The Academy of Medicine, Singapore was established in 1957 and during that era, it had catered for both Malaya and Singapore. Following the separation of the two countries, the independent Academy of Medicine of Malaysia was founded in 1966. Historically, the first few Public Health Medicine Specialists who were accepted as members of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia were Dato’ Dr Ezaddin Mohamed (1971) and Dr Datta-Sarma (1974). There was a rather slow movement of public health medicine specialty within the Academy of Medicine then. Only eight public health specialists were accepted as members of the Academy of Medicine during the period of 1974 to 1990.
The Academy of Medicine of Malaysia had approved the formation of a specialty chapter in 1992 based on the unified postgraduate body. With the pivotal objective of making the role of public health medicine field more significant within the Academy, Dr Lekraj Rampal (second cohort of public health medicine specialists accepted as members of the Academy) was requested by Tan Sri Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman, Master of Academy, to encourage public health medicine specialists to join the Academy and form a Chapter. This led to a significant increase in the number of memberships of Public Health Medicine Specialists in the Academy. On 16th December 1995, the inauguration of the formation of Chapters in the Academy which included the College of Physicians and College of Surgeons took place. By 1996, there were 32 Public Health Medicine Specialists accepted and registered as members of the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia. The Chapter of Public Health Medicine was established in 1996 and the first President was Datuk Dr Megat Burhainuddin bin Abdul Rahman. The establishment of the Public Health Chapter took on a new paradigm in the development of Public Health Medicine field and became part of a landmark milestone in the evolution of Public Health Medicine Specialty. This group, together with the Public Health Society, Malaysian Medical Association built a strong foundation for the establishment of Public Health Medicine Specialists in Malaysia. This then led to a further escalation in numbers of registered members under the Chapter of Public Health, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia.
Public Health Medicine Specialists began to be recognised by the Ministry of Health in the year 2000 via the establishment of the public health medicine specialist gazettement. The gazettement process was similar to the clinical specialist gazettement as per the stipulated requirements under the General Order of the Government of Malaysia. In 2001, the Chapter of Public Health was upgraded and called the College of Public Health Medicine, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia.
The College of Public Health Medicine has blossomed tremendously over the last few decades and has become one of the most outstanding Colleges within the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia under the leadership of its Presidents. With the industrious efforts of a line-up of dedicated Executive Committee and Committee Members, several collaborative activities with the Ministry of Health, local universities and the military arm have been organised. This collaboration has resulted in further enhancing the Public Health Medicine Specialists services delivered to the community.
Amongst the main international programmes and activities organised by the College were 1st Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health with the theme “New Initiatives in Public Health” in 2004 and 1st Asia Pacific Conference on Health Policy and Planning in Era of Emerging Technology and Cancer in 2008. The college continues to organised the Asia Pacific Conference on Public Health (APCPH), which is now in its 6th edition.