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Medical Royal Colleges

The Medical Royal Colleges are professional bodies that represent various medical specialties in the United Kingdom. They play an important role in setting standards, regulating training, and advancing their respective specialities.

History

The origins of the medical royal colleges can be traced back several centuries. The Royal College of Physicians received its royal charter from King Henry VIII in 1518, making it the oldest medical royal college. It was established to regulate physicians and set standards for medical practice. Other early royal colleges include the Royal College of Surgeons, founded in 1800, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, founded in 1929.

Over the years, as medicine advanced and new specialities emerged, new royal colleges were established. There are now 24 medical royal colleges in total covering diverse specialties ranging from general practice to paediatric surgery. The most recent to be granted a royal charter is the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, which became a royal college in 2019.

Role

The core functions of the medical royal colleges are to:

  • Set standards for training and practice in their speciality. The colleges oversee postgraduate training programmes and administer examinations.
  • Support continuing professional development. The colleges provide education, training courses, conferences and publications to maintain high standards after qualification.
  • Advise on policy relevant to their speciality. The colleges engage with government and health agencies to inform and influence policy.
  • Promote research to advance their speciality. They provide grants, awards and scholarships to enable discoveries and innovation.
  • Regulate the speciality and uphold standards. The colleges ensure specialists are fit to practice through recertification and revalidation.

While the colleges are independent bodies, they often work collaboratively on issues affecting the medical profession as a whole.

Membership and Governance

Membership in the medical royal colleges is typically open to qualified specialists in their respective fields. Fellows and members elect representatives onto college councils which oversee governance. The president is the senior elected officer and chairs the council.

The colleges are registered charities funded through members' subscriptions, examination fees, investments, donations and commercial partnerships. They must comply with charity law and their charters, which set out their objectives.

Benefits to the Public

The medical royal colleges benefit the public in several ways:

  • Protecting patient safety through high standards of training and practice.
  • Providing authoritative, independent expertise to inform health policy.
  • Supporting research and innovation to improve healthcare.
  • Giving confidence that specialists are competent through qualifications and continuing regulation.
  • Promoting good medical practice through guidelines and recommendations.

Overall, the medical royal colleges play a valuable role in upholding the quality of care in their specialities for the benefit of patients. They will continue to be influential bodies as medicine advances.

Here is a list and links -

ROYAL COLLEGE OF ANAESTHETISTS

Churchill House
35 Red Lion Square
London
WC1R 4SG
Telephone: 020 7092 1500

www.rcoa.ac.uk

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FACULTY OF DENTAL SURGERY

35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London
WC2A 3PE
Telephone: 020 7869 6808

www.rcseng.ac.uk/fds

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FACULTY OF DENTAL SURGERY OF EDINBURGH

Nicolson Street
Edinburgh
EH8 9DW
Telephone: 0131 527 1600

www.rcsed.ac.uk/faculties/faculty-of-dental-surgery

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE

7-9 Bream’s Buildings
London
EC4A 1DT
Telephone: 020 7404 1999

www.rcem.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF GENERAL PRACTITIONERS

30 Euston Square
London
NW1 2FB
Telephone: 020 3188 7400

www.rcgp.org.uk

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FACULTY OF INTENSIVE CARE MEDICINE

Churchill House
35 Red Lion Square
London
WC1R 4SG
Telephone: 020 7092 1653

www.ficm.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNAECOLOGISTS

10-18 Union Street
London
SE1 1SZ
Telephone: 20 7772 6200

www.rcog.org.uk

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FACULTY OF OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE

2 Lovibond Lane
Greenwich
London
SE10 9FY
Telephone: 020 7242 8698

www.fom.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF OPHTHALMOLOGISTS

18 Stephenson Way
NW1 2HD
Telephone: 020 7935 0702

www.rcophth.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF PAEDIATRICS & CHILD HEALTH

5-11 Theobalds Road
London
WC1X 8SH
Telephone: 020 7092 6000

www.rcpch.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF PATHOLOGISTS

6 Alie Street
London
E1 8QT
Telephone: 020 7451 6700

www.rcpath.org

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FACULTY OF PHARMACEUTICAL MEDICINE

19 Angel Gate
326a City Road
London
EC1V 2PT
Telephone: 020 3696 9040

www.fpm.org.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS OF EDINBURGH

9 Queen Street
Edinburgh
EH2 1JQ
Telephone: 0131 225 7324

www.rcpe.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE PHYSICIANS OF IRELAND

Frederick House
19 South Frederick Street
Dublin 2
Ireland
Telephone: 00 3531 863 9700

www.rcpi.ie

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS

11 St Andrews Place
Regent’s Park
London
NW1 4LE
Telephone: 020 7935 1174

www.rcplondon.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS & SURGEONS OF GLASGOW

234-242 St Vincent Street
Glasgow
G2 5RJ
Telephone: 0141 221 6072

www.rcpsg.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF PSYCHIATRISTS

21 Prescot Street
London
E1 8BB
Telephone: 0208 618 4000

www.rcpsych.ac.uk

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FACULTY OF PUBLIC HEALTH

4 St Andrews Place
London
NW1 4LB
Telephone: 0207 935 0243

www.fph.org.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF RADIOLOGISTS

63 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London
WC2A 3JW
Telephone: 020 7636 4432

www.rcr.ac.uk

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FACULTY OF SEXUAL AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

10-18 Union Street
London
SE1 1SZ
Telephone: 020 7724 5534

www.fsrh.org

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF EDINBURGH

Nicolson Street
Edinburgh
EH8 9DW
Telephone: 0131 527 1600

www.rcsed.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF ENGLAND

35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London
WC2A 3PE
Telephone: 020 7405 3474

www.rcseng.ac.uk

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ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS OF IRELAND

123 St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2
Ireland
Telephone: 00 3531 4022232

www.rcsi.ie

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FACULTY OF SPORT & EXERCISE MEDICINE (UK)

6 Hill Square
Edinburgh
EH8 9DR
Telephone: 0131 527 1612

www.fsem.ac.uk

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