Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital (Nanjing Gulou Yi Yuan), the Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, is one of the earliest western medical hospitals in China. The hospital was founded in 1892 by Dr. William Edward Macklin, M.D., Disciples (Canada) Mission to China, with the assistance of Prof. Frank Eugene Meigs, the Church of Christ (USA), and the local Nanjing community. The hospital was originally named Nanjing Christian Hospital, but was widely known as “Ma Lin Hospital,” after the Chinese name of the founder. The 1892 medical staff included Dr. Macklin and Dr. James Butchart,with Dr. Daisy Macklin joining the staff in 1896.
After 1902, with rising costs, and the urgent need for qualified medical staff members, the American Presbyterian Missions to China, and the American Methodist Missions to China, provided funding and staffing for the hospital, as well as for the University of Nanking. At that time, the hospital was renamed Drum Tower Hospital in honor of the adjacent 1382 A.D. Drum Tower (Gu Lou), heart of the Ming Dynasty’s first capital city, and the historical area were the hospital was founded.
The original, four-story 1892 hospital was fully renovated in 2006, and, on January 23, 2007 the historic building was formally re-dedicated as The 1892 Memorial Hall and Hospital Archives, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital. The 1892 Memorial Hall includes a series of memorial galleries, a dedicated archives center, and a spacious conference hall.
Historically, Drum Tower Hospital maintained a formal association with the University of Nanking, which was originally founded by the Methodist Missions to China in 1888. In 1904, Dr. Randolph T. Shields, American Presbyterian Mission to China, was appointed Dean of the Medical Department of the (Union) University of Nanking. In 1907 Drum Tower Hospital was designated as the teaching hospital of the Medical Department, and in 1909, Drum Tower Hospital and the University of Nanking were formally chartered together in New York State (USA). Subsequently, in 1913, Drum Tower Hospital was formally united with the University of Nanking to form the University of Nanking Medical College, and the Hospital continued to serve as the teaching hospital of the University.
In 1952, the University of Nanking (est. 1888) and the National Nanjing University (est. 1902) formally merged to form Nanjing University. At that time, the hospital became an independent, municipal hospital of Nanjing. Later, in 1987, Drum Tower Hospital was formally designated as the Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University Medical School, and the hospital continues to serve as a major medical, academic and research center of China.