Physicians’ Gallery gains Museum Accreditation status

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) is pleased to announce that its Physicians’ Gallery has been awarded Museum Accreditation status. The Accreditation Scheme is the UK industry standard for museums and galleries and ensures they manage their collections properly, engage with visitors, and are governed appropriately, with agreed standards in each category. The Accreditation Scheme in Scotland is delivered by Museums Galleries Scotland.

The Physicians’ Gallery, which is based in the College in Queen Street in Edinburgh, opened in 2018 and since then has hosted a number of exhibitions on a wide range of subjects related to the medical world, all of which are free to the public.  

Speaking today Professor Andrew Elder, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said:

I am delighted that our College’s Physicians’ Gallery has secured full Museum Accreditation status which demonstrates that we are meeting rigorous national standards in how we encourage public access and curate our world-class collection of historical medical items.

Our heritage offering is a very important part of the work of our College and we are determined to expand and enhance this, building on the successful and diverse exhibitions we have staged since 2018. This accreditation will help us take these efforts forward and importantly, we believe museum status will also allow us to enhance further public access to the College.

I want to thank all those in our heritage team who have worked so hard to gain this accreditation, led by Dr Daisy Cunynghame, Heritage Manager & Librarian.

 Dr Daisy Cunynghame, Heritage Manager & Librarian, said:

This shows that even when you’ve been collecting historical artefacts for over 300 years, like we have, there is always a new frontier to cross! It is really exciting to have hit this milestone – our public museum, the Physicians’ Gallery, which doesn’t charge for entry, only opened in 2018 and we have already hosted a wide range of exhibitions – on topics like death, mental health and skin.

Being awarded Museum Accreditation is the next step to making our museum stronger, better and bigger. It shows that we have met set standards for management, public access and care of our historic collections. This status is particularly important to us because it means we will be able to apply for grants which will allow us to create more events, displays and activities for everyone who is interested in medicine past and present.

Professor Angela Thomas OBE, Heritage Trustee and Honorary Librarian, said:

The library and heritage team has worked towards museum accreditation for the past 6 years and we are delighted to have been awarded this status. We have a vision to ensure our unique collections can be shared and viewed by all, from the very young to those who may even remember some of the artefacts being used; from the curious public to the focused medical professional.

 We hope that by using themed exhibitions and interactive communication and learning, we can nurture interest and provide a perspective from the challenge of medicine in the past to understand the challenge of medicine in the future.

Gillian Simison, Head of Museum Development, Museums Galleries Scotland said:

Many congratulations to all the team at the Physicians’ Gallery for achieving Accreditation status. It’s a substantial body of work to become Accredited but it is recognition of the museum’s commitment to high standards of care for their collections and to providing access to them. We’re delighted that the Physicians’ Gallery is the 255th Accredited museum in Scotland, reflecting the high standards of museums we have across the country.


* Details of the Physicians’ Gallery’s current exhibition are here: After Life: A History of Death | Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (

* Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) is the National Development Body for Scotland’s museums sector. It supports 450 museums and galleries through strategic investment, advice, workforce development and advocacy. For further information about Museums Galleries Scotland visit