Antoine Portal

baron Antoine Portal
président d’honneur

Heir to the Royal Academy of Surgery founded in 1731 by Louis XV and the Royal Society of Medicine founded in 1778 under Louis XVI, the Royal Academy of Medicine was created on the initiative of Baron Portal, by Louis XVIII, independently of the four Academies already existing at the Institute de France.

The Royal Decree of December 20, 1820 defines its missions: “This Academy will be specially set up to respond to government requests on everything related to public health, and mainly on epidemics, diseases, specific to certain countries, epizootics, various cases of forensic medicine, the spread of vaccinia, the examination of new remedies and secret remedies, whether internal as external, natural or artificial mineral waters. She will take care of all objects of study or research that can contribute to the progress of the various branches of the art of healing.”

Since 1902, it has been established at 16 rue Bonaparte in Paris. By a decision of January 29, 1947, it became the National Academy of Medicine.

The company brings together doctors, surgeons, biologists, pharmacists and veterinarians recognized for their scientific work and for the responsibilities they have assumed in the health field. Since its inception, the Academy has had eleven national Nobel Laureate members. Its independence and the relevance of its reports and communications give it an original place and an important role in the health field.

It can receive a request for an opinion from the public authorities, but it can also self-seize in the health fields, but more willingly on questions of public health and medical ethics. Some examples of subjects on which opinions or recommendations have recently been issued testify to the nature and scope of its missions:

  • Adjustment of the child’s school time
  • Specialized medical training in France
  • Press release on influenza A (H1N1)
  • Cannabis, a fake drug, a real drug
  • Exposures to artificial ultraviolet rays, their danger is not sufficiently taken into account
  • Medical prevention of recidivism among sex offenders
  • Stem cells and therapeutic perspectives
  • Facilitation of national adoption
  • Social aspects of medical intensive care in adults
  • Situation of general medicine in France
  • Drug safety and Pharmacovigilance
  • A medical humanism for our time

More information on the history of the Academy


The statutes of the Academy are defined by article 110 of Law No. 2013-660 of July 22, 2013, the main clauses of which we give below:

Jenner inoculant la vaccine

Jenner inoculant la vaccine

“The National Academy of Medicine is a legal person under public law with special status, placed under the protection of the President of the Republic. Its mission is to respond, on a non-profit basis, to requests from the Government on any question concerning public health and to take care of all objects of study and research that can contribute to the progress of the art of healing.
Its members are elected by their peers. All functions are elective.

The National Academy of Medicine is self-governing. Its decisions come into force without prior authorization. It enjoys financial autonomy under the sole control of the Audit Office.
The administration of the Academy is ensured by a perpetual secretary, an office and a board of directors.

The Academy can receive donations and legacies”

The law was supplemented by Decree No. 2014-1678 of December 30, 2014 approving the statutes of the National Academy of Medicine. The new rules of procedure were adopted by the Assembly on April 7, 2015.