The Royal College of Surgeons of England (abbreviated RCS and sometimes RCSEng), is an independent professional body and registered charity promoting and advancing standards of surgical care for patients, regulating surgery, including dentistry, in England and Wales. The College is located at Lincoln's Inn Fields in London. It publishes multiple medical journals including the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Faculty Dental Journal, and the Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
The origins of the College date to the fourteenth century with the foundation of the "Guild of Surgeons Within the City of London". Certain sources date this as occurring in 1368. There was ongoing dispute between the surgeons and barber surgeons until an agreement was signed between them in 1493, giving the fellowship of surgeons the power of incorporation. This union was formalised further in 1540 by Henry VIII between the Worshipful Company of Barbers (incorporated 1462) and the Guild of Surgeons to form the Company of Barber-Surgeons. In 1745 the surgeons broke away from the barbers to form the Company of Surgeons. In 1800 the Company was granted a Royal Charter to become the Royal College of Surgeons in London. A further charter in 1843 granted it the present title of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
The correct way to address a member or fellow of The Royal College of Surgeons is to use the title Mr, Miss, Mrs, or Ms (not Dr). This system (which applies only to surgeons, not physicians) has its origins in the 16th century, when surgeons were barber-surgeons and did not have a medical degree (or indeed any formal qualification), unlike physicians, who, by the 18th century, held a university medical degree and could thus be referred to as "Doctor". By the time the College of Surgeons received its Royal Charter in 1800, the Royal College of Physicians were insisting that candidates for membership for the college of Surgeons must have a medical degree first. Therefore, the ensuing years saw aspiring surgeons having to study medicine first and hence receive the title Doctor. Thereafter, having obtained the diploma of Member or Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons he would revert to the title "Mr" as a snub to the RCP. Nowadays the title "Mr" is used by Members of the College who have passed the diploma MRCS examination and the College addresses Members as "Mr" or "Ms".
Come, come, we are not so far wrong after all," said Holmes. "And now, Dr. James Mortimer--"
"Mister, sir, Mister--a humble M.R.C.S.
Despite Mortimer's correction, he is referred to as "Dr. Mortimer" throughout the story.
A biographical register of fellows is available on Plarr's Lives of the Fellows Online
The Company of Surgeons moved from Surgeon's Hall in Old Bailey to a site at 41 Lincoln's Inn Fields in 1797. Construction of the first College building, to a design by George Dance the Younger, and James Lewis, took from 1805 to 1813. In 1833 Sir Charles Barry won the public competition to design a replacement. The library and portico of this building are all that remain today after a German incendiary bomb hit the College in 1941.
In 1799 the government purchased the collection of John Hunter which they presented to the College. This formed the basis of the Hunterian Collection, which has since been supplemented by others including an Odontological Collection (curated by A E W Miles until the early 1990s) and the natural history collections of Richard Owen.
The Hunterian Museum is a member of The London Museums of Health & Medicine group, and displays thousands of anatomical specimens, including the Evelyn tables and the skeleton of the "Irish giant" Charles Byrne, surgical instruments, and paintings and sculptures about medical individuals and medicine.
The Cheselden Medal was instituted in 2009 in honour of William Cheselden "to recognise unique achievements in, and exceptional contributions to, the advancement of surgery". The award is made at irregular intervals to reflect the outstanding qualities required of recipients and is deemed one of the College’s highest professional honours.
The Royal Colleges' Bronze Medal was instituted in 1957 and is awarded jointly with the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. It is awarded annually "on the nomination of the Medical Group of the Royal Photographic Society for the outstanding example of photography in the service of medicine and surgery".
The Wood Jones Medal was instituted in 1975 to commemorate Frederic Wood Jones (Sir William Collins Professor of Human and Comparative Anatomy and Conservator of the Anatomy Museum 1945-52). It is awarded occasionally (triennially until 1994) by a Committee "for contributions to anatomical knowledge or the teaching of anatomy in the tradition of Frederic Wood Jones".
The Clement-Price Award was founded in 1958 with a gift of 1,000 guineas from members of the staff of the Westminster Hospital in honour of Sir Clement Price Thomas. It is awarded triennially, or at such other interval as the President may decide, by the Council on the recommendation of the Fellowship Election and Prize Committee, "in recognition of meritorious contributions to surgery in its widest sense, without restriction of candidature".
The Lister Medal has been awarded since 1924 (mostly on a triennial basis), after the College was entrusted in 1920 with administrating the Lister Memorial Fund, in memory of pioneering British surgeon Joseph Lister. The award is decided in conjunction with the Royal Society, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Glasgow. In addition to being presented with a medal, the recipient delivers the Lister Oration at the College.
