In 2017, the College is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the inception of emergency medicine, with a host of events and activities across the country to mark the occasion.

Fifty years ago the first meeting of the Casualty Surgeons Association (CSA) - the forerunner of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine - took place at BMA House. Dr Maurice Ellis chaired the meeting of 10 officers, most of whom were non-consultant Senior Casualty officers, but had surgical backgrounds.

Celebration Week 9-13 October

We’re kicking off our celebration week with an attempt to set a record for the most people learning CPR in 2 hours, and are seeking small multidisciplinary teams (ED doctors, nurses, managers) to help teach CPR to the public in their region.

We also want help to promote important educational messages on other themes during the week – including mental health and violence prevention – providing advice, education and support on the issues that matter. The flyer below gives more information on the themes.

If your team would like to take part and help raise funds for the new RCEM Foundation, which we think will inspire great research and educational projects, please register your team by Friday 8 September 2017.

To help you plan your event or take part in the CPR record, we’ve put together some tips, information and resources for you to use, that we hope will be helpful.

To take part, or for more information contact Thank you in advance for your help – we really want to make this a memorable occasion and your help will be invaluable. 

European Restart a Heart Day - 16 October 2017

Our CPR record attempt is part of the Resuscitation Council UK’s Restart a Heart Campaign, with the 16 October 2017 designated as European Restart a Heart Day.

The Royal College of Emergency Medicine fully supports the day and is proud to be a partner in the project, as it will ensure that many more people are trained in CPR.

We would encourage any departments that for any reason cannot take part in our record attempt on 9 October 2017 to get involved with European Restart a Heart Day. 

Further information and details of how to get involved can be found at

Emergency Medicine at 50

'Emergency Medicine at 50' tells the story of our Royal College in the words of many of the people who made it happen. They write about their successes and their frustrations, and about the enthusiasms that have kept them going. As it is the 50th anniversary, the story is told from 50 different viewpoints.

Contributors were asked to choose their own angle on the College story. There are many different styles and approaches. There are memories and anecdotes. Some are strong on facts and details while others paint with a broader brush. Some write with rich humour. Some particularly demonstrate inspiring dedication to today’s tasks and raise exciting possibilities for the future. 

The story of RCEM is no ordinary story, and 'Emergency Medicine at 50' is no ordinary story book.

Click here to order a copy.


9 June 2017 - AWSEM Annual Academic Conference 2017; Cardiff City Stadium

17 November 2017 -  EM 50th Anniversary: celebration, innovation, inspiration; The Royal Society of Medicine, London
Click here to book your place at the celebratory event where the best EM speakers of the decades have gathered together to discuss the innovative practice of today and how to inspire the next generation. Join us for a day of relevant, practical talks and a celebratory drink reception. Full programme coming soon. Members £135. Non-members £170.

50 Years of Emergency Medicine launch

Three words that describe Emergency Medicine

The theme of our celebrations is Inspiration, Celebration and Innovation and we’re asking you to send us the three words that you feel best describe what makes emergency medicine special. Please send your three words to

Tell us who inspired you in Emergency Medicine

As part of our celebrations we are commemorating inspirational figures and are asking you to tell us who inspired you and why.

It could be anyone – local, regional, national or international – or could be more than one person. Did you work for them or with them; did you want to be them or a bit like them? What was the most important thing they taught you? What did you admire about them? You can see the full list of inspirational figures submitted so far here

Send your thoughts on your Emergency Medicine inspirations, either with your name or anonymously, to or add your comments here

You can even use the form below and post it to us!

