Royal Australasian College of Physicians

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The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) is a not-for-profit professional organisation responsible for training, educating, and representing over 14,600 physicians and paediatricians and 6,500 trainees in 33 medical specialties in Australia and New Zealand.[1]

Specialties include paediatrics & child health, cardiology, respiratory medicine, neurology, oncology, public health medicine, occupational and environmental medicine, palliative medicine, sexual health medicine, rehabilitation and addiction medicine.[2]

The College is responsible for education of trainees and the ongoing education of Fellows of the College. It also publishes two medical journals, The Internal Medicine Journal[3] and The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health,[4] and has a foundation which provides funding for research in the field of internal medicine.[5]


Until to 1930s Australian and New Zealand Physicians had to seek membership of one of the United Kingdom Colleges in London, Glasgow, Ireland or Edinburgh.[6]

In November 1930, a group of physicians met in Melbourne to establish the Association of Physicians of Australasia "for friendship and scientific stimulus", which solely consisted of its members; no building or permanent base existed.

In 1934, the Association of Physicians of Australasia Council decided that an examining and executive body College should be formed to enhance the prestige of the profession, stimulate interest in medical education and research, and set a standard of professional ethical conduct. The constitution was to be modelled on that of the London College.

In 1937, the Association purchased premises at 145 Macquarie Street, Sydney, which had originally been the home of the Fairfax family. Funds were raised by the NSW Government and public donation.

In 1938, the College was incorporated and the first meeting of the Council was held in April.[7]

The motto of 'hominum servire saluti' (to serve the health of our people was adopted for the College coat of arms).

In September that year 47 candidates took the first examinations and 41 members were admitted.


The RACP is divided into two Divisions and three Faculties. Each Division has a number of Chapters.


  • Adult Medicine Division
  • Paediatrics & Child Health Division


  • Australasian Faculty of Public Health Medicine
  • Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


  • Chapter of Community Child Health
  • Australasian Chapter of Palliative Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine
  • Australasian Chapter of Sexual Health Medicine (formerly Australasian College of Sexual Health Physicians)


The History of Medicine Library at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) has a leading collection of medical history items from Australia and around the world. The RACP established the History of Medicine Library in 1938 as a clinical library. The focus of the library changed to medical history in the mid 1950s. The History of Medicine Library continues to grow through the contributions of College Members.




Arms of Royal Australasian College of Physicians
Royal Australasian College of Physicians Arms.svg
The arms of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians consist of:[8]
On a Wreath of the Colours in front of a Sun rising Or a Hand grasping a Rod of Aesculapius erect proper.
Azure, a Pomegranate slipped and leaved Or seeded Gules issuant from the chief a Cloud proper irradiated Gold.
On the dexter side an Emu, and on the sinister side a Kiwi, both proper.
Hominum servire saluti
(To serve the health of our people)
The Arms are based on those granted in 1546 to the Royal College of Physicians of London.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Senate Inquiry into the Government Investment Funds Amendment Bill 2011 Submission by The Royal Australasian College of Physicians. July 2012
  3. ^ "Internal Medicine Journal". Royal Australasian College of Physicians. 
  4. ^ "Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health". Royal Australasian College of Physicians. 
  5. ^ "About the RACP Foundation". Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Retrieved 17 August 2013. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Low, Charles (1971). A Roll of Australian Arms. Adelaide: Rigby Limited. p. 6. ISBN 0-85179-149-2. 

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