In 1918, Shen Yunfei, a member of the Chinese Medical Association, had the idea of holding a medical school. In August of the same year, Tongde Medical Special College was established. The chairman of the association Jiang Fengzhi served as the principal, and Shen Yunfei served as the provost. The Institute of Medical Care was set up, with a five-year schooling system. The College was officially opened in September. In 1919, an affiliated hospital was built.
In 1920, the Chinese Medical Association decided that the school should be independent. Celebrities and scholars were hired to form a board of directors. Former leader of the Reform Movement of 1898, Kang Youwei, served as the chairman. In 1925, Huang Chujiu became the chairman and Pang Jingzhou principal. In 1932, the school reshuffled its board of directors, with Shao Lizi as the chairman and Gu Yuqi as the principal. At the same time, construction of the new school building began. From 1918 to 1935, Tongde Medical College was a junior college for medicine with a five-year schooling system. In 1935, the construction was completed and the school was opened. In September, the school officially changed its name to the Private Tongde Medical College and the schooling duration was changed to six years.
In 1952, Tongde Medical College merged with St. John’s University School of Medicine and Aurora University School of Medicine to form Shanghai Second Medical College. Tongde Medical College, as a private medical college run solely by the Chinese in Shanghai, existed for 34 years. With a total of 1,055 graduates, the College contributed a lot to the progress and development of the country's medical and health services.