Professor Andy Elder
Professor Andrew Elder

Professor Andrew Elder was officially announced as President-elect of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (the “College”) at the College’s annual St. Andrew’s Day Symposium on 29 November. He will take office on 2 March 2020.

The first geriatrician to be elected President of the College, Professor Elder brings a wealth of clinical, managerial, and educational experience to the role. Educated at Edinburgh Medical School, he was first appointed as an NHS consultant in 1993 and is currently a Consultant Geriatrician in NHS Fife and an Honorary Professor at Edinburgh Medical School.

Since 2013, Professor Elder has also been a visiting Professor and scholar at Stanford Medicine in the USA, where he teaches core bedside skills to trainee doctors. He believes that compassion, empathy, and communication remain central to high quality care, and should therefore remain central in medical education. 

The College is based in Scotland but is international in its reach. Its mission is to promote the highest possible standards of patient care. Professor Elder will build on these standards through the promotion and development of existing programmes of education and assessment for doctors at all stages of their training, in the UK and in countries all over the world.

Standards of patient care are affected by the wellbeing and morale of the medical workforce. Professor Elder aims to further strengthen the College’s systems of support and mentorship offered to trainees and consultants and to promote flexible patterns of work, team-working and partnership with other healthcare professionals.  

In UK healthcare policy, Professor Elder will lead the College in defending the principles that define the National Health Service. He will advocate for increased funding of healthcare nationally and increased capacity for care across primary, secondary and social care. 

With Fellows and Members across the UK and a significant membership overseas, Professor Elder believes that the College must remain accessible and relevant to everyone.

Professor Elder joins our Vice President (Scotland and Northern Ireland) Dr Sue Pound, Vice President (England and Wales) Professor Sunil Bhandari and our new Vice President (International) Dr Conor Maguire in leading the College.

Commenting on becoming President-elect, Professor Andrew Elder said:

I am deeply honoured to be the College’s next President and humbled by the messages of congratulations, support and encouragement that I have already received. I pay sincere tribute to the colleagues who ran alongside me.

The College has made great strides in recent years – in no small measure due to the leadership of our current President, Professor Derek Bell OBE. I aim to build upon that success over the next three years. 

The College is its people: its Fellows and its Members. Our mission is to provide the highest possible standards of patient care.

These are challenging times for medicine and, in my role as president, I will ensure that the College has a bold and influential professional voice; a voice strengthened by listening to others and by partnership with our sister Colleges, universities, employers and, of course, our patients.

I look forward to working with Fellows and Members across the globe to achieve the College’s goals.

Current President, Professor Derek Bell OBE, said:

I would like to warmly congratulate Professor Elder on being announced President-elect of this prestigious and ambitious organisation. I have greatly enjoyed my time as President over the past six years. A lot has been achieved and I am determined to continue working in the College’s best interests.

Professor Elder’s announcement as President-elect comes at a time when we are growing our presence in Scotland, the UK, and internationally. Over the last number of years, we have worked hard to expand our membership and our profile and influence through the media, policy, education and training, and exams. And in that regard, we have been hugely successful. However, we must continue that momentum and I have no doubt that Professor Elder will help the College to do just that.

Congratulations also to Dr Conor Maguire who has been announced as the College’s international vice-President. He has shown himself to be a committed Fellow of the College in his role as Director of Education and I’m sure that he will relish his new role. Dr Maguire joins our current vice-Presidents, Dr Sue Pound and Professor Sunil Bhandari. I would like to also thank Dr Tom Mackay, who recently stood down as Vice-President and I’m pleased that he will remain active at the College as Elected Member on Council for Lothian, Borders, Fife.


Paul Gillen

Contact: Paul Gillen 0131 247 3658