Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
Motto Non sinit esse feros
Established 1681
President Professor Derek Bell
Location Edinburgh, United Kingdom
55°57′18″N 3°11′47″W / 55.9550°N 3.1965°W / 55.9550; -3.1965Coordinates: 55°57′18″N 3°11′47″W / 55.9550°N 3.1965°W / 55.9550; -3.1965
Website Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
The façade of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinbrugh, 9 Queen Street, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) is a Medical Royal College in the United Kingdom that sets medical training standards for UK physicians.[1] It was founded by the Scottish Physician Robert Sibbald and established by Royal Charter in 1681.[2] While the RCPE is based in Edinburgh, it is not solely a Scottish professional body - more than half of its 12,000[3] Fellows, Members, Associates and Affiliates live and practice medicine outside Scotland, in 86 countries and covering 55 specialties.


The twenty-one founding Fellows of the College, (one of whom was Dr William Lauder (1652-1724), brother of John Lauder, Lord Fountainhall), were concerned not only with the advancement of medicine as a reputable science, but also with alleviating the miseries of Edinburgh's poor and needy.

Current activities[edit]

The New Library in the RCPE building

The College acts in an advisory capacity to government and other organisations on many aspects of health, welfare and medical education.

Following successful completion of the MRCP(UK) examination, doctors are eligible to become Members and, in time, Fellows of the College.

The College was instrumental in founding the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1729 and, over the years, has influenced the development of medical schools in North America, Australasia, Asia and Africa.

There is a separate Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.


The building is located on Queen Street in Edinburgh. Three figures stand above the entrance. These are: Aesculapius, the Greek god of medicine and healing (left); Hygieia, Greek god of cleanliness (centre/top); and Hippocrates, with the hypocratic oath (right).[4][5] The RCPE building, located at 9 Queen Street, was designed by the Edinburgh architect Thomas Hamilton, and was built between 1844 and 1846. In 1868 the College purchased the adjacent building at 8 Queen Street, which had been built by the renowned and influential Edinburgh architect Robert Adam in 1771. The Physicians Hall, as the conjoined buildings are now collectively known, is a superb example of eighteenth century architecture; both the exterior and interior are extremely well preserved despite modernization.[6]


The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (JRCPE) is a peer reviewed medical journal published quarterly by the College.

Recent Presidents of the RCPE[edit]

Name Took office Left office
Derek Bell 2014
Neil Dewhurst 2010
Neil Douglas 2004
Niall Finlayson 2001
James Petrie 1997
John D Cash 1994
Anthony Toft 1991
John Richmond 1988
Michael Francis Oliver, C.B.E. 1985
Ronald Haxton Girdwood, M.D. 1982
John Anderson Strong 1979

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ JRCPTB
  2. ^ RCPE Royal Charter
  3. ^ RCPE - representing our members
  4. ^ "Site Record for Edinburgh, 9-10 Queen Street, Royal College Of Physicians Edinburgh". Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  5. ^ D Emslie Smith (2008). "Is the College an Asklepieion?" (PDF). J R Coll Physicians Edinburgh. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  6. ^ Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments Scotland, Canmore Site Records ( 9 Queen Street; 8 Queen Street.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]