The original idea for the establishment of a medical college for the undivided Punjab was placed before the Imperial Government in 1857, but shelved because of ‘War of Independence’, The need was so great that is was decided to make the beginning by establishing a Medical School in 1860. At that time the only other Medical School in Indo-Pakistan Sub-Continent was situated in Calcutta (1835).
In keeping with the modest beginning, the institution was designated as Lahore Medical School and started functioning in Artillery Barracks at the present site of the Government College, with a Hospital located in a foreign stable near the present Tibbi Police station in Taxali Gate, almost a mile away from the college.
The Lahore medical School was moved from the old barracks to the erstwhile Railway Hostel near the Mayo Hospital, a more spacious building that was completed in 1870, named after the Earl of Mayo, the then Viceroy. The Architect Purdon designed the building and Roy Bahadur Kanhaya Lal was the Engineer. In October, 1871 Earl of Mayo, Viceroy of India visited the Hospital and in memory of his visit the Hospital was named as Mayo Hospital.
The first academic building was completed in 1883. The university and the attached hospital were built with the funding and efforts of several dedicated people in the coming years.
On December 21, 1911, Lahore Medical College was renamed King Edward Medical College, and it was elevated to the status of an independent, degree-granting university on May 12, 2005, when it became King Edward Medical University.