The Department of Anatomy was formed in 1963 and catered to the pioneer class of 64 medical students entering the newly–formed Faculty of Medicine in the University of Malaya in May 1964. In 1965, foundation Professor W. Pallie headed the Department of Anatomy with a total complement of 4 academic staff members. Ever since its inception, the Department has strived to elucidate the study and organization of the human body whilst correlating with it’s function. In addition, there has been a strong emphasis on clinically relevant anatomy of the human body as an integral part of the undergraduate medical program leading to the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) degree.
By 1972, the Department was also involved in training the first batch of 32 dental students from the Faculty of Dentistry as part of their Bachelor of Dental Surgery (B.D.S.) degree program. Subsequently, the Department has conducted Anatomy courses for several other undergraduate programs including the Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Pharmacy and Biomedical Engineering as well as diploma programs in Radiography and Medical Laboratory Technology.
From the early 1970’s, the Department became responsible for conducting postgraduate anatomy courses in preparation for Fellowship and Membership exams held by the various Royal Colleges of the U.K. and Australia . In addition, since the commencement of local 4-year postgraduate masters training programs in medical and surgical specialities, Anatomy teaching has played a key role in the Basic Science Module. The department also offers the Master in Medical Science (Anatomy) (M. Med. Sc [Anatomy]) as well as the Doctorate in Philosophy (PhD) programs to train anatomists. Over the years, the Department has seen the development of a variety of research projects by academic staff and generated considerable publication output.