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Scrap the royal colleges’ fellowships

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 12 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1609

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Re: Scrap the royal colleges’ fellowships

Dear Des
You might not be angry about not being nominated for Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) but, still, you deserve sympathy. I’ve therefore taken the liberty of checking the RCGP requirements for Fellowship nomination and was struck by a couple of things which might offer hope.

The first is contained in a reassuring statement by your College President: “We have learnt that we are in the most part a humble bunch. We don’t like to put our hands up for praise, we don’t like to 'sell ourselves'. This should not hinder us from being tangibly appreciated by our profession.” Ignoring any potential irony in this description, it does look as if you are their sort of chap.

If badly painted portraits, curling cucumber sandwiches and cheap merchandise are indeed problems at 30 Euston Square that is unfortunate; but gowns for new Fellows…!

The other criterion which caught my eye was: “ A significant body of publications in the leading peer-reviewed journals.” On that count, Des, you’ll be challenging for the Presidency (with a gown) before you know it!

So much for tongue-in cheek observations about another, respected, Royal College but, on a more serious note, you should ask to see the online discussions from at least one other (much older) Royal College if you honestly think that Fellowship is a barrier to challenging authority and the establishment.

Competing interests: No competing interests

15 March 2013
David Levine
Retired Physician
Sennen TR19 7AX