Royal Society of Medicine

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Not to be confused with Royal Medical Society.
Royal Society of Medicine
The logo for the Royal Society of Medicine
Headquarters London
  • United Kingdom
Official language
Mr Babulal Sethia

The Royal Society of Medicine (RSM) is one of the major providers of accredited postgraduate medical education in the United Kingdom. Each year, the RSM organises over 400 academic and public events.[1] spanning 60 areas of special interest providing a multi-disciplinary forum for discussion and debate. Videos of many key lectures are also available online, increasing access to the Society’s education programme. The RSM is home to one of the largest medical libraries in Europe,[2] with an extensive collection of books, journals, electronic journals and online medical databases. As well as providing medical education, the Society aims to promote an exchange of information and ideas on the science, practice and organisation of medicine, both within the health professions and with responsible and informed public opinion. The Society is not a policy-making body and does not issue guidelines or standards of care.


The Society was established in 1805 as Medical and Chirurgical Society of London meeting in two rooms in barristers’ chambers at Gray’s Inn and then moving to Lincoln’s Inn Fields where it stayed for 25 years. In 1834 the Society moved to Berners Street and was granted a Royal Charter by King William IV.

In 1905, under the leadership of Sir John MacAlister, the Society moved to 20 Hanover Square where the centenary was celebrated. Two years later the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London came together with seventeen specialist medical societies and, with a supplementary Royal Charter granted by Edward VII, became the Royal Society of Medicine.

In 1910 the Society acquired the site on the corner of Wimpole Street and Henrietta Place, which was opened by King George V and Queen Mary in May 1912.

Famous Honorary Fellows[edit]

Honorary Fellows of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London include:

Charles Darwin

Louis Pasteur

Edward Jenner

Sigmund Freud

Presidents of note[edit]

Richard Bright (1837)

Thomas Addison (1849)

Joseph Hodgson (1851)

Sir James Paget (1875)

Frederick William Pavy (1900)


The Council[3] is the governing body of the Society and Council members are the Society’s Trustees. A permanent team of Directors[4] and their staff support the work of Council. There are two Standing Committees. The Audit Committee reports directly to Council and is responsible for audit and risk management. The remit of the Academic Board is to provide academic initiatives and to consider changes and improvements to the organisation of meeting programmes for the Sections and the Society. The Dean is responsible for Continuing Professional Development, Society Conferences, and the accreditation of Section meetings and e-learning programmes. The RSM Council meets throughout the year. Only RSM members and fellows can access the Minutes of RSM Council meetings.


The 10 most recent RSM Presidents are:


Fellowship of the RSM[6] is open to those who hold a UK recognised medical, dental or veterinary qualification, or a higher scientific qualification in a healthcare related field. Associate membership is open to those who do not qualify for Fellowship but who work within the healthcare sector or have an interest in healthcare issues. The Society also welcomes student members of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science as members plus other healthcare students. In addition there are up to one hundred Honorary Fellows, drawn from internationally distinguished members of the medical profession and branches of science and allied humanities, who are awarded this honour by Council. Members enjoy an extensive range of benefits including access to online resources, including videos of latest lectures, attendance at educational meetings and use of the Society’s Central London club facilities which includes member only accommodation.

Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine[edit]

The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine[7] is a scientific and educational publication featuring articles ranging from evidence-based reviews and original research papers to editorials and personal views.

Edited by Dr Kamran Abbasi, JRSM has been published continuously since 1809. JRSM has full editorial independence of the RSM and features well-argued debate and dissent on important clinical topics. Although UK-based, it publishes articles of interest and relevance to clinicians internationally. JRSM Open[8] is a companion publication to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. Previously known as JRSM Short Reports, JRSM Open is a successful peer-reviewed, open-access journal, meaning there are no subscription barriers for readers. The aim of JRSM Open is to influence clinical practice and policy making across the whole range of medicine. JRSM Open has an international and multispecialty readership that includes primary care and public health professionals. It accepts articles of interest to any reader involved with improving patient care and publishes case reports, research papers and clinical reviews. A fee, to cover article processing and open access, is payable once an article is accepted for publication. The editor of JRSM Open is Dr Kamran Abbasi.


The RSM has a number of awards and prizes for students and trainees.[9] There are over 70 prizes available for trainees, worth a total of around £60,000. The annual Ellison-Cliffe Travelling Fellowship of £15,000 is open to Fellows of the Royal Society of Medicine working in the UK or Ireland who are of specialist registrar or lecturer grade or equivalent or who are consultants within 3 years of their first consultant appointment. The prize covers expenses for travel abroad in pursuit of further study, research or clinical training relevant to the applicant's current interests. The annual RSM Young Trainee of the Year Award brings together all of the trainee prize winners from the previous academic year. Representing the cream of the RSM’s trainee doctors, five finalists are invited to attend an awards evening to present their research to a panel of distinguished panel of academics and clinicians.

Public information[edit]

While the main function of the Royal Society of Medicine is to provide ongoing education to healthcare professionals and students, the Society offers a variety of services to the public. A series of public events, including lectures and topical debates, allows the RSM to provide a forum for informed debate amongst the public. There is also a range of meetings for school students, including an annual meeting for those considering a career in medicine, together with Christmas and Easter Lectures. The RSM Library, one of the finest medical libraries in the world, welcomes members of the public to make use of its world-class reference facilities.

Event facilities[edit]

The Royal Society of Medicine headquarters, 1 Wimpole Street, London, England.

The Royal Society of Medicine has event facilities available for hire by RSM members and external companies or individuals. There are two prestigious settings, 1 Wimpole Street - home of the RSM - and sister property Chandos House. Both are located just five minutes walk from Oxford Circus and Bond Street underground stations. With excellent transport links the RSM's venues are easily reached and convenient for delegates whether travelling from inside London or from further afield.


  1. ^ "RSM Events". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  2. ^ "RSM library". Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  3. ^ "The RSM council" Royal Society of Medicine Council
  4. ^ "RSM Directors" Royal Society of Medicine Directors
  5. ^ "Royal Society of Medicine appoints new President" Royal Society of Medicine Media Releases
  6. ^ "RSM Fellowship" Royal Society of Medicine Fellowship
  7. ^ "JRSM" JRSM
  8. ^ "JRSM Open" JRSM Open
  9. ^ "RSM prizes and awards" RSM prizes and awards

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′58″N 0°08′50″W / 51.5161°N 0.1471°W / 51.5161; -0.1471