The Royal College of Physicians plays a leading role in the delivery of high quality patient care by setting standards of medical practice and promoting clinical excellence.

We provide physicians in the United Kingdom and overseas with education, training and support throughout their careers. As an independent body representing over 20,000 Fellows and Members worldwide, we advise and work with government, the public, patients and other professions to improve health and healthcare.

The College was established in 1518 by Royal Charter and is one of the oldest medical institutions in the world. It is a registered charity.

What is a Physician?
Physicians are doctors who have undergone specialist training. They usually work in hospitals and treat patients who have been referred to them for specialist care by other doctors, such as GPs. They practice acute medicine and / or one of the 29 specialties, such as cardiology, neurology or oncology, but they do not carry out surgery.

Our Vision
Doctors of the highest quality, serving patients well.

Our Purpose
To play a leading role in the delivery of high quality patient care, by setting standards of medical practice and promoting clinical excellence.

Our objectives
. Improve standards of clinical practice
. Support physicians in their practice of medicine
. Promote patient-centred care
. Advise the Government, the public and the profession on healthcare issues
. Promote the advance of medical knowledge
. Maintain our independence as an organisation.


What's new

  • RCP gives evidence on dignity in care for older people

    Dr Linda Patterson, RCP clinical vice president, will give oral evidence to the Commission on improving dignity in care for older people tomorrow between 11.45 am and 12.45 pm at Age UK Headquarters, Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9NA.The Commission is being held by the NHS Confederation, Local Government Group and Age UK. Other witnesses in the same evidence session include Janet Davies, RCN Director of Nursing and Service Delivery and Dr Helena McKeown, BMA Head of Career Doctors and Independent Medical Services.

  • Future Forum interim advice: RCP positions on integration and information

    As the Future Forum presents interim advice to the Secretary of State for Health today, please see below for the RCP’s positions on both integration and information. The RCP has today submitted its evidence to the Future Forum workstream on integrated care.

  • RCP on quality of stroke care

    Quarterly local hospital results for patients admitted between July and September 2011

  • RCP: Patients need guarantee of national standards for doctors training

    In its evidence on education and training to the Future Forum, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) stresses the need for all postgraduate medical education to be nationally planned and led by Health Education England (HEE) working with the royal colleges, and for the number of trainee placements for medical specialties to be set at a national level.

  • Commissioning groups need local knowledge, says RCP

    As the Health and Social Care Bill goes to committee stage in the House of Lords, the RCP is calling for the government to guarantee that specialist doctors and nurses who sit on the boards of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) do not have to be from outside the local area.

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