The Lady Hardinge Medical College, a pioneer in the field of Medical Education has the unique distinction of being the only Medical College in India, for exclusively training women undergraduate students. The college was founded by Lady Hardinge of Penhurst, the wife of the then Viceroy of India, in order to overcome the orthodox trends prevailing the contemporary India, amongst the parents minds against educating their daughters in co-educational Colleges. She used her good offices to raise funds from the Princely States & the Public. This Institution was meant to commemorate the visit of Her Majesty Queen Mary to India in 1911-12. It was decided to name it as Queen Mary College & Hospital. The foundation stone was laid by Lady Hardinge on 17th March 1914. Unfortunately, this great & zealous Lady who not only took the initiative but did a lot to bring about the existence of this Institution, died late in the same year. According to the wishes of Queen Mary, to perpetuate the memory of its founder, the college and the hospital were named after Lady Hardinge. The Institution was formally opened by Lord Hardinge in February 1916. The college did a yeoman service in furthering of medical education for women in India. Today this has been proved by the fact that the doctors who have tread the paths of this college have achieved fame worldwide. They have risen to key positions and outshone in their respective fields, like Dr. Sushil Nayar, Dr. Usha Luthra of I.C M.R., Dr. Sumedha Khanna of W.H.O. Dr. Saroj Pachauri of Ford Foundation,. The College started under the able leadership of Dr. Kate Platt M.D, who was the first Principal of the College. At present the Director of the college is Dr. G.K. Sharma. Initially the college enrolled 14-16 students every year from all over India. The number of annual admissions was reviewed and raised from time to time, finally making it to the existing admission capacity of 150, in the year 2008. This is the only Medical College under University of Delhi that increased its admission capacity in the year 2008, for admitting OBC candidates as part of Phase-I of implementation of Central Educational Institutions (Reservation in Admission) Act 2006. By the time Phase-III of the programme of implementation of the aforesaid Act is completed in the year 2011, the admission capacity for the MBBS Course will be raised to 200 seats. For this increase, a Comprehensive Re-development of the Institution, envisaging increased Faculty, Staff, Bed-strength, New Buildings and other infrastructure is in the pipeline.
In the initial stage of the college was an autonomous institution managed by a Governing Body. In the year 1953, the Board of Administration constituted by the Central Govt. took formal charge of the management of the institution. In February 1978, the management was taken over by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under an Act of Parliament. The College has coma long way, retaining its unique character, still marching ahead with the times and is upgrading itself dynamically in all its fields of activities. Since its inception, the institution has produced 6125 graduates and 2564 postgraduates in various medical and surgical specialities. The students and faculty have constantly strived for academic excellence, state-of-the-art health care provision, and high quality research competing with the best in the country. For the teaching and training of medical students, the college has two full fledge hospitals- Smt. Sucheta Kriplani Hospital, and Kalawati Saran Child Hospital with bed strength of 877 and 350 respectively. All the department of the hospitals are equipped with modern facilities to provide tertiary level health care services to the people of Delhi & adjoining areas. Since 1991 the hospital has been providing care to the male patients also.