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College welcomes new Fellows and Members at Diploma Ceremonies

05 Sep 2023

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow is welcoming its newest Members and Fellows from 27 countries at two Diploma Ceremonies today.

The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has welcomed new Fellows and Members from 27 countries at two Diploma Ceremonies today.

The events, hosted at the University of Glasgow’s Bute Hall, celebrated the achievements of more than 300 physicians, surgeons, and dentists, as well as travel and podiatric medicine professionals.

Joining the diplomates this morning were Honorary Fellows Sir Tom Hunter, founder of The Hunter Foundation; Chris Lavy, Professor of Orthopaedic and Tropical Surgery, and Dr Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India, while Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, the lead vaccinologist behind the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine, was awarded a President’s Medal.

In the afternoon Diploma Ceremony, the College welcomed new Honorary Fellows: Professor Cathal Kelly, Vice-Chancellor & CEO of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Professor Meegahalande Durage Lamawansa, Vice-Chancellor and Chair Professor of Surgery at the University of Peradeniya; Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde and President of the Royal Academy of Engineering; and Professor Rowan Parks, President of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Mike McKirdy, President of the College, said: “It is a great pleasure to be welcoming 10 leading figures to the College, all of whom are improving lives around the world through their work in health, education and society as a whole.

“As the UK’s only multidisciplinary Royal College, we are incredibly proud of the impact our College community is making by bringing together different perspectives and experiences to tackle global challenges.

“Our newest Fellows, Members, Honorary Fellows and Medal Winners build on a great legacy of innovation and collaboration over almost 425 years.”

Philanthropist and business leader, Sir Tom Hunter, was among the Honorary Fellows joining the College’s diplomates this morning. He said: “I’m delighted to be here and it’s great to see so many people embarking on their chosen vocation. My advice to them would be to take this time to enjoy themselves. Their time is soon to be taken up and we are all grateful for their endeavours.”

Dr Adar Poonawalla whose commitment to ‘health for all’ and affordable prices for vaccines has been instrumental in making them universally accessible, said it was ‘an honour’ to receive the Honorary Fellowship from the College. When asked what advice he might give the College’s newest diplomates, Dr Poonawalla said: “I think the best way to sum it up is to never give up. This was our approach to the vaccine. It’s astonishing what can be done if you don’t give up.”

Honorary Fellow Professor Chris Lavy was recognised for his work setting up orthopaedic teaching, training and research centres in Malawi. He said: “It is the greatest honour to be made an Honorary Fellow of the College. It’s particularly special to be here in Scotland which has such strong links with Malawi, where much of my work has been carried out.”

President’s Medal Winner and world-leading vaccinologist, Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert said: “It’s lovely to be here in Glasgow on this beautiful day.

“I am honoured to be receiving the President’s Medal. The development of the vaccine was a massive team effort, and today I see myself as representing the team and everyone involved in Oxford, across the UK, and internationally.”

Speaking at this afternoon’s Ceremony, Professor Rowan Parks said: “I feel extremely grateful to be recognised in this way.

“I consider recognition of the collaboration and working practices of our Colleges to be important in promoting excellence in surgical education, training and sharing experiences.

“To remain committed to their chosen speciality and preserve through times of challenge as the end result will bring fabulous opportunities and experiences”

Professor Cathal J Kelly said: “It’s a huge honour and I appreciate being given this award. It means a lot to have your work validated and honoured by your peers. It reflects the importance of team work and I must acknowledge my own team and champion them in the spirit of collaboration.”

Professor Meegahalande Durage Lamawansa said: “Sri Lanka College of Surgeons has worked closely with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, particularly over the last 4-5 years. It’s a privilege and honour for me to receive this prestigious award.

“The College has a certain ethos… to look after the wellbeing of the workforce, inclusivity, and to work towards zero emissions, and that goes well with the University I work for. It has been a wonderful day.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “I am extremely proud to be associated with the Royal College. The talent and the collaboration that the College drives through its Fellows, Members and staff is very evident, and I am delighted to be here today.”

The afternoon’s ceremony also awarded the President’s Medals to Dr David Andrew William Ritchie and Dr Patrick T. Grant in recognition of their outstanding work with the Bridges Programme. The scheme supports doctors who are refugees to work in the NHS through education and advisory services.

Category: College

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