Welcome to our international newsletter to keep you up to date with College activities around the world.

International newsletter

April 2019

From the International Director

The College is constantly striving to serve you, our Fellows and Members, better.

As part of that aspiration to keep improving, the whole College is currently reviewing and updating its five-year strategy, setting out our aims and priorities until 2024. The International Executive here at the College have taken the same approach, and so this newsletter is to update you on how we will keep delivering for you in the coming years.

Our broad vision is for the College to contribute to the global health agenda. To achieve this vision, we have identified key goals, and the strategies that we will use to achieve them, which I will explain in more detail below.

This has very much been a joint effort across the College, and I want to pay particular thanks to my colleagues on the International Executive as well as the huge amount of time given by the College staff, who have provided invaluable assistance in this project.

As always, I would love to hear from you if you have any questions, queries or simply want to discuss any aspect of this plan - please get in touch with me.

Prof Sunil Bhandari, International Director, September 2018



1. Ensuring good governance and sustainability

This reflects the College’s increasing focus on governance in healthcare as a key area of development. The College’s Quality Governance Collaborative, an initiative entering just its second year, has moved at breakneck pace, and after entering formal discussions with the World Health Organisation on this subject, it is clear there is international demand for the kind of expertise that the College is developing.


2. Establishing effective reciprocal relationships

While there is no limit to the College’s ambitions, we do have to recognise that we cannot achieve everything on our own. Working in partnership is something that we see as fundamental to our approach. This applies internationally, and as well as working with the WHO on governance (mentioned above), the College has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) and developed a GMC approval process for trainees from Pakistan which are helping to drive recruitment to our Medical Trainees Initiative (MTI). We aim to provide access to training colleagues from around the world to enhance care in their countries, and Dr Donald Farquhar now leads this program on behalf of the College.

We are currently also in the latter stages of jointly producing two international conferences. In partnership with Dr Mohammad Ghnaimat our Overseas Regional Advisor, we are participating in the 14th congress of the Arab Society of Nephrology and Transplantation/ 17th International Conference of the Jordan Society of Nephrology and Renal Transplantation in Jordan, as well as a Joint Regional Conference with the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, both taking place in April. These types of partnership  greatly amplify our capacity, and our ability to deliver value to you. We will focus this work in specific areas that we believe have the greatest potential for impact in learning and education, and to consolidate our networks. Nerandra Kumar will be developing this area further.


3. Contributing to sustainable development goals

The College has always taken a keen interest in helping to drive up standards around the world, while appreciating and remaining sensitive to different environments, cultures and local contexts. We have well established work in Africa (Malawi and Zambia) led by Dr Albert McNeil, and in southern Asia (Pakistan and Nepal), areas where we think focused effort can have the greatest impact. We also want to continue to develop opportunities for work experience placements, allowing clinicians around the world to learn, grow and contribute outside of their normal country of work; we believe that this is valuable to both the individuals involved, but also to the systems in which they work, who benefit from different ideas, cultures and fresh ways to approach universal problems.


4. Educating, assessing and training

Following on from the above, we of course want to recognise that the College’s core aim is to provide world class education and professional development to our Fellows, Members and colleagues. We will continue to deliver our education offering internationally, as well as look to develop new ones. These opportunities will include delivering exams, lifelong learning, quality assurance and postgraduate qualifications. This College has existed for 338 years precisely because of its innovative approaches, and this will continue in how we look to deliver for our international members. 


5. Engaging and increasing our membership

This College would be nothing without you, our Fellows and Members; it is therefore vital that we continue to engage and activate our membership internationally, as well as seek to attract others to join us. We will look for opportunities to strengthen our presence and visibility, as well as continue to enhance the value that College membership delivers. Our ambition is to be the college of choice for physicians in the UK and across the globe; and together, we can achieve just that.


Edinburgh Interntional Course in Medicine of the Older Adult

The popular Edinburgh International Course in Medicine of the Older Adult is from 20 -24 May. Run annually by the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, it attracts approximately 100 senior-level geriatricians from around the world, providing updates on policy and practice of elderly medicine in the UK by experts in their field, as well as providing a great networking opportunity.

This year the programme focusses again on the 'geriatric giants', with day topics on mobility, cognition, continence, common comorbidities, and frailty. Delegates can attend the whole week or individual days. There is also an attractive social programme and two free afternoons to explore our beautiful city. To view the programme and book online, visit: https://events.rcpe.ac.uk/edinburgh-international-course-medicine-older-adult

Scholarship opportunity to attend this course

There is an opportunity for a doctor from a UK Department for International Development  priority country to attend the course with travel, accommodation and course fees paid through the Brian Chapman Scholarship competition.


International Web Streaming Update

Every year we webstream our major symposia to over 60 sites in 30 different countries. We are delighted to welcome new web streaming sites in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Pamplemousses (Mauritius) and Khartoum (Sudan). Two new hospitals have also joined us from Peshawar and Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

These live broadcasts are provided free of charge, and we provide electronic CPD certificates for every delegate that attends. Please click here for more information on attending at one of our current webstreaming centres.

For more information on setting up a host centre please contact our Education Engagement Officer, Sophie Milton at s.milton@rcpe.ac.uk.

The list of current webstream sites changes for every symposium, so please make sure to keep an eye on the ‘Live Links’ tab on our Events Calendar webstreaming centre.


Free educational resources to College Fellows and Members

Our Education Portal, which offers learning modules and recorded lectures from our educational events, is freely available to all Fellows and Members.  As always, we are constantly striving to improve our service to you. Work continues to help you find what you need through content tagging.

As always, if you would like to discuss anything raised in this newsletter, or any other matter relating to the international work of the College, please contact me at sunil.bhandari@hey.nhs.uk