Founded by Peter Lowe after receiving a royal charter by James VI in 1599, as the Glasgow Faculty, it originally existed as a regulatory authority to ensure that physicians, surgeons and dentists In the West of Scotland were appropriately trained and regulated. In 1909, it achieved Royal recognition and became the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (RFPSG). In 1962, following agreement with the other medical and surgical Royal Colleges in the UK it achieved collegiate status as the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (RCPSG), by which name it is known today.
The College, in combination with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh provided a primary medical qualification which entitled the bearer to practice medicine, and was registrable with the General Medical Council as a primary medical qualification as a part of the "Scottish Triple Conjoint Diploma". From 1994, until the abolition of non-university qualifying examinations in 1999, this was offered through the United Examining Board. Until 1948 the Faculty (as it then was) provided dental education via the Glasgow Dental School awarding the qualification of LDS RFPSG. Since 1948 training in dentistry has been provided by the University of Glasgow who award the BDS degree
The College is now concerned with postgraduate medical education, offering examinations that lead to Membership and Fellowship to appropriately qualified physicians, surgeons, dentists and podiatrists. They also offer a number of specialist postgraduate diplomas to medical practitioners in various subjects including dermatology, child health, geriatric medicine, travel health, ophthalmology, and dentistry. It is actively involved in the promotion of healthcare, preventative medicine and has a national and international reputation for excellence in medical practice.
Illingworth, Sir Charles. Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. Glasgow: 1980. 16 pp (No ISBN)
Geyer-Kordesch, Johanna & MacDonald, Fiona. Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow. The History of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow 1599 - 1858. London: The Hambledon Press 1999. 478 pp ISBN 1-85285-186-4
Hull, Andrew & Geyer-Kordesch, Johanna. The Shaping of the Medical Profession. The History of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow 1858 - 1999. London: The Hambledon Press 1999. 288 pp ISBN 1-85285-187-2