Tag Archives: Royal College of Physicians

John Caius, the polymath who described the sweating sickness

Philip Liebson Chicago, Illinois, United States   John Caius (1510-1573), Master of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. 1563. Unknown painter. Credit: Gonville & Caius College, University of Cambridge. Imagine being a physician in a rural community in England in the mid-sixteenth century, always concerned with the reappearance of the Black Death. Late one summer you […]

Sir John Pringle, public health and military medicine pioneer

Sir John Pringle. Oil painting. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) At the end of the eighteenth century, Scottish doctors were more popular with patients than English ones because “their useful knowledge contrasted with the ornamental learning of English physicians who were Anglican or Oxbridge trained.”1 By 1825 almost 70% of all fellows […]

Derek Ernest Denny-Brown

JMS Pearce Hull, England   Figure 1: Image in the public domain. Credit: The National Library of Medicine. Source Amongst the titans of medicine, it is not easy to pick out those whose footprints will not fade with passing time. Derek Denny-Brown (Fig 1) was one. He was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. After his […]

Thomas Sydenham, “The English Hippocrates”

JMS Pearce East Yorks, UK   Fig 1. Thomas Sydenham. Abraham Blooteling after Mary Beale – portrait of Thomas Sydenham 8-B-47-Med Source Still Fever burns, and all her skill defies Till Sydenham’s wisdom plays a double part, Quells the disease and helps the failing Art. -from a poem on plague by John Locke, 1668   […]

Charles Richard Box: physician, pathologist, and infectious disease pioneer

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Charles Richard Box by Lafayette. Half-plate nitrate negative. 30 August 1928. NPG x42689. Reproduced with Permission from National Portrait Gallery, London. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0. The name Charles Richard Box is perhaps not as well-known as some of the medical contemporaries of his time. He had a brilliant career in […]

Samuel Solly—distinguished surgeon and educator

Arpan K. Banerjee Solihull, UK   Samuel Solly. Wood engraving, 1871. Credit: Wellcome Collection. (CC BY 4.0) Samuel Solly was born in St. Mary Axe, London, on May 13, 1805. He attended school in Walthamstow, East London, where his contemporaries included the future British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.1 In May 1822 he became an apprentice to […]

Fellows of the Royal College of Physicians and their fees

Barry I. Hoffbrand London, United Kingdom   A Royal College meeting in the early 19th century Since Roman times the means of payment for services rendered defined the place certain groups held in society. Thus the Roman historian Tacitus, writing in his Annals (c. AD 113), refers to a law of 210 BC stating that […]

The membership examination—then

The examination for membership in the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP) is considered to be the British counterpart of the examination for the American Board of Internal Medicine. Its origins, however, are more venerable, being based on a royal charter granted by Henry VIII in 1518. It may also be safely assumed that its format […]