The Medical Practitioners of India tried to come together to protect the future of Medicine and Health in the country and their interest. Two conferences were held in Bombay and Calcutta, before 1895, which more or less academic in nature and dominated by official influence.

Later in 1895, an Association under the name of IMA was started in Calcutta on an ALL INDIA BASIS. First President was late Rao Bahadur Dr. Lal Bahadur Mukerjee and the Secretary was Dr. J. R. Wallace. Under the Secretary’s Editor-ship the first Journal under the name “IMA Record” was published. Members were all issued the certificate of Membership. This Association however did not live long.

Second attempt was made in the second decade of the present century. An All India Medical Conference was held at Carmachel Medical College, Calcutta in 1917, now known as R. G. Kar Medical College, with Lt. Col. Rajendra Rao as President and Sir Neelaratna Sarkar K. T. as Chairman of the Reception Committee. 

The second All India Medical Conference was held in Delhi in 1918 with Sir Sarkar as President and Dr. J. K. Sen as Secretary and Chairman of the Reception Committee. The third conference was held in 1919 at Amritsar with Dr. M. N. Ohdedar of Lucknow as President. The fourth was held at Nagpur in 1920 – President Rao Bahadur Dr. M. K. Kapur of Lahore and Dr. G. R. Tambe as Chairman of the Reception Committee. Again a period of inactivity followed for 8 years for unknown reasons.

During this period G. M. C. of U. K. 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 in the profession a feeling of utter dissatisfaction. A meeting of all Medical Practitioners was called at Calcutta on 30th July, 1928, followed by another meeting on 30th August, 1928. 

AS a result of the discussions at the above two meetings, decisions were taken to hold the 5th Al India Conference at National Medical Institute, Calcutta during Christmas week in 1928. Dr. G. V. Desmuk of Bombay presided and Sir N. R. Sarkar was again the Chairman of the Reception Committee. Real important decisions were taken to form an All India Medical Association and get the body registered under the Societties Act 21 of 1860. Provisional Branches to be formed with branches in districts. A committee was appointed to settle the details of constitution etc.

It was provisionally decided to locate the headquarters at Calcutta and to start a Journal. The name, All India Medical Association, was changed into IMA in 1930 and duly registered as much. Branches of the Association were established throughout India. Now there are over 700 local branches, 16 state and territorial branches and 3 direct branches. The National headquarters was transferred from Calcutta to Delhi in 1941.

The highest and supreme authority of the Association rests with the Central Council, which can only form rules and regulations and elect office bearers and prepare budget for the year. The Central Working Committee carries out day-to-Day work, which is the Chief Executive Committee of the Association and works under powers delegated to it by Central Council annually. The Central Working Committee was first started in 1946-’47. The relations of various units—Local, State or Territorial and the Centre are more or less of a Federal Type. Each unit is autonomous in its local management, but cannot do anything against the General Policy as laid by the Central Council. Local branches are fully responsible for managing their own affairs, but must be guided by the State or Territorial Branches. Similarly all matters of all India interest should be dealt with only or through the Central Office. Similarly all correspondences with the Government of India or with All India bodies, or with the foreign association etc., has to be channeled through the Central Office at Delhi. Local branches can form their own rules and regulations, but none of them can be in contradiction to the rules of the Central Body. 

The qualified medical practitioners should consider that it is their duty to join as members of the IMA and it is their responsibility to bring in more members and strengthen the IMA.

Kerala State IMA

On 28-3-1931 an Association by name Malabar District Medical Association was started in Calicut with Dr. B. Rama Baliga as President and Dr. V. Krishna Menon as its First Secretary. The author of this history of IMA is now the only living founder member. 

