Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons


Fellowship of the Royal College of
Surgeons is a professional qualification to practise as a senior surgeon in
Ireland or the United Kingdom. It is bestowed by the Royal College of
Surgeons of England, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Royal College of
Surgeons of Edinburgh, and Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow,
though strictly the unqualified initials refer to the London College. Several
Commonwealth countries have similar qualifications, among them the FRCSC in
Canada, FRACS in Australia and New Zealand, FCS(SA) in South Africa, FCSHK
in Hong Kong. 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 mid-way through training. 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 in orthopaedics. Others include
FRCS in urology and FRCS in maxillofacial surgery.
The Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons
To avoid confusion, the original fellowship was renamed to either
membership MRCS or associate fellowship. Unfortunately this introduced a new
confusion, as the Royal Colleges also held qualifying examinations in
medicine, after which most of them awarded licentiate diplomas. However the
Royal College of Surgeons of England used to award its membership at this
level, in conjunction with the Licentiate of the Royal College of
Physicians. Mister or Doctor?
Holders of FRCS often choose for traditional reasons to relinquish their
title of “Doctor”, reverting to “Mr”, “Ms”, “Mrs” or “Miss”.
Until relatively recently the training as a surgeon was through an
apprenticeship, at the end of which, if they had learnt their trade in a large
city, they were examined and given a diploma; while physicians from the
Middle Ages had to hold a university degree in medicine before they could
practise. Today almost all surgeons, who are
members of the Royal College, must first qualify as a Doctor of medicine and then
undergo further postgraduate study and training through junior posts before
they qualify as a surgeon. At that point many choose to stop prefixing their name
with Dr and revert to the prefix they used before qualifying
Fellows The original 300 Fellows of the Royal
College of Surgeons of England include: John Abernethy
John Badley Robert Keate
Richard Partridge See also
Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
Fellowship in Dental Surgery FDSRCS England
Notes References
RCS staff, Questions about surgeons: Why are surgeons in the UK called Mr or Miss
or Mrs, rather than Dr?, Royal College of Surgeons, archived from the original
on 29 June 2012, retrieved November 2011

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