The Honorary Gold Medal was instituted in 1802 and is awarded at irregular intervals "for liberal acts or distinguished labours, researches and discoveries eminently conducive to the improvement of natural knowledge and of the healing art". Recipients to date include Sir Victor Negus, Sir Geoffrey Keynes, Sir Stanford Cade (all three in 1969), Professor Harold Ellis (1998), Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys (2002) and Dr Barry J. Marshall (2005).
The Bradshaw Lecture was founded in 1875 under the will of Mrs Sally Hall Bradshaw in memory of her husband, Dr William Wood Bradshaw. It is a biennial (annual until 1993) lecture on surgery, customarily given by a senior member of the Council on or about the day preceding the second Thursday of December. (Given in alternate years, with the Hunterian Oration given in the intervening years). Not to be confused with the corresponding Bradshaw Lectures delivered to the Royal College of Physicians. See Bradshaw Lecture for list of past lectures and lecturers.
The Hunterian Oration was founded in 1853 when a bequest was made by the executors of John Hunter's will, to provide for an annual dinner and oration in memory of the famous surgeon. It is now delivered biennially.
Prior to 1820, to meet the requirements of London's College of Surgeons, students would spend time in London and select courses of instruction in surgery by teachers at Guy's Hospital, St Thomas' - together known as London's Borough Hospitals - and as well as attend anatomy classes at private institutions such as William Hunter's anatomy school, attached for a time to Middlesex Hospital. Although at this time some students of surgery had already acquired the M.D. (or its equivalent) qualification, it was not until the 1830s that students of surgery were required to have obtained a medical degree at a university before commencing studies for membership of the Royal College of Surgeons. By the 1830s, medical schools in London at the University of London, St George's Hospital and King's College, London had been established and the influence of the private schools was diminished.
Today, the RCS offeres a range of both on-line e-learning modules and hands-on practical workshops to facilitate the CPD for trainee and consultant surgeons across varies specialties.
Since May 2017, the RCS started to offer Postgraduate Certificate in Surgery to junior surgical trainee. This qualification combined e-learning modules and practical causes “offer surgical trainees a high-quality, flexible and interactive way to build their surgical knowledge and skills” across different surgical specialties.
|Professor Derek Alderson||July 2017 onwards|
|Clare Marx CBE||July 2014 - July 2017 |
|Sir Norman Stanley Williams||2011–2014|
|Lord Bernard Ribeiro||2005-08|
|Sir Peter Morris||2001-04|
|Sir Barry Jackson||1998-2001|
|Sir Rodney Sweetnam||1995-98|
|Sir Norman Browse||1992-95|
|Sir Terence English||1989-92|
|Sir Ian Todd||1986-89|
|Sir Alan Parks||1980-82|
|Sir Reginald Murley||1977-80|
|Rodney Smith, Baron Smith||1973-77|
|Thomas Holmes Sellors||1969-72|
|Russell Brock, Baron Brock||1963-66|
|Arthur Porritt, Baron Porritt||1960-63|
|James Paterson Ross||1957-60|
|Sir Alfred Webb-Johnson||1941-48|
|Cuthbert Sidney Wallace||1935-37|
|Holburt Jacob Waring||1932-34|
|Sir John Bland-Sutton||1923-23|
|Anthony Alfred Bowlby||1920-22|
|George Henry Makins||1917-19|
|Sir William Watson Cheyne||1914-16|
|Henry Trentham Butlin||1909-11|
|Sir Henry Morris, 1st Baronet||1906-08|
|Sir Henry Howse||1901-02|
|John Whitaker Hulke||1893-94|
|Sir William Scovell Savory||1885-88|
|John Cooper Forster||1884|
|Thomas Spencer Wells||1882|
|William James Erasmus Wilson||1881|
|John Eric Erichsen||1880|
|Prescott Gardner Hewett||1876|
|Frederick Le Gros Clark||1874|
|Thomas Blizard Curling||1873|
|Frederic Carpenter Skey||1863|
|Caesar Henry Hawkins||1861|
|John Flint South||1860|
|James Moncrieff Arnott||1859|
|Joseph Henry Green||1858|
|George James Guthrie||1854|
|John Flint South||1851|
|James Moncrieff Arnott||1850|
|Joseph Henry Green||1849|
|Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie, 1st Baronet||1844|
|John Goldwyer Andrews||1843|
|George James Guthrie||1841|
|John Painter Vincent||1840|
|Honoratus Leigh Thomas||1838|
|Sir Anthony Carlisle||1837|
|Astley Paston Cooper||1836|
|John Goldwyer Andrews||1835|
|George James Guthrie||1833|
|John Painter Vincent||1832|
|Richard Clement Headington||1830|
|Honoratus Leigh Thomas||1829|
|Sir Anthony Carlisle||1828|
|Astley Paston Cooper||1827|
|Sir David Dundas||1819|
|Sir James Earle||1817|
|Sir Charles Blicke||1810|
|Sir James Earle||1807|
|Sir Charles Blicke||1803|
the beginning of the 18th century, when physicians were distinguished by the possession of a university medical degree: an MD. Although many had acquired their MDs abroad with minimal effort or bought them for about £20 (about £800 today) from the University of Aberdeen or of St Andrews, the possession of a medical doctorate entitled physicians and no other medical practitioner to be addressed as “doctor.” Eighteenth century surgeons, who were of course addressed as Mr, seldom had any formal qualification except in the case of the few who were Members of the Company of Surgeons. After the founding of the Royal College of Surgeons of London in 1800, however, it was customary for surgeons to take the examination for Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons and put MRCS after their name.
