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Logo of brjgenpracRCGP homepageJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralBJGP at RCGPBJGP at RCGP
Br J Gen Pract. 2009 November 1; 59(568): 879.
PMCID: PMC2765850

A conferring

It was a sunlit day in November when the Provost and I arrived in Heathrow. We met up, quite accidently, on the way to receive our FRCGP parchments; Joe had been awarded his Fellowship in April, but, for whatever reasons, postponed his trip until November and I was glad of the company. The place hummed with excitement. We rubbed shoulders with everybody, but I was gobsmacked to be able to shake the hand of one of my career idols, John Horder, his name adorns the MRCGP cert, in its place of honour over my desk.

The event went off with military precision; opening remarks, honorary fellows and fellows; followed by members. We had arrived, had been peer reviewed, and found deserving of this great honour.

As I stood in line, I could feel my stomach churning, my chest expanding and a great feeling of pride filled my whole being. My heart raced as I heard my name being called and the short 25 word (exactly) citation being read out. I mounted the platform with a great leap (hoping not to trip) and was presented with my rolled parchment by the President. I know he said something nice in my ear, but, for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. The Provost was called later, not because he was any less deserving, but because we were called in alphabetical order, and a great cheer went up for him — somebody had leaked that it was his birthday.

Following a short break, we were treated to one of the most thought-provoking lectures I have ever heard: the MacKenzie lecture was given by Martin Marshall and he discussed the role of general practice — past, present and future; an evolving masterpiece. This was followed by the AGM. At this point, Joe asked me up for some champers and I, after not too much persuasion, agreed. We toasted each other, the College, and all our fellow members, whom we hope will soon be jolly good fellows too!

It was a great day, a great experience and I would recommend it to all.


The RCGP Annual General Meeting is on 20 November 2009.

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners