The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has today [20 February 2017] announced that doctors who have come to the UK as refugees will be able to access the College’s education programme free of charge to enable them to continue their professional development and training with a view to returning to work as a doctor.

The announcement reflects the College’s commitment to supporting refugees on the UN World Day of Social Justice and the National Day of Action ‘One Day Without Us’, which is celebrating the contributions of migrants to the UK.  

Refugees who have trained as doctors or begun studying medicine in their home country will be able to become a member of the College free of charge. They will also have free access to:

  • The College’s educational programme of symposia, providing updates in general and acute medicine, and across the medical specialties
  • CPD points through attendance at these events
  • The College’s Education Portal, including online specialty modules and archived presentations from the education programme
  • Access to the secure section of the website, offering regular College news and items of interest to the profession

The College has been in contact with the following organisations regarding our free Associate Membership for refugee doctors to outline what it provides and to arrange for them to disseminate information through their networks/clients:

  • Glasgow (Bridges Programmes)
  • NE (Refugee Healthcare Professionals NE Project)
  • London (Building Bridges)

Professor Derek Bell, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said:

“We are keen to support refugee doctors who have come to the UK to offer them assistance and opportunities as they settle into their new country.

“By opening up our education programme to refugees who have studied or practised medicine in their home country, they will be able to continue to develop the essential skills that they have, as well as developing a network of colleagues who can offer support and advice.

“We hope that alongside other initiatives such as the New Refugee Doctors Project and reduced fees for the MRCP(UK) exam, we can play our part in ensuring those seeking refuge in Scotland and the UK can maintain their specialist skills and assist them in gaining employment in the NHS.”



  1. The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh aims to improve the quality of patient care. It represents over 12,000 Fellows and Members worldwide, setting standards and influencing health policy. The College helps physicians and related specialties pursue their careers  through a world-renowned education and training programme.
  2. Those interested in taking part in the College’s scheme should click here to see more information about Associate Membership and how to apply.
  3. One Day Without Us is a National Day of Action on 20th February 2017 to celebrate the contribution of migrants to the UK, to coincide with UN World Day of Social Justice.
  4. The MRCP(UK) Management Board offers a financial concession to doctors with refugee status who wish to pursue the MRCP(UK) Examination, run by the Federation of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the UK -
  5. Information on the New Refugee Doctors Project, funded by the Scottish Government and run by the Bridges Programmes in partnership with the BMA and NHS Education for Scotland, and Glasgow Clyde College and the City of Glasgow College, is available here: