Established in 1993, the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Academy) is an independent institution with statutory power to organise, monitor, assess and accredit all medical and dental specialist training, and the responsibility to oversee the continuing medical education and continuous professional development to maintain the standard of specialists practising in Hong Kong. The powers of the Academy are laid out in the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Ordinance (Cap. 419), Regulations and Bylaws. 

Since the Medical Registration Ordinance was amended in 1996, the Academy has played a more active and significant role in the accreditation of continuing medical education for the purpose of specialist registration. The upsurge of specialisation in medicine encourages branching of the profession. Between 1992 and 1997, 15 constituent specialty Colleges were recognised by the Academy Council, all of which run their own structured training programmes.

The Specialist Register was established in 1998. According to the Medical Registration Ordinance (MRO) and Dentists Registration Ordinance (DRO), a registered medical practitioner or dentist who wishes to have his/her name included in the Specialist Register of Medical Council of Hong Kong (MCHK) or Dental Council of Hong Kong (DCHK) must be either a Fellow of the Academy, or certified by the Academy to have training and qualification comparable [or equivalent in the case of an application under DRO] to that required of an Academy Fellow in the relevant specialty. A specialist can claim himself / herself as a specialist only in the specialty under which he / she is included in the Specialist Register but not other specialists.