Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in London is responsible for the training of postgraduate doctors in paediatrics and conducting the MRCPCH membership exams. They also conduct the Diploma in Child Health exam, which is taken by many doctors who plan a career in General Practice. Fellows of the college have the postnominal initials FRCPCH.
The United Kingdom's first national group of paediatricians was established in 1928 as the British Paediatric Association or BPA. Its first president was George Frederic Still. Royal College status was granted to the BPA in August 1996. Shortly after this, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health moved to its first home in Hallam Street, London. On 21 March 2008, the college moved to new premises at 5-11 Theobalds Rd, London, WC1X 8SH, its current home.
Aims of the College
Since the earliest days, the aim of the BPA was the advancement of the study of paediatrics and the promotion of friendship amongst paediatricians. The association in its early days had neither statutory functions nor political influence. The postgraduate training and examination of paediatricians continued to be the responsibility of the Royal College of Physicians, to which most paediatricians also belonged.
The functions and responsibilities of the RCPCH have rapidly expanded since its formation to include the oversight of postgraduate training and examinations. It continues to conduct paediatric research, organise meetings and conferences and to publish papers and guidelines of relevance to paediatric practice.
The College works closely with other bodies that have responsibilities in the same or related areas, including the Department of Health (United Kingdom), the Deaneries, the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board, the General Medical Council, NCAS, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, children's charities and the other Medical Royal Colleges.
The College currently has about 11,500 members, who are mainly hospital and community paediatricians. Most members are based in the UK, though there is an increasing number of members and fellows who live overseas.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms of the College commemorate June Lloyd, first female President of the British Paediatric Association, and Thomas Phaire, whose Boke of Chyldren from 1545 was the first book on paediatrics in English. The crest is a baby, taken from the arms of the Foundling Hospital in Coram's Fields.
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