Hunter's school of anatomy was taken over by Sir Charles Bell in 1812, and became (by 1835) a medical school of Middlesex Hospital
(page 167)..Prior to the 1820s, ...candidates for membership of the Royal College of Surgeons spent time in London selecting courses from (St Thomas' and Guy's Hospitals) and private anatomy schools
Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England is a medical journal published eight times a year by the College, in January, March, April, May, July, September, October and November. The sister journal of the Annals is the Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
The Annals publishes peer reviewed papers on all branches of surgery, with emphasis on clinical research. It also includes: letters and comments, a technical section, news from NICE, discussion of controversial topics, CORESS feedback, and book reviews. There is in addition a selection of trainee presentations from England and Wales. The editorial board consists of members of the College Council and experts from surgical specialties.The current Editor-in-Chief of the Annals is Tim Lane. Back issues from one year ago or more are archived on PubMed Central and thus may be accessed free of charge. Current and recent issues can be accessed online via Ingenta Connect.
The ISSN for the Annals is: 0035-8843
As of 2014 the impact factor for the Annals is 1.268.The journal is indexed in PubMed and Science Citation Index.Bernard Ribeiro, Baron Ribeiro
Bernard Francisco Ribeiro, Baron Ribeiro, CBE (born 20 January 1944) is a British surgeon who served as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from 2005 to 2008. He was created a life peer in 2010 and sits in the House of Lords on the Conservative benches.Bradshaw Lecture
The Bradshaw Lectures are prestigious lectureships given at the invitation of the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
They were instituted in 1880 by bequests of £1000 to the Royal College of Physicians and a similar sum to the Royal College of Surgeons. The bequests were made by the will of Mrs Sally Hall Bradshaw, dated 6 September 1875, proved on 26 August 1880, to institute a lecture to be given annually on or near 18 August at each college and to be called the Bradshaw Lecture in memory of her husband William Wood Augustus Fitz-Milton Bradshaw. She desired that the lecture should be connected with medicine or surgery, and that the choice of the lecturer should rest with the President of the College for the time being to maintain her husband’s name in good repute by associating it with the advancement of the science which he loved, and to testify her gratitude for the happiness which she owed to him.Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
The Bulletin of the Royal College of Surgeons of England is an open access periodical published 10 times a year by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. It covers the field of surgery, including non-clinical research, as well as publishing and information on college activities. The editor-in-chief is Neil Mortensen. Online access to current and past issues is free.Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient
Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient (CCrISP) is a training programme for surgical doctors. The course covers the theoretical basis and practical skills required to manage critically ill surgical patients. It is managed by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The 4th edition, which reduced the duration to 2 days, was released in February 2017.Clare Marx
Dame Clare Lucy Marx, DBE DL, FRCS SFFMLM (born March 1954) is the former President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from July 2014 to July 2017, the first woman to hold the position, and current Chair of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. In January 2019, Dame Clare will take up an appointment as Chair of the General Medical Council, the first woman to hold this role.
She has worked as an orthopaedic surgeon at Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust since 1993.Dossibai Patell
Dossibai Rustomji Cowasji Patell MBE (16 October 1881 – 4 February 1960), later known as Dossibai Jehangir Ratenshaw Dadabhoy, was an Indian obstetrician and gynaecologist, who in 1910 became the first woman to become a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (RCS).
After completing initial medical training in India, she spent six years in London studying for the MRCS (Eng), the LRCP, the MRCP and then an MD.
