The President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, Professor Andrew Elder, has become the first doctor practising in Scotland, and only the second in the UK, to be awarded a Mastership of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

Professor Elder said:

I am honoured and delighted by this award – Scotland has a long and strong tradition of excellence in bedside medicine, and I intend to continue to promote core clinical skills through my Presidency and in continued collaboration with colleagues in the USA and beyond.

First awarded in 1923, Mastership is conferred on a select number of candidates who are deemed distinguished through a combination of achievements, including the practice of internal medicine, academic contributions to diagnosis, treatment and care of adults, and service to the ACP.

In making decisions about each candidate’s suitability for Mastership, a special Committee considered personal qualities, clinical expertise and commitment to advancing the art and science of medicine. Emphasis was placed on service as a teacher and mentor, advocacy for quality in internal medicine, a commitment to social justice, deep interest in people, and the creation of communities of medicine.

Professor Elder is an NHS Consultant in Acute Medicine for Older People in Fife, Scotland. He is an Honorary Professor at Edinburgh University Medical School, and a Presence Scholar at Stanford Medicine, USA. Professor Elder’s primary interest is in the enduring value of the bedside skills of history taking, physical examination and diagnostic reasoning in the era of high technology medicine. He is an advocate for the improvement of the teaching of these skills and the belief that their meaningful assessment is a powerful lever to enhance patient care.

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has a central role in the maintenance of standards of patient care through the provision of education and examinations in medicine and a key role in influencing government in relation to health policy in Scotland and the UK.

The Mastership will be formally awarded in Chicago, in early 2022.