Assam Medical College & Hospital which is the oldest hospital of north East India owes its birth to Dr. John Berry White, the great visionary of modern medical education Dr. White was commissioned as assistant surgeon in 1857 and first came to Assam in 1858.His first assignment was as assistant surgeon in Medical charge of Abor Expeditionary force and after 12 years of service as assistant surgeon, he was promoted to rank of surgeon.
As civil surgeon of Lakhimpur Dr.John Berry White regularly inspected tea gardens and evaluated their medical staff. He tried to augment healthcare by training local youths, used personal funds for procuring equipment, and encouraged brilliant students to study abroad.
In 1876 he become surgeon major and posted to 44th Native infantry in 1877.He also subsequently became founding director of the Assam Railways and trading company in 1881.He was instrumental in setting up of Dibru Sadiya Railway and opening of coal field in Makum.
Upon his retirement he donated his personal saving of Rs.50000/-(today value of around Rs.10 million as on date) to set up a medical institute in Assam on November 19th, 1896 he passed away in London.Dr. Berry White Medical School began in 1898 and in 1900 the school started functioning. It was officially inaugurated in June 1902 by Sir Joseph Bampfyed Lt.Gov. Of Eastern Bengal and Assam. Under Assam Medical Act it offered the four year LPM for assistant surgeons two year LCP for compounders, one year course for nursing assistants, Examination was conducted by Assam Medical Exam. Board. In 1938, the Assam branch of LMP under chairmanship of Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi decided to convert Berry White Medical School into a full fledged Medical college. The Assam Medical College and hospital was established on 3rd November 1947 through process of up gradation. The admission of first batch of students was completed in September 1947 with 12 seats .Dr. Hemchandra Baruah was the first Principal. In 1910 two X-ray machines were imported from England to open first radiology department in the country.