The work of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is something of a hidden gem.

When I joined the organisation almost exactly a decade ago, I found myself tripping over leading surgeons who were at the cutting edge of surgical change not just in Scotland but all over the world.

Of course, there were some traditionalists – they are inescapable at a 500-year-old organisation. But they were in the minority.

And although innovation in the practice of surgery is almost a given, what impressed me was the level of innovation in the surgical workplace.

Surgery, even 10 years ago, was institutionally geared towards men. The working hours, the rife competitiveness, the arrogance of the profession had planted it in a 20th-century holding pattern.

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The work of successive clinicians at the college has sought to change that. They have pioneered programmes to encourage women into surgery, to create an environment which can accommodate millennial surgeons who wish to train part-time and, critically, to tackle bullying in the workplace, all while maintaining the high standards that attract a genuinely international audience to its membership and to its educational programmes.

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However the college has been unable to create a narrative for itself outside of the clinical space; it has not translated its good work into successful public advocacy among its key stakeholders in the media or in government, nor has it become part of the conversation in civic or economic life.

Its relatively new president, Professor Mike Griffin, is a clinical revolutionary, globally renowned for his approach to curing stomach cancer.

If he can transplant that revolutionary approach on to the college, it can become a force to be reckoned with – not just inside the clinical bubble, but far and wide outside it too.

Andy Maciver is director of Message Matters and a former director of membership and communications at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.