Head: Professor Sir David Todd (1974-1989)

Over this period the headship of the Department of Medicine was taken on by Professor David Todd. Under his able leadership the Department experienced another period of growth and consolidation. New subspecialties, such as clinical pharmacology and neurology emerged and pre-existing ones went from strength to strength with increase in staff numbers and improvement in facilities. Research flourished in every field. Research funding to the Department which had previously been abysmal, was greatly enhanced through competitive grants from the Research Grants Council of the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee and the Croucher Foundation. Generous donations from the Wu Chung family and Dr Lee Wing Tat were also very helpful in facilitating the Department's academic endeavours. Employing the technology of modern molecular biology, the Department engaged in pioneering work on the genetics of haematological disorders, such as haemophilia and thalassemia. Collaborative research with other departments inside and outside the Medical Faculty was encouraged. The idea of a University-wide centre for molecular biology research, culminating in the establishment of an Institute of Molecular Biology was initiated and nurtured to fruition. In response to the changing requirements of healthcare in Hong Kong, a small General Practice Unit was established in the Violet Peel Health Centre. The centre has since moved to Ap Lei Chau and its academic staff has increased to 3, a professor, senior lecturer and lecturer. The Department also took on the additional responsibility of teaching dental students and mounting the licentiate program. During this period, professional training in both general medicine and all the subspecialties became firmly established. This occurred not only within the Department but extended to other hospitals in Hong Kong. It was both encouraging and flattering to the staff of the Department, that doctors came from other hospitals in order to undertake periods of subspecialty training under their supervision. Such an arrangement benefited both parties. 

The Department has always enjoyed strong links with the Royal Colleges of Physicians in the United Kingdom and Australia. Holding of the entire MRCP (UK) examination in Hong Kong in 1985 was a milestone in the history of the Royal Colleges. It was the first time that they had mounted the entire examination outside Great Britain. It illustrated the trust the Colleges had in Professor Todd as the chief organiser and examiner and showed their confidence in the training provided to the prospective candidates. All these events were but the preparation for greater things to come. Regarding the development of medicine in the territory, Professor Todd became the Founding President of the Hong Kong College of Physicians in 1987. The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine which was inaugurated in December 1993, was the brainchild of Professor Todd and a few eminent members in the medical profession. He also became the Founding President of the Academy.