Royal Medical Society

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The Royal Medical Society (RMS) is the oldest medical society in the United Kingdom (although this claim is also made by the earlier London-based Society of Apothecaries[1] (1617) which is permitted to award medical degrees). The current President of the 279th session, is third year medical student, Mr Chris Graham.[2] Known originally as 'the Medical Society' when it was established in 1737, it was granted a Royal Charter in 1778.[3] The RMS is a professional society engaged in the advancement of medical knowledge and provision of assistance to medical students and professionals. It is based in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is run by students at the University of Edinburgh Medical School.[4]

It is not to be confused with the younger Royal Society of Medicine of London.

Sale of library

The RMS sold its extensive library, built up throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, at 3 sales at Sotheby's in London in 1969. Much of the collection was purchased by the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[5][6]

The society today

Although cadavers are no longer kept, the Society still encourages medical learning. The RMS hosts talks for students from physicians and surgeons from all fields each Tuesday.[7] After each lecture, members hold a private business meeting and provide an opportunity for students to present their research to their peers.

Practical tutorials (e.g. plastering and venepuncture) are also offered throughout the year and the society hosts student-led exam tutorials at the end of semesters.

Equally important are the many social events throughout the year to provide students the opportunity to take some time out of study. These include the Welcome Week events (including the infamous White Coat Pub Crawl), Hallowe’en parties, a Burns Supper and the Presidents' Annual Dinner — a black tie ball held each November.

The RMS owns rooms above Potterrow, the Edinburgh Students Union building, on Bristo Square. Members have 24-hour access to all academic facilities including: a lecture theatre, a well-stocked medical library, a computer suite and a learning resource centre as well as a kitchen, TV area, pool table and a seating lounge for relaxing and taking time out. During the Edinburgh International Festival, the rooms are used as a performance venue for Pleasance promoters and host the Performers'/VIP bar (Brooke's Bar).

The RMS has a fund for travel and study grants which are awarded to facilitate members to pursue research at home or abroad.[8] The estate, is managed by the RMS Trust, which has charitable status.

The day-to-day running of the Society is managed by the RMS Council - consisting of a Senior President, three Junior Presidents and 11 Conveners, each concerned with particular areas of the Society.[9] The Council is also aided by the RMS Trust treasurer, Dr Paul Mills and the society's Permanent Secretaries, Mrs Elizabeth Singh and Mrs Enid Gardner.


The council for the 279th session is:[10]

  • Senior President – Mr Chris Graham
  • 1st Junior President – Miss Ellie Lee
  • 2nd Junior President – Mr Douglas Donnachie
  • 3rd Junior President – Mr Michael Dias
  • Senior Secretary – Miss Marie Berlouis
  • Junior Secretary – Ms Alisha Sachdev
  • Business Convenor – Miss Aparna Potluru
  • Entertainments Convenor – Miss Hannah Douglas
  • House Convenor – Mr Ian Whiteford
  • Publicity Convenor - Miss Emma Chang
  • Library and Museum Convenor 1 – Miss Philippa Boothroyd
  • Library and Museum Convenor 2 – Miss Sophia Bashir
  • Computers Convenor – Dr Mathew Lyons
  • Annual Dinner Convenor – Miss Jacqueline Easter
  • Tutorial Convenor - Mr Jason Young
  • Editor of Res Medica – Mr James Waddell
  • Permanent Secretaries – Ms. Elizabeth Singh and Mrs Enid Gardner
  • Treasurer – Dr Paul Mills

Notable members

Detail of painting of Dr Sir Stuart Threipland, of Fingask (1716-1805); Bonnie Prince Charlie's physician during the Rising, and President of the Royal Medical Society (1766-1770).

See also


External links

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