zealand.
First medical assistants graduated.
1975 Extensions to Hoodless House completed with funds from Pan Pacific Surgical Association.
Medical Assistants course (of 3 years duration) commenced.
1974 Dr Bhupendra Pathik appointed Head of School.
1973  195 medical students graduated during the 18 years (1956-1973) of the 5-year course.
1972 Entry standard for Medicine I and Dental I students raised to a pass in Preliminary Science I at USP, or in the New Zealand University Entrance (NZUE) examination 
1970 USP Council authorized the first of innumerable studies to assess the regional needs for Diploma (FSM) and/or Degree (USP) holding doctors and dentists and to report on the ways and financial implications of FSM being taken over by USP.
The Royal Australasian Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons agreed to permit elected FSM medical graduates to sit their Membership and Fellowship examinations.
Auckland , Otago and Sydney Universities had admitted such graduates to certain of their postgraduate diplomas some years earlier.
1968 University of the South Pacific (USP) opened in Suva . They took over training of medical and dental students in their basic year. Thus duration of medical course now 4 years; dental course `extended' to 3 1/2 years.
1967 Hoodless House, providing teaching and residential accommodations for clinical students, built by Fiji Government in grounds of CWM Hospital .
1966 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics opened (Funds from Freedom from Hunger Campaign).  
1964 AMO changed to Medical Officer (in Fiji ).
1962 Health Inspector training commenced for Membership of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health ( London ).
1961 School renamed Fiji School of Medicine [FSMed].
Department of Hygiene built (Nuffield Foundation funds).
Assistant Health Inspector training commenced.
1960 Certificate of Public Health - a postgraduate course of 6 months duration - aimed to retrain earlier graduates.
1959 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine opened (Grant from Nuffield Foundation).
1957  Dental course shortened to 3 years by exclusion of prosthetics which became an optional postgraduate course.
1956 AMP renamed Assistant Medical Officer [AMO] Graduation class after 5-year course contained four women, all Fijians. 264 medical students graduated during the 22 years (1934-1955) of the 4-year course.
1955 Formal `Pre-entry Classes' commenced for regional students of low secondary educational status.
1954 Occupied in the following year providing accommodation for the teaching of basic and pre-clinical sciences, for administration and for residential facilities for up to 60 male students. Also housed the Central Medical Research Library.
1953 Main School building opened at Tamavua, 6.5 kms from CWM Hospital , on December 17 1953 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Costs largely covered by a grant from the Government of the United Kingdom.
1952 5-year medical syllabus commenced.
1951 NMPs renamed Assistant Medical Practitioners [AMP].
Graduation of first medical students from Papua New Guinea and the US Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands . The latter group consisted of three men who had carried out the first three years of their training in a short-lived medical school on Guam.
First women admitted to medical course.
1950 First Niue medical student graduated.
1948  First dental students graduated.

 

1946  Assistant Laboratory Technicians Programme commenced with 2 Fijian and 2 Indian Students. It was later to be renamed Medical Laboratory Technology Program.
1945 Dental training commenced with a 4-year course.
1943 First graduate from the then New Hebrides (now Vanuatu ).
1938 First graduates from Nauru and the American Samoa.
1933 168 students graduated during the 46 years of the 3-year course.
1931 First graduates from the Cook Islands and the Kingdom of Tonga.
New 4-year syllabus commenced.
1930 First Solomon Islander graduated. Graduates now referred to as Native Medical Practitioners [NMP].
1928 The Rockefeller Foundation, stimulated by the enthusiasm of Dr S M Lambert [author of 'A Doctor in Paradise'], donated substantial funds to re-house the School at the Colonial War Memorial (CWM) Hospital and to enable it to take in and accommodate a larger number of students from outside Fiji.
Dr. D W Hoodless appointed full-time Principal.
Suva Medical School renamed Central Medical School.
First graduate from the then Gilbert Islands (now Republic of Kiribati )
1927 First Western Samoan graduated, Ieulu Koresa
1926 First Indian graduated: known as Indian Medical Practitioner [IMP].
1916  First two regional students graduated, both from Tokelau.
1912 First Rotuman graduated.
 
The 1800’s

1888 Three Fijians graduated after completing a 3-year course of training. They were licensed as Native Practitioners [NP]
1885  A small group of Fijian men commenced training at what became known as the Suva Medical School .
1879 First group of Indians arrived in Fiji having suffered an outbreak of smallpox and cholera en route. Under Dr. W. McGregor, the ship was quarantined for two months and a group of young Fijian males was trained as public vaccinators. They proved extremely resourceful and the great need for medical practitioners in rural areas became apparent.

 

1877  Resulting manpower shortage relieved by 'blackbirding' and the subsequent introduction of an indentured labour system.
1875 Measles introduced into Fiji by Cakobau and his retinue following a visit to Sydney, resulted in the death of 40,000 Fijians, approximately one-third of the population. This was soon followed by epidemics of influenza and dysentery.