In all 3 dozen doctors from Calicut, Tellicherry, Cannanore, Badagara, Vythiri, Tirur, Tanur, Ponnani and Palghat were present for the first meeting held at the Town Hall on 28-3-1931. Three Lady doctors were also present. On 28th May 1946 the name was changed to Malabar Branch of IMA, till 1st October 1957, it was under the jurisdiction of the Madras State Branch. In November, 1956 various branches of the IMA have been re-organised and as a result, this Association came under the Jurisdiction of the Kerala State Branch from 1st October 1957 and the association name was changed to Kozhikode Branch of IMA. It has a fine building of its own since 1962 and membership of over 300. In 1951, the sixth S. I. Provincial Conference was conducted in Calicut. Dr. A. L. Mudaliar inaugurated the conference. It was well attended by eminent doctors from all over the presidency and was acclaimed as one of the best conferences held in the presidency. Has won shield given to the best Branch in Kerala four times and has conducted Kerala State Conferences successfully three times.

Travancore IMA

IMA was started at Trivandrum in 1933 and within 5 years of its existence they published the Travancore Medical Journal. The 33rd All India Medical Conference was held at Trivandrum in 1956. It was an outstanding achievement in the history of Kerala IMA Dr. C. O. Karunakaran was elected as the President of the Indian Medical Association. 

Cochin State IMA as old as Travancore has had a good record of work. Started as north and south Cochin Medical Associations, independent of each other. The two eventually united as the Cochin State Medical Association. 

The two Medical Associations of Trivandrum and Cochin were amalgamated to become T. C. State Branch of IMA in 1949. 

In 1950 a North Malabar Branch was formed and later in 1952 a Palghat Taluk Medical Association was formed with Dr. A. R. Menon as President. It ceased functioning for sometime. Again in 1956 DR. E. R. Menon revived the Association and the Association was named as Palghat Medical Association with Dr .A. K. Ramachandras was its first President. On 1-10-1956 it got affiliated to Madras State Branch of IMA with the state re-organization on 1-11-1956 this was affiliated to Kerala State Branch of IMA and was renamed as Palghat District Branch. The three branches of IMA in Malabar area were integrated with T. C. State Branch and was named Kerala State Branch of IMA. 

Dr. S. S. Rao, Cochin, was the First President of the Kerala State Branch. 

The Cannanore Branch was bifurcated from the North Malabar Branch in 1965. Dr. P. J. Jacob and Dr. K. V. Madhavan Nair were the first President and Secretary respectively. It is one of the most active Branches now and the fact that the Annual Conference is to be held at Cannanore and the President Elect, Dr. C. E. Oommen is also from Cannonore, is an ample proof of this. 


IMA building

We had a membership of 72 in 1966 which went upto 120 in 1969. With the strong will of Dr. Urumese and able support of fellow members, the building was completed in less than 2 years. On 26th February 1966, the then President of the Branch, Dr. V. B. Mohammed, purchased this plot of 5.205 cents of land for Rs. 20825/- with an addition of Rs.1884.80 for documentation and Registration. Subsequently, a Committee was constituted with following members. Dr. Urumese was the Chairman of the said committee.

Chairman :

Dr. M. A. Urumese (then President IMA) 

Convenor :

Dr. A. K. Sabhapathy (then Secretary, IMA), Dr. Mary Antony (DMO) 
Dr. Vasava Menon, Dr. K. G. G. Panicker, Dr. C. S. K. Nair 

Members  :

Dr. Gopalakrishnan, Dr. V. K. Thomas, Dr. K. P. Mathew, Dr. Lissy Issac 
Dr. T. T. Thomas, Dr. Sunder Raj 

With just over Rs.1000/- in the bank as cash balance, a plan was drawn to have a hall of 1200 sq. ft. in the 1st floor and 2 suits in the 2nd floor. The suits are now converted into Blood Bank and Library Hall. 

The foundation stone was laid on 6-3-1969. Without much of fore thinking in the financial aspect. The funds raised were by contributions from Doctors, the sale of Debenture Bonds worth Rs.10,000/- collections from the proceedings of the Benefit Show, ‘Fantastic Voyage’, collections from subscribed IMA dinner, contributions from charity minded citizens of the locality and the collections from 90 advertisements for the IMA Building Souvenir and a loan of Rs. 2000/- from the Red Cross. 

After the completion of the building in 1971, the liabilities were cleared within a short time. To overcome the early financial set-back, the ground floor which was meant for Car Parking with 2 suits above were rented out, which later turned out to be not a wise step. 
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