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Medical Specialties

Several of the medical colleges are involved in international work. Larger ones may have an office dedicated to international work and smaller ones may have a specialist adviser. Below are links to relevant international sections of various the Royal Medical Colleges of 


The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland

The Association has an active international section that promotes international engagement. It partnered with the Tropical Health Education Trust in a Survey of Anaesthesia Global Collaboration to gather and share information about anaesthetists involved in international projects in developing countries. They are asking those working in anaesthesia to tell them about their overseas work. The information will be collated into a database and map which will be shared to facilitate collaboration.

The survey is looking for anaesthetists who are currently or have recently been involved in work overseas in low and middle income countries (on short or long term placements) to complete the survey. This includes those involved with health partnerships or institutional links, NGOs or providing teaching. 

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Royal College of General Practice

The Declaration of Alma-Ata was adopted at the International Conference on Primary Health Care, 6-12 September 1978. It expressed the need for urgent action by all governments, all health and development workers, and the world community to protect and promote the health of all people. The primary health care approach has since then been accepted by member countries of the World Health Organisation as the key to achieving the goal of "Health for All". 

In 2011 the Royal College of General Practice approved a 10 Year International Strategy with a view to moving primary care policy up the agenda of other health specialities and countries, and increasing the quality of educational and delivery of family medicine though the provision of contextually relevant training and development programmes. 

The College offers 

  • Clinical and educational programmes through its International Advisory Services
  • Accredited exams leading to RCGP International Membership
  • International Travel Scholarships and Exchange Programmes
  • An Overseas and International Faculty that provides advice and assistance to its International Members and Fellows. 
  • A Junior International Committee to facilitate the involvement of GP trainees and newly qualified GPs in educational international activities related to primary care.

The Wessex Faculty has an interested in international affairs and has donated to the College appeal to support work in Sierra Leone.

Anyone interested in learning more can do so by contacting the Wessex Faculty of the RCGP.

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Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has a very well developed international office focusing on global health. It collaborates with global colleagues to build new pathways to improve maternal health worldwide. It is committed to supporting the United Nations Millennium Development Goals relating to the vital improvement needed to global child and maternal health. It carries out its international work through a variety of Global Health Committees.  

Among its several activities it has developed new volunteering opportunities in Sierra Leone and Liberia. It support people from around the world to train and study in the UK on its International Medical Graduate sponsorship scheme. Through this it has formed links with Argentina, Peru, Tanzania and Vietnam. New examination centres have been established in China, Bangladesh and Nigeria. 

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Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has a well developed international office and has recently developed a new International Strategy. It has a range of initiatives including : 

Global Links Consortium : The College has received a Health Partnership Scheme grant to establish a volunteering and exchange programme between the UK and five countries across East and West Africa.  

Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment (ETAT+) : The College has received funding to roll out a modified version of the Emergency Triage Assessment and Treatment training programme in East Africa.  

International training opportunities : The College supports both UK doctors who want to work overseas and overseas doctors who want to come and work in the UK. .

Child Health in Developing Countries Course : The College now runs a practical short course for paediatricians interested in global child health or who intend to work overseas. 

Diploma in Palestinian Child Health : The College has been working with MAP (Medical Aid for Palestinians) and the David Baum International Foundation to train Palestinian doctors. 

Postgraduate training in Iraq : The College is working with the Ministry of Health in Kurdistan and Hawleer Medical University, Erbil to develop postgraduate teaching in paediatrics and child health. 

David Baum International Foundation (DBIF) : DBIF works to improve the health of children in disadvantaged areas of the world through improving standards of education and training for child health professionals. 

International Child Health Group : The Interntational Child Health Group  is a RCPCH special interest group. Members use their skill to improve child health internationally through research and advocacy. 

CHILD 2015 : RCPCH supports the organisation of CHILD2015, an email forum which addresses the information and learning needs of those responsible for the care of children in developing countries. The goal of CHILD 2015 is that 'by 2015, every child worldwide will have access to an informed healthcare provider.'

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Royal College of Physicians 

The Royal College of Physicians has a well developed international office. It has a variety of projects in the different regions of the world, which are co-ordinated by associate directors. 

Its international work covers a wide range of issues that inlcude :

  • support for RCP members and fellows based around the world.
  • helping medical graduates from abroad come to the UK for training.
  • providing pro bono support and training to health educators in developoing countries.
  • exporting our expertise in medical standards and education.
  • collaboration on research and policy with medical and government institutions.

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Royal College of Surgeons

The Royal College of Surgeons has and international office and has an International Affairs Board, which meets quarterly to review and scope the College’s international activities.

It currently hold regular exams in Egypt, India, Iraq, Lebanon, UAE and Sri Lanka, and courses in the UAE, Egypt, Norway, Sweden and Germany, and have delivered collaborative activities in a variety of locations, both in developed and developing countries.

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Royal College of Ophthalmologists

International Strategy : The Royal College of Ophthalmologists has been working internationally for many years and has developed an international strategy. 

Rough Guide : The College has produced a Rough Guide to working and volunteering overseas. 



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