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The Italian Medical Society of Great Britain was founded in 1997 by a group of pioneer Italian physicians and surgeons who lived and worked in London: Professor S. Aloj, Dr G. Abbondati, Professor G.F. Bottazzo, Dr M. Impallomeni, Mr U. Pastorino, and Mr G. Querci della Rovere.

Originally confined to the small community of the 300 Italian physicians who in 1997 had established their professional activity in the United Kingdom or had moved from Italy to UK for clinical training or research purposes, the IMSOGB through the years underwent a continuous growth due to the rapidly increasing number of physicians working in Great Britain: 1500 in 2005 and 3700 in 2015. This impressive increase in the number of Italian doctors has made at present the Italian medical community the sixth medical community in UK, and the second - after the Irish one - among those of all member states of the European Union (data of Gianluca Fontana, Senior Policy Fellow and Director of Operations at Imperial College).

However, the exponential growth of the IMSOGB cannot be only ascribed to the increasing number of Italian medical doctors moving to UK. A significant additional contribution to its development was also provided by the opening of the membership to other graduates and health care professionals. This exponential growth also made that the initial prevalent location in London firstly extended to all the United Kingdom, and then to several other countries - such as Ireland, Canada , Australia and of course Italy - through IMSOGB members who decided to move to other countries or to return to our native country.

A significant role in the successful development of the IMSOGB was also played by the close collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute and by the support received by many Scientific Attache’ of the Italian Embassy, such as Salvatore Aloj (first President of the Society) at its birth, or Roberto Amendolia and Roberto Di Lauro more recently. This allowed the Society to discuss heath care issues in a wider scientific context and to enrich through stimulating interactions with scientists of different disciplines and other professionals such as lawyers, economists, writers and artists.

In approaching 20 years from its birth, the IMSOGB has therefore to face the difficult challenge of answering the changing needs of a global multi-faced membership, operating in a new social and political environment.

Lucio Fumi, IMSOGB Past-President                                                                                Sergio Bonini, IMSOGB Past-President

London, October 2016

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