Government Medical College, Amritsar come into being as a Medical School in Lahore in 1864 . The School continued to work in the capital city of undivided Punjab till its subsequent relocation to the holy city of Amritsar in 1920. The L.S.M.F (Licentiate of State Medical Faculty) was granted at the end of a four year course to entrants who were initially admitted after passing their matriculation.
The School was upgraded to the status of Medical College in 1943, the foundation stone was laid by Lt. Col. Nawab Khijar Tiwana, premier of Punjab on February 1, 1944. The Medical College was named after His Excellency Sir Bertrand James Glancy the then Governor of the state. The new Medical College started awarding the M.B.; B.S. degree which empowered the holders to practice medicine and surgery.
The Victoria Jubilee (V.J.) Hospital, named in commemoration of the Jubilee celebrations of H.E. Queen Victoria’s rule, began functioning as a general hospital in 1891, it was later attached to the Medical College and has now been renamed as Sri Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. The remarkable building houses a number of important departments.
At the time of partition of country, the Medical College, Amritsar was only three years old. Dr A.N. Goyal (1947-51) was the first principal of the college after independence. The College and its attached group of hospitals were assigned the onerous responsibility of providing succor and medical aid to the refugees who arrived in the country in a state of dejection. The medical teams under the proficient leadership of Lt. Col. B.S. Nat, Medical Superintendent of Victoria Jubilee Hospital provided unparallel care to the sick and wounded. The quality of services rendered by the College despite the paucity of resources earned it laurels both in India and abroad and bolstered its premiership.
Lt. Col. B.S. Nat was later promoted as Director Health Services and Education Punjab. The V.J. Hospital owes much of its expansion to Col. Nat. The college continues to celebrate the annual Col. Nat-All India Inter Medical College Hockey Tournament in his memory.
The Medical College started awarding Post graduate degree and diplomas after India achieved independence. Philanthropic organization too came forwarded to help in the expansion of the college. A separate pediatric hospital was set up with the help of Ram Saran Dass Parkash Wati Kakkar Trust in 1950. A TB Sanatorium, the Ram Lal Free Eye and Ear Nose and Throat Hospital and separate Orthopedics ward were built with the help of other charitable Trusts.
The renowned Mental Hospital, named after Dr. Vidya Sagar was also attached to Medical College to help provide training to medical students in the subject of psychiatry. The first two blocks of the college hostel called A and B Blocks were built in 1929. These aesthetically designed hostel buildings built on the pattern of Cambridge University have withstood the ravages of time and invitingly face the college play grounds. Later, other hostel blocks were added to meet the requirements of the students.
In order to meet the growing needs of the College, the Guru Nanak Dev Hospital was built in 1974, adjacent to the college complex. This three-storey hospital houses a spacious out-door section, emergency wards, and various speciality and super-specialty departments. Emergency medical services are also run from the premises of this hospital. A round the clock clinical laboratory, radiological and allied diagnostic facilities are also available. A total of 951 beds are available for teaching and training of under graduate, post graduate and paramedical students.