Upon return to India, she established a career in obstetrics and gynaecology, advocated maternal and child welfare centres and petitioned for reducing infant mortality. In this role, she became active in a variety of societies, becoming the president of first the Bombay Obstetric and Gynaecological Society and later of the Association of Medical Women in India.
The Dossibai J. R. Dadabhoy oration is given in her memory.FDSRCS England
Fellowship in Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (FDSRCS).
A Dental postgraduate professional qualification.
It is bestowed by the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow each has its equivalent Fellowship degree.
The Faculty can also grant other qualifications as the Membership of the Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (MFDSRCS), Diploma in Dental Public Health, Diploma in Special Care Dentistry, Membership in Restorative Dentistry and the Membership in Surgical Dentistry.
The FDSRCS was mostly granted after passing examinations currently it could still be granted by the faculty after consideration of the applicants career and achievements, this is done through an election process by the faculty's council.Faculty of Dental Surgery
The Faculty of Dental Surgery of the Royal College of Surgeons of England is an independent UK professional body committed to enabling dental specialists to provide patients with the highest possible standards of practice and care. The Faculty is and integral part of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and is located at the College's headquarters in Lincoln's Inn Fields in London.
The Faculty was established in 1947 to meet the requirement that the training of dental specialists involves the same academic discipline as that demanded for medicine and surgery. Subsequent to the 1946 NHS Act UK dental graduates were required to show evidence of several years' postgraduate training in all aspects of dentistry and to have acquired a recognised postgraduate qualification.
There are two other Faculties of Dental Surgery in the UK: one based at The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the other a part of The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. There is also a Faculty of Dentistry which is a part of The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. All four Faculties work closely together on many professional issues.Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons
Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (FRCS) is a professional qualification to practise as a senior surgeon in Ireland or the United Kingdom. It is bestowed on an intercollegiate basis by the four Royal Colleges of Surgeons (the Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (chartered 1784), Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (chartered 1505), and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow). The initials may be used as post-nominal letters.
Several Commonwealth countries have organisations that bestow similar qualifications, among them the FRCSC in Canada, FRACS in Australia and New Zealand, FCS(SA) in South Africa, FCSHK in Hong Kong.
The intercollegiate FRCS examinations are administered by two committees, the JCIE (Joint Committee on Intercollegiate Examinations, which handles domestic examinations) and the JSCFE (Joint Surgical Colleges Fellowship Examination, which handles overseas examinations). This system replaced the earlier one in which each college administered its own examinations. First the curricula were intercollegiately coordinated by the ISCP (Intercollegiate Surgical Curriculum Programme) of the JCST (Joint Committee on Surgical Training), and then the examinations became intercollegiate.
The original fellowship was available in general surgery and in certain specialties—ophthalmic or ENT surgery, or obstetrics and gynaecology—which were not indicated in the initials. It came to be taken midway through training. Each of the four Royal Colleges of Surgeons of the UK and Ireland used to administer its own examinations. The four postnominals were FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Ed), FRCS(G), and FRCS(I). The FRCS designation without further specification then referred by convention/tradition to FRCS(Eng) specifically. Today the examination and qualification are intercollegiate, although each surgeon can still choose afterward to be affiliated with one or more specific colleges. (In Canada the FRCS(C) qualification is administered by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.)
There are now a range of higher fellowships, taken at the end of higher specialist training and often in narrower fields, the first of which was FRCS (Orth) in orthopaedics. Others include FRCS (Urol) in urology and FRCS (OMFS) in maxillofacial surgery.Hugh Phillips
Hugh Phillips was a Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. His special surgical interests were in hip and knee reconstruction, following on from Kenneth McKee. He received his Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1970 and succeeded Professor Sir Peter Morris as the President on 8 July 2004.Hugh Phillips who lived in Ashwellthorpe was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Norfolk in 1996.Hunterian Museum (London)
The Hunterian Museum is a museum of anatomical specimens in London, located in the building of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.Lister Medal
The Lister Medal is an award presented by the Royal College of Surgeons of England in recognition of contributions to surgical science. It is named after the English surgeon Joseph Lister (1827-1912), whose work on antiseptics established the basis of modern sterile surgery.
The medal has its origins in the Lister Memorial Fund, started by the Royal Society, which was raised by public subscription after Lister's death, with the object of creating a lasting mark of respect to his memory. In 1920, the Royal College of Surgeons of England became the trustees and administrators of the fund. They were entrusted with the task of awarding a monetary prize and a bronze medal (gold since 1984) every three years, irrespective of nationality, to those who had made outstanding contributions to surgical science. The triennial award is decided by a committee representing the Royal Society, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Glasgow.
