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Leiden Exchange

Since 1977, RMS Council members have participated in an annual exchange trip with our counterpart committee from the Stichting Panacee (Panacea Foundation) at Leiden University in the Netherlands.


Many of Edinburgh’s original medical professors trained in Leiden (historically spelt “Leyden”) during the 17th and 18th centuries, and the university carries a similar strong tradition of leading medical teaching and research worldwide. Bedside teaching methods were modelled on those of Boerthaave, who was the most influential name in European medicine in his lifetime. The exchange celebrates this shared heritage, and offers the students involved in running their respective societies a chance to meet, travel and learn about each other’s cultures, with the two cities alternating hosting.


The two cities alternate hosting; in March 2018, the RMS Council travelled to the Netherlands for a few days and stayed with Leiden Medical Society students in the historic city, as well as paying a visit to the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. In 2017, the Leiden students stayed in Edinburgh and enjoyed a private tour of the Royal College of Physicians, a trip to the National Museum of Scotland and a visit to Edinburgh Castle. The RMS also holds a social during the weekend for members to meet the Leiden students when they visit.

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