Royal Medical Society
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The Royal Medical Society (RMS) is the oldest medical society in the United Kingdom (although this claim is also made by the earlier London-based Society of Apothecaries (1617) which is permitted to award medical degrees). The current President of the 278th session, is third year medical student, Mr Ian Whiteford. Known originally as 'the Medical Society' when it was established in 1737, it was granted a Royal Charter in 1778. The RMS is a professional society engaged in the advancement of medical knowledge and provision of assistance to medical students and professionals. It is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is run by students at the University of Edinburgh Medical School.
Sale of library
The RMS sold its extensive library, built up throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, at 3 sales at Sotheby's in London in 1969. Much of the collection was purchased by the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
- Thomas Harrison Burder
- William A.F. Browne
- Andrew Combe
- James Crichton-Browne, psychiatrist
- William Cullen, one of the founders of the society
- Charles Darwin
- Benjamin Franklin
- Matthew Kaufman
- Marshall Hall, elected Senior President in 1811
- Francis Home, one of the founders of the society
- Joseph Lister
- Drummond Shiels, a Fellow and Senior President
- Sir John Struthers - physician, anatomist
- Stuart Threipland, (see Fingask Castle), physician to Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie), President 1766-1770
- Jozef Venglos
- Hewett Watson, evolutionary theorist and friend of Charles Darwin, elected Senior President in 1831
- German Sims Woodhead, a former President
The society today
Although cadavers are no longer kept, the Society still encourages medical learning. The RMS hosts talks for students from physicians and surgeons from all fields each Tuesday. This year Neurology, Cardiovascular medicine and a series of talks covering Emergency medicine are just a few of the topics that will be presented to the Society. After each lecture, members hold a private business meeting and is an opportunity for students to present their research to their peers.
Also on offer are practical tutorials (plastering, venepuncture) and the student-led exam tutorials at the end of semesters.
There are also many other events throughout the year: Freshers’ Week events (including the infamous White Coat Pub Crawl); Hallowe’en parties; a Burns Supper and the Presidents' Annual Dinner — this year[when?] taking place in the Playfair Library in the University’s Old College.
The RMS is found above the Potterrow Union on Bristo Square, in the centre of student life in Edinburgh. Members have 24-hour access to all facilities including: a lecture theatre, a well-stocked medical library, a computer suite, learning resource centre as well as a kitchen, TV area, pool table and a seating lounge. During the Edinburgh International Festival, the rooms act a performance venue under the Pleasance and host the Performers'/VIP bar (Brooke's Bar).
The RMS also has a fund for travel and study grants: awarded to members for research at home or abroad and for final year studies. The estate, is managed by the RMS Trust, which has charitable status.
The running of the Society is managed by the RMS Council - consisting of a Senior President, three Junior Presidents and 11 Convenors - each concerned with particular areas of the Society - listed below. The Council is also aided by Dr Paul Mills, Treasurer and Permanent Secretaries, Mrs Elizabeth Singh and Mrs Enid Gardner.
The council for the 278th session is as follows:
- Senior President – Mr Ian Whiteford
- 1st Junior President – Mr Chris Graham
- 2nd Junior President – Miss Christina Intrator
- 3rd Junior President – Miss Laura Lindsay
- Senior Secretary – Miss Dara Oyewole
- Junior Secretary – Mr Douglas Donnachie
- Business Convenor – Miss Alisha Sachdev
- Entertainments Convenor – Miss Sarah Douglas
- House Convenor – Mr Nauman Hafiz
- Publicity Convenor - Mr Michael Dias
- Library and Museum Convenor – Miss Philippa Boothroyd
- Computers Convenor – Miss Marie Berlouis
- Annual Dinner Convenor – Miss Ellie Lee
- Editor of Res Medica – Mr James Waddell
- Permanent Secretary – Ms. Elizabeth Singh and Mrs Enid Gardner
- Treasurer – Dr Paul Mills
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
- Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
- Surgeon's Hall
- University of Edinburgh Medical School