Our library houses a vast collection of medical books catering for all topics and levels of study, including postgraduate exams. These are freely accessible to all members 24 hours a day, and students can search our book catalogue on this website by logging in to the Members’ Area. This includes comprehensive Revision Guides, written by our Council and tailored to the Edinburgh MBChB modules! The library also holds surgical artefacts and anatomical specimens, as well as functioning as a quiet study area with WiFi access.

Our historical archives include first editions of a number of celebrated books, and original works by some of the most distinguished names in medicine. A selection of volumes unique to Edinburgh are permanently held in the University Library. In addition, we retain publications of the British Medical Journal, The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine spanning many decades.

The Society loans a number of its paintings to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, including likenesses of William Cullen, Andrew Duncan Senior and Joseph Black.


The presentation of medical dissertations formed one of the original purposes and businesses of the RMS. From its first informal meetings in 1734, members composed works for reading and debate at gatherings, almost all of which are still retained in the Society’s rooms. This remarkable archive traces almost three centuries of medical progress and education and to this day, members are invited to scribe their dissertations in the official format for inclusion alongside the earliest handwritten works of great names such as James Young Simpson and Joseph Lister.

Fellowship of the Royal Medical Society

Members who fulfil certain criteria may earn Fellowship of the Society, permitting them to use the post-nominal letters FRMS. Fellows must:

  • Be Life Members (5 years or more)
  • Have attended at least 30 meetings
  • Have presented a dissertation/research project (talk to members and hard copy version) that is accepted by the Society

This tradition allows students to hear about each others’ research, gain experience of public speaking and earn the Fellowship diploma.


Historical and medical research enquiries may be directed through our contact details here.