The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) has launched its new website, Remote & Rural Remedies, which delves into the history of medicine in the Scottish Highlands and Islands through use of an interactive map.

Remote & Rural Remedies features a digitised and transcribed collection of surveys conducted by the College in the mid-19th century, to investigate medical practice in the Highlands and Islands.

Users of the website will be able to search these records, which feature fascinating details about the care that was available to remote and rural communities, the challenges faced by medical practitioners, and the opinions of the survey respondents.

Inspired by this collection, the College has created accompanying activities, blog posts, videos and online exhibitions to provide context and support different avenues of engagement.

The College is also inviting current medical practitioners to share their experiences and perspective on remote and rural medicine today, as well as and how much and what which aspects have changed over time.

Speaking about the website, Daisy Cunynghame (Head of Heritage, at the College) said:

These records demonstrate the College’s long history of conducting research into healthcare provision and medical practice with the aim of regulating the profession to protect the public.

We are excited to bring this collection to the public eye and very proud of the efforts of colleagues and volunteers that were involved in creating this web resource.

Researchers now have access to digitised records which highlight the challenges of medical aid and healthcare in the Highlands and Islands at a time of increasing social, industrial and economic upheaval.

Our hope is that the website becomes a hub of continued activity for our audiences to learn about, discuss and reflect on remote and rural medicine in Scotland both then and now.


1. Remote and Rural Remedies can be viewed here: