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Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
PresidentProfessor Russell Viner
Members19,000 (2019)
WebsiteRoyal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, often referred to as the RCPCH, is the professional body for paediatricians (doctors specialising in child health) in the United Kingdom. It is responsible for the postgraduate training of paediatricians and conducts the Membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH) exams. It also awards the Diploma in Child Health (DCH), which is taken by many doctors who plan a career in general practice. Members of the college use the postnominal initials 'MRCPCH' while Fellows use 'FRCPCH'.


The United Kingdom's first national group of paediatricians was established in 1928 as the British Paediatric Association or BPA. Its first president was George Frederic Still. The BPA's initial aims were the advancement of the study of paediatrics and the promotion of friendship amongst paediatricians. Most paediatricians also belonged to the Royal College of Physicians and took the examination MRCP(Paeds). The BPA was granted royal college status in August 1996. The MRCP(Paeds) exam was replaced by the MRCPCH in 1999.

The College's official journal, the Archives of Disease in Childhood, was founded in 1926.

The RCPCH's first home was in Hallam Street, London. On 21 March 2008 the College moved to new premises at 5-11 Theobalds Road, London, where it is still based.

Aims of the College

The RCPCH's stated aim is to 'transform child health through knowledge, innovation and expertise'.[1] In practice it has a number of roles:

  • Postgraduate training for paediatricians: the RCPCH defines the paediatric curriculum, advises Local Education and Training Boards and records and monitors trainees' progress from entry to specialist training to achieving the certificate of completion of training (CCT).
  • Running examinations: both the MRCPCH, considered an essential qualification for British paediatricians, and the DCH, a qualification in child health for non-paediatricians.
  • Provides courses and e-learning resources.
  • Campaigns to improve child health nationally and globally.
  • Organises research conferences, notably the RCPCH Annual Conference.
  • Publishes the Archives of Disease in Childhood, a peer-reviewed journal of paediatrics.
  • Develops clinical guidelines and standards.

The college works closely with other bodies, including the Department of Health (United Kingdom), the Local Education and Training Boards, the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Board, the General Medical Council, the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS), the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), children's charities and the other medical royal colleges.


Full membership of the College requires successful completion of the MRCPCH examinations and payment of the membership fee. There are over 17,500 members, most based in the UK but with an increasing number overseas. The membership includes practicing hospital, community and academic paediatricians and retired doctors.

Paediatric junior doctors who are studying for their MRCPCH exams can become junior members. Medical students, foundation (newly qualified) doctors and non-doctors with an interest in child health may apply for affiliate membership. Doctors working in child health anywhere in the world can become associate members without taking the MRCPCH examination.


Senior doctors who have completed paediatric training can apply for Fellowship of the RCPCH, after which they can use the letters FRCPCH.

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of the college commemorate June Lloyd, first female President of the British Paediatric Association and Thomas Phaire, whose Boke of Chyldren from 1545 was the first book on paediatrics in English. The crest is a baby, taken from the arms of the Foundling Hospital in Coram's Fields.

List of Presidents of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

The President is the elected head of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

British Paediatric Association

Start date End date President Notes
1926 George Frederic Still first president of the BPA
1935 Albert Ernest Naish
James Holmes Hutchison
1965 Richard Ellis
1968 1969 Alfred White Franklin
1973 1976 Donald Court
Otto Herbert Wolff
1988 1991 June Lloyd first female president of the BPA
1991 1994 David Hull
1994 1996 Roy Meadow

Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

Start date End date President Notes
1996 1997 Roy Meadow first president of the RCPCH
1997 1999 David Baum [Wikidata] died in office
1999 2003 David Hall
2003 2006 Alan Craft
2006 2009 Patricia Hamilton [Wikidata] first female president of the RCPCH
2009 2012 Terence Stephenson
2012 2015 Hilary Cass
2015 2018 Neena Modi [2]
2018 - Russell Viner


  1. ^ RCPCH website
  2. ^ "Professor Neena Modi becomes President of the RCPCH". Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2015.

External links

This page was last edited on 1 April 2021, at 11:35
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