The doctors of Bengal formed an Association named Bengal Medical Association in 1885 under the Presidency of Rai Bahadur Dr. Lal Madhav Mukherjee. Under the initiative of the leaders of Bengal Medical Association, ‘The Calcutta Medical School & College of Physician & Surgeons of Bengal ’ was established in Calcutta in 1886 which was converted to Carmichael Medical College in 1919 and after Independence to R. G. Kar Medical College and Hospital in 1948. Almost 10 years of functioning of Bengal Medical Association the patriotic doctors felt the need of an all India body of medical persons. They first formed “Indian Medical Association” under the President ship of Rai Bahadur Dr. Lal Madhav Mukherjee, with Secretary being Dr. J. R.Wallace. Their Headquarter Office was at Calcutta. Their official organ was “Indian Medical Records” published from Calcutta by Dr. J. R.Wallace as Editor. After the implementation of Indian Medical Degree Act in 1916 all over India, the then Doctor leaders of India especially those from Bengal Medical Association felt for one All India platform for Doctors. The first systematic attempt to hold an All India Medical Conference was manifested at the initiative of Bengal Medical Association in 1917.
The 1st All India Medical Conference was held at Calcutta in 1917 under the President ship of Lt. Col. Raghavendra Rai, President, Bengal Medical Association at ‘The Calcutta Medical School & College of Physician & Surgeons of Bengal ‘ with Sir. Dr. Nil Ratan Sarkar as the Chairman of the Reception Committee. The 2nd All India Medical Conference was held at Delhi in 1918 with Sir Nil Ratan Sircar as the President and Dr. J. K. Sen as Chairman, Reception Committee. The 3rd All India Medical Conference was held at Amritsar in 1919 with Dr. M. N. Odhedar as its President. The 4th All India Medical Conference was held at Nagpur in 1920 under the Presidentship of Rai Bahadur Dr. Maharaj Krishnan Kapur of Lahore and Dr. G. R. Tambe being the Chairman, Reception Committee.
This was followed by a long hibernation period of 8years. During this period, General Medical Council of United Kingdom withdrew recognition of Medical degrees of some Indian Universities. The Government of India proposed to form a Medical Council of India with an official majority. This created a feeling of utter dissatisfaction in the profession.
A meeting of all Medical Practitioners was called at Calcutta on 30 July 1928 under the Presidentship of Dr. Sundari Mohan Das, President, Bengal Medical Association on 30 July 1928, it was resolved that the 5th All India Medical Conference will be held at Calcutta during the Christmas Week (a tradition still followed). On 28 December 1928, during the 5th All India Medical Conference under the Presidentship of Dr. G. V. Deshmukh of Bombay and Sir Dr. Nil Ratan Sarkar as Chairman Reception Committee, a resolution was adopted forming an “All India Medical Association” with the objects of promotion and advancement of medical and allied sciences in their different branches, the improvement of public health and medical education in India and the maintenance of honor and dignity of the medical profession. Further resolved that the body must be registered under Society Registration Act XXI of 1860. A committee was formed with Dr. G. V. Deshmukh of (Bombay) as President, Sir Dr. Nil Ratan Sarkar and Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy of Calcutta as Vice-Presidents, Dr. Kumud Sarkar Ray, Dr. Aghar Nath Ghosh of Calcutta and Dr. D. D. Sathaya of Poona as Secretaries, Dr. J. N.Moitra of Calcutta as Treasurer. Dr. Sundari Mohan Das, Dr. Charu Banerjee, Dr. B. L. Majumdar, Dr. A. D. Mukherjee, Dr. S. C. Sengupta, Dr. Santiram Chatterjee, Dr. N. N. Basu, Dr. K. M. Bose, Dr. A. C. Ukil of Calcutta. Dr. Rama Rao of Madras. Dr. Rewa Chand of Karachi. Dr. P. B.Mukherjee of Patna were members of the committee. It was resolved that ‘Five Members to form quorum’ and its head office be located at Calcutta. The association will have its own Journal. This led to the formation of the organization the “All India Medical Association.”
The 6th All India Medical Association was held at Madras in 1929. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy presided over the meeting at Madras where the nomenclature was modified as “Indian Medical Association (IMA)” and since then IMA is a popular name and only organization of qualified medical persons of India. The IMA Head Quarter was situated at 6 A, Corporation Street, Calcutta. On 19 May 1934, the “All India Medical Association” was registered under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860 by Registrar of Joint Stock Companies of Bengal at Calcutta (vide Regn No. 325 of 1934-35 dated 19.05.34) with its Headquarters at 6 A, Corporation Street, Calcutta and later shiefted to 67, Dharmatala Street, Calcutta and then to 23, Samavaya Mansion, Calcutta where it continued till 1949.
The association had come in to being at a time when there was political unrest and the country was passing through big turmoil. Yet, it was a matter of great satisfaction that the stalwarts of the medical profession in those days like Dr. K. S. Ray, Sir Nil Ratan Sircar, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. Dr. M. A. Ansari, Col. Bhola Nath, Major M. G. Naidu, Dr. B. N. Vyas, Dr. D. Silva, Dr. N. A. Ghosh, Dr. D. A. Chakravarthi, Dr. Viswanathan, and Capt. B. V. Mukherjee actively participated in the promotion of the Association. Some of these stalwarts were also active in the Indian National Congress and had their terms in the jail for participating in the struggle for participating in the struggle for Independence of the country.
In 1934, after the “All India Medical Association” was registered at Calcutta, Bengal Medical Association which was playing the pivotal role till 1934 stopped functioning as an independent body and became a Provincial Branch of Indian Medical Association (IMA) & was named as “IMA Bengal Provincial Branch” with Lt. Col. K. K. Chatterjee as the President. After Independence the Bengal Province became Bengal State and likewise IMA Bengal Provincial Branch became IMA Bengal State Branch.
The IMA Headquarters Office at 23 Samavaya Mansion, Calcutta at the suggestion of Dr. S. C. Sen supported by Dr. B. V. Mulay, Dr. Chamanlal C. Mehta and Maj. General Amirchand, was shifted to Delhi in January 1949, after the attainment of Independence. But the Journal of IMA (JIMA) continued to be published from Calcutta. Initially the IMA HeadQuarter was located at Hanging Bridge, Fair Bazar, Dariyaganj, Delhi. In 1958, Dr. S. C. Sen obtained a plot of land in Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi at the concessional rates from the Government of India and the project of construction of IMA Building thereon was undertaken, supported by Dr. B. V. Mulay, Dr. Chamanlal Mehta, Dr. C. S.Thakar, Dr. A. P. Mitra, Dr. Ved Prakash, Dr. R. C. Goulatia, Dr. P. C. Bhatia and Dr. D. S. Mehra. The foundation stone of IMA House was laid by the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad on September 19, 1958 and the construction of the building was started under the supervision of Dr. P. C. Bhatia who supervised it brick by brick. With his untiring efforts, the building was completed and opened on September 6, 1964 by the then President of India. Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. [ 1 ]