The history of establishment of Faculty of Medicine UGM is closely related to the history of Indonesia’s struggle in achieving independence. As the oldest faculty in Indonesia, its establishment had a very long process. In the Dutch colonial era, there were just two medical schools, namely Geneeskundige Hoge School (GHS) in Jakarta and Netherlands Indische Arsten School (NIAS) in Surabaya. However, there were lot of changes during the Japanese colonial era (1943-1945). GHS changed its name to Djakarta Ika Daigaku, while NIAS was terminated and their students moved to the former school.
Shortly after the Proclamation of Independence, Djakarta Ika Daigaku was taken over by Indonesian government and changed its name to Perguruan Tinggi Kedokteran Jakarta under the ministry of health. Due to safety issues, the minister decided to move Perguruan Tinggi Kedokteran Jakarta to an inland Central Java, Yogyakarta, which was an important city of Indonesia back then. Unfortunately, Yogyakarta did not have adequate facilities for the establishment of a medical faculty. Therefore, the establishment was moved to Klaten, a small city between Yogyakarta and Surakarta. The preclinical phase was centered in Klaten, while the clinical phase was in Surakarta. That was the initial phase of Faculty of Medicine’s establishment, on 5th March 1946.
The first dean was Prof. Dr. Sardjito, assisted by dr. Soetarman, Drs. Radiopoetro and dr. Soemoesmo. Drs. Sardjono, Prof. Ir. H. Johanes, Prof. Abdulrahman Saleh dan dr. Moh. Sale acted as lecturers. Students registered on the first year were Soeprono, Soewasono, Parmono Ahmad, Nasir Alwi (a former rector of Universitas Gadjah Mada), Soedibjo Prodjopoerwoko, Roekmini, Ismangoen, Soepardjo, and Poestika. Lectures and laboratory sessions were held in Tegalyoso Hospital Klaten (now called dr. Soeradji Tirtonegoro hospital).
An idea emerged among the ministries to incorporate colleges and high school into a university under the Ministry of Education, Teaching, and Culture. The idea was accomplished with the opening of Universitas Negeri Gadjah Mada (UNGM) on 19th December 1949 (now celebrated as Universitas Gadjah Mada’s anniversary date)
Meanwhile, the medical, dentistry, and pharmacy college were still managed by the Ministry of Health. Based on Indonesian Government Regulation no. 37 on the establishment of UNGM signed by Mr. Assat as the temporary President of Indonesia and Ki Mangoen Sarkoro as the Minister of Education, Teaching, and Culture, the three aforementioned college were handed from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Education, Teaching, and Culture. The term Perguruan Tinggi (college) was changed to Fakultit.
With help from the vice president of Indonesia Drs. Moh. Hatta, the Minister of Teaching and Culture Ki Mangoen Sarkoro, the Minister of Health Dr. Soerono and Prof. Soetopo, the Minister of Finance Lukman Hakim, the Minister of Transportation and Public Works Ir. Laoh and Ir. Sitompul, the Minister of Welfare and Agriculture I.J. Kamiso and Sadjarwo, SH, as well as Mr. Hadi, Ir. Putuherna, and Ir. Goenoneng as general secretaries, the medical college of Yogyakarta finally established on 1st November 1949 as the first most complete Indonesian medical college. The opening ceremony was attended by the President of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno.
Ultimately in 1982, the Faculty of Medicine buildings which scattered throughout Yogyakarta successfully transferred to the UGM campus in Sekip. To support the medical education, the Ministry of Health built a hospital as an educational facility in UGM campus, which is Dr. Sardjito Hospital.