History of Emergency Medicine and the College

  • The College was granted the title Royal on 4 February by Her Majesty The Queen, acting on advice of her Ministers and so became The Royal College of Emergency Medicine.
  • College and Association formally merge on 29 February to become a new body, The College of Emergency Medicine, incorporated by Royal Charter.
  • On 1 October, HRH the Princess Royal graciously presents the Charter to Mr Jim Wardrope.
  • 40 years since establishment of CSA.
  • EuSEM now affiliated with 24 national societies in 23 European countries.
  • Faculty of A&E Medicine becomes College of Emergency Medicine (CEM) on 1 January. Mr Jim Wardrope is first president of CEM. The College is the authoritative body for Emergency Medicine in the UK and the Republic of Ireland (where it works alongside the Irish Association for Emergency Medicine).
  • College and Association move to new shared accommodation in Churchill House, Red Lion Square, Holborn.
  • College no longer constitutionally linked to “parent” colleges.
  • FFAEM diploma becomes FCEM, MFAEM becomes MCEM.
  • College of Arms authorises transfer of Faculty coat of arms to CEM.
  • Faculty and Association each vote unanimously at General Meetings for the two bodies to merge and form a College.
  • A Merger Board is formed to work out the practical details.
  • EuSEM forms Federation of national EM societies in Europe.
  • BAEM drops the “Accident” becoming British Association for Emergency Medicine (initials unchanged).
  • A UK Statutory Instrument formally changes the name of the specialty from A&E Medicine to Emergency Medicine (also known as Accident & Emergency Medicine).
  • First diet of examination confirming eligibility for entry to Higher Specialist Training in EM, Membership of the Faculty of A&E Medicine (MFAEM).
  • AGM of BAEM approves considering the establishment of a College of Emergency Medicine in conjunction with FAEM.
  • Journal is relaunched as Emergency Medicine Journal (EMJ).
  • SAC in A&E Medicine becomes Joint Committee on Higher Training in A&E Medicine under auspices of FAEM.
  • First diet of specialty examination of the Faculty of A&E Medicine (FFAEM).
  • Faculty is granted coat of arms by the College of Arms.
  • European Society for Emergency Medicine (EuSEM) founded, initially as individual membership body.
  • Inauguration of Intercollegiate Faculty of A&E Medicine on 2 November at RCSEng. Faculty has 6 “parent” colleges: RCSEng, RCPLond, RCSEd, RCPEd, RCPSGlas, and RCoA. Dr David Williams is first president.
  • EMRS is absorbed by the Faculty.
  • BAEM continues with responsibility for professional and clinical matters, while Faculty is to develop academic and training issues.
  • Intercollegiate Board on A&E Medicine established with representation from BAEM, RCPLond, and RCSEng. RCPEd, RCSEd, RCPSGlas, RCPI, RCSI, RCoA.
  • International Federation for Emergency Medicine established (first members are ACEP, ACEM, BAEM and CAEP).
  • Mr David Yates appointed in Manchester, to first professorial chair in A&E Medicine.
  • After many vigorous debates, CSA agrees name change to British Association for Accident & Emergency Medicine (BAEM).
  • First International Conference on Emergency Medicine, held in London.
  • British Accident & Emergency Medicine Journal and Archives of Emergency Medicine adopted as CSA journals.
  • Australasian College of Emergency Medicine established.
  • Emergency Medicine Research Society established as an independent body to foster research in the specialty. First meeting at Royal Station Hotel, York.
  • First diet of FRCSEd examination in Accident & Emergency Medicine and Surgery (became MRCSEd (A&E) subsequently. The final diet was in 2009).
  • Australian Society of Emergency Medicine formed.
  • First Senior Registrar appointments approved by the SAC in A&E Medicine (several individual posts were actually filled from 1976 onwards).
  • Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians established.
  • Specialist Advisory Committee (SAC) in Accident and Emergency Medicine formed under auspices of Joint Committees in Higher Medical and Surgical Training. SAC based at Regent’s Park (RCP) and CSA at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (RCS).
  • 30 Consultant posts established as an experimental pilot, creating a new specialty in the UK - Accident and Emergency Medicine. Specialty is called Emergency Medicine in most other countries where it is practiced.
  • First AGM of CSA in Walsall, near Birmingham.
  • American College of Emergency Physicians founded.
  • First meeting of the Casualty Surgeons Association (CSA) at BMA House. Maurice Ellis was in the chair. Most of the other members were non-consultant Senior Casualty officers. All 10 who attended the first meeting had surgical backgrounds.
  • Report by Sir Harry Platt recommends change of name from Casualty to Accident & Emergency Departments.
  • Senior Casualty Officer grade created to provide experienced medical supervision in Casualty Departments.
  • Mr Maurice Ellis, first full time Casualty Consultant in England, appointed to the General Infirmary at Leeds.