CCP – The Beginning

Ceylon College of Physicians - The beginning

Memories of Dr Lakshman Ranasinghe

Founder Council Member and President CCP 1985/86

As told to Dr Lalith Wijayaratne and Dr Kithsri Karunathilake

The idea of a college for Physicians began in 1967, when Dr Mirando came to see me to discuss about the initiation of a college for the paediatricians and physicians. Those days paediatricians and physicians were the leading consultants and worked together. During this period, there were no academic colleges for the consultants in Sri Lanka. Dr Mirando suggested that the college should include physicians, paediatricians, and psychiatrists who are also linked to the field of medicine as it would lead to a stronger membership base.

The enthusiastic team wanted to formulate a constitution for the upcoming college. As there were no professional colleges in Sri Lanka in the medical field at the time we selected a constitution of the Science Association of St. Joseph’s College Colombo as the guide to draft a constitution for the Ceylon College of Physicians. In this constitution, several important decisions were included, which will make the college a unique one.

We decided to have a motto for the college and I suggested that it should be “cure, relief and comfort” with Sanskrit wording.

The members who came to the first meeting were recognised as the founder members.

First meeting

After this initial discussion, the idea was spread to the leading physicians.

Dr Mirando wanted to have the first meeting at the Consultants’ Lounge at the General Hospital, Colombo (now the National Hospital of Sri Lanka). There were 11 of us and among the pioneers were Dr EM Wijerama, Dr Mendis, Professor K Rajasuriya, Dr OR Medonza, Dr EH Mirando, Dr WDL Fernando, Dr W Wijenaike, Dr NDW Lionel and myself. I was the most junior consultant in this team.

On 25th of July 1967 the Ceylon College of Physicians was founded by this team of consultants.

Dr EM Wijerama, the senior most Physician at the time, was elected as the first president of the college. The secretaries were Dr Channa Wijesinghe and Dr NDW Lionel.

Inaugural meeting

The Inaugural Meeting of the College, held on the 26th of September 1967 at the Clinical Lecture Theatre of the General Hospital, Colombo. The members considered and adopted the draft constitution presented by the Chairman.

All those present at that meeting, as well as those applying for membership within a month, qualified to be founder members of the College.

Later the College decided to have an office and found a space in Ceylon Medical Association building. The first clerk of the office was Mr Walter Perera, who was very efficient in co-ordinating all the work with the physicians.

One of the pioneering work of the college was to conduct MRCP(UK) Part I examination in Sri Lanka in collaboration with the Royal College of Physicians (London). This produced excellent results.

Dr Lakshaman Ranasinghe as a member of the Inaugural Council of CCP (Standing far Right) in 1967
Minutes of the 1st Council meeting