The Medical Society of London, founded in 1773, unlike the other societies at the time was not restricted to naval surgeons, or to hospital physicians, to licentiates of the Royal College or those associated with a particular hospital. It was however established as a forum for physicians, surgeons, apothecaries and accoucheurs to give them the opportunity of meeting together for the exchange of medical intelligence. There was no other society where the different branches of the medical profession could meet on equal terms to learn from one another.
Of the twelve medical societies born in London in the second half of the eighteenth century, six survived to 1800, decreasing to only four by 1810. Later the Hunterian Society, founded in 1819 and the Harveian Society of London, founded in 1831 were established and still hold their meetings at the Medical Society of London’s premises at Lettsom House.