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Professor Sir Neil Douglas, Founding Chair of FMLM, former president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) of Edinburgh, and former chair of the UK’s Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, was instrumental in establishing FMLM.

Prof Sir Neil started early conversations while president of RCP Edinburgh and when he became chair of the UK Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) he continued to seek a solution to the problem of how to get doctors more involved in running the health service. He saw the need to establish a new professional body for doctors who aspired to leadership and management in the NHS, private healthcare and in medical academia and for that body to be a faculty of all colleges, inclusive of the leadership skills and aspirations of all career grades and specialties.

In 2010, the Academy accepted Sir Neil’s suggestion that a group comprising the Presidents of the Royal College of Physicians of London (RCP) and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, along with the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP)   should consider the creation of a Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management and advise on its structure and function. The group was chaired by Professor Sir Ian Gilmore (President, RCP)  and   co-chaired by Dr Clare Gerada (Chair, RCGP) who with Martin Else (Chief Executive, RCP), interviewed around 40 senior leaders (mainly medical) from a wide set of influential stakeholders. Findings indicated strong support for the Faculty's development and that the new Faculty should be a Faculty of all the Colleges.

In January 2011, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges formally endorsed the establishment of a Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, and then after six years in 2019, FMLM became an independent charity.

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