The Lister Medal, although it is not always awarded to a surgeon, is one of the most prestigious honours a surgeon can receive. The obverse of the medal consists of a representation of a bust of Lord Lister. The reverse side has the recipient's name across centre, and around the edge of the medal is text naming the award along with the dedication:
On the occasion of the award, the medallist delivers the Lister Oration (sometimes called the "Lister Memorial Lecture"). The first award was announced in 1924, with the presentation and the lecture taking place the following year. The most recent award was made in 2015, with a total of 27 people having received the medal to date.Membership of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland
Membership of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (MRCS) is a postgraduate diploma for surgeons in the UK and Ireland. Obtaining this qualification allows a doctor to become a member of one of the four surgical colleges in the UK and Ireland, namely the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. The examinations are currently organised on an intercollegiate basis. Thus today's MRCS has replaced the former MRCS(Eng), MRCS(E), MRCS(G), and MRCS(I). (Similarly, the MRCP is also now intercollegiate.)Peter Morris (surgeon)
Sir Peter John Morris, AC, FRS, FMedSci, FRCP, FRCS (born 17 April 1934) is an emeritus Nuffield professor of surgery at the University of Oxford, former President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, founder of the Oxford Transplant Centre and director of the Centre for Evidence in Transplantation at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.Puliyur Krishnaswamy Duraiswami
Puliyur Krishnaswamy Duraiswami (1912–1974) was an Indian orthopedic surgeon, medical writer and the Director General of Health Services under the Government of India. Besides being a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and a founder Fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, he published several articles on orthopedics and was a recipient of Robert Jones Medal and the Presidential Merit Award of the British Orthopaedic Association. The Government of India awarded him the third highest civilian honour of the Padma Bhushan, in 1966, for his contributions to the Medical Science.Royal College of Anaesthetists
The Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA) is the professional body responsible for the specialty of anaesthesia throughout the United Kingdom. It sets standards in anaesthesia, critical care, pain management, and for the training of anaesthetists, physicians' assistants (anaesthesia), and practising critical care physicians. It also holds examinations for anaesthetists in training, publishes the British Journal of Anaesthesia, and informs and educates the public about anaesthesia. Its headquarters is in Churchill House, London.Victor Negus
Sir Victor Ewings Negus, MS, FRCS (6 February 1887 – 15 July 1974) was a British surgeon who specialised in laryngology and also made fundamental contributions to comparative anatomy with his work on the structure and evolution of the larynx. He was born and educated in London, studying at King's College School, then King's College London, followed by King's College Hospital. The final years of his medical training were interrupted by the First World War, during which he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. After the war, he qualified as a surgeon and studied with laryngologists in France and the USA before resuming his career at King's College Hospital where he became a junior surgeon in 1924.
In the 1920s, Negus worked on aspects of both throat surgery and the anatomy of the larynx, the latter work contributing to his degree of Master of Surgery (1924). His surgical innovations included designs for laryngoscopes, bronchoscopes, oesophagoscopes, an operating table, and tracheotomy equipment. His major publications were The Mechanism of the Larynx (1929) and his work on the clinical text Diseases of the Nose and Throat, starting with the fourth edition of 1937. Negus was also awarded several lectureships and published many medical papers and other works on comparative anatomy and laryngology. He became a senior surgeon at King's College Hospital in 1940 and a consulting surgeon in 1946.
Negus was one of the founders of the British Association of Otorhinolaryngologists, helping to establish his speciality as a discipline within the newly formed National Health Service. He was a member of numerous international and national otolaryngology organisations, and presided over the Fourth International Congress of Otolaryngology in London in 1949. In this period of his career following the Second World War he also worked on the anatomy of the paranasal sinuses, and played a key role in rebuilding and establishing collections of animal dissections used by comparative anatomists.
Negus, who married in 1929 and had two sons, retired in 1952, though he continued to publish on comparative anatomy and the history of medicine. His honours before and after retirement included the Fellowship of King's College, London (1945), an honorary degree (1950), the Lister Medal (1954), a knighthood (1956), honorary fellowships of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (1949) and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (1958), and the Honorary Gold Medal of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1969). He died in Hindhead, Surrey, aged 87 in 1974.Wilfrid Payne
Wilfrid Walter Payne FRCP (25 March 1894 in Brighton – 28 December 1978) was a British pediatrician with his job title also being biochemist and chemical pathologist He was notable for developing flame photometry and chromatography, enzymology, fat balances and chylomicron counting, and for conducting research on gastroenteritis, calcium and phosphorus metabolism, and on coeliac and fibrocystic diseases.