RCGP vice chair of external affairs Dr Tim Ballard, council member Dr Sunil Gupta, council member Professor Martin Marshall and RCGP honorary treasurer Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard have put themselves forward to become the next college chair.
The quartet will speak at a hustings at the next RCGP council meeting in June, and council members will then vote to decide who will succeed Dr Baker as college chair.
The successful candidate would become chair-elect until November, when Dr Baker's three-year term ends. A win for Dr Stokes-Lampard would give the college its third female chair in a row - which would signify a remarkable turnaround after Dr Clare Gerada became the first woman elected to the post in 50 years in 2009.
An election has also begun for RCGP members to choose six nationally-elected council members. A total of 13 candidates are standing for election - Dr Kirsty Alexander, Dr James Cave, Prof Adrian Freeman, Dr Simon Glew, Dr Greg Irving, Dr Margaret McCartney, Dr Samita Mukhopadhyay, Dr Dom Patterson, Dr David Paynton, Dr Bashir Qureshi, Dr Joanne Reeve, Dr Syed Shah and Dr Richard Vautrey.
The ballot opened on Tuesday 3 May and will run until Tuesday 31 May. The results will be formally announced at the RCGP’s governing Council meeting in June.
All college members 'in good standing' are eligible to vote, including for the first time more than 11,000 trainee GPs.
RCGP chief executive Neil Hunt, said: 'I thank everyone who is standing for election for putting themselves forward and wish them the best of luck.
'That we have 13 candidates applying to become council members, is really good news for the college – and, in turn, for our patients, who will ultimately benefit from the diversity of experience of our democratically elected governing body, which comes together to shape our policies and future direction.
'I would encourage all eligible college members, including our newly enfranchised associates in training, to vote so that we can keep the RCGP as democratic an organisation as possible.'
RCGP members can vote for the six nationally-elected posts here: www.ersvotes.com/rcgp2016