Picture
York Medical Society was established in 1832 for “The purpose of
promoting and diffusing medical knowledge” and can boast many fine speakers over an unbroken span of many years. We currently boast 295 members and we hold meetings (which I am reliably informed can be included as CME sessions) with guest speakers generally on Friday evenings followed by a supper.
 
The year of meetings commences on October 11th with the most important event of the season which is the Public Oration with a formal dinner in the evening. This years Orator is Professor Chris Ham, Chief Executive of the King’s Fund which as you will know has a very influential voice in the debate over the future of the NHS. His oration is titled “Transforming the Delivery of Health and social Care: what kind of system do we need in future?” and I am sure will stimulate a good debate.

This will be followed by the Annual Dinner to be held in the Merchant Taylor’s Hall which is always a good event not to be missed. There are plenty of opportunities at the dinner to bring friends, organise tables together etc.  Please put this date in your diary but further details will be sent out soon.

There follow meetings approximately 2-4 weekly by a varied array of interesting speakers ranging from an osteoarchaelogist to advances in prostate cancer research and even some activities including a guided walk in York) through until May 2014. Partners are warmly invited to attend these meetings and encouraged to join in with the social events.
I will keep you informed about these regularly in good time for you to attend but this year we have new events planned including social and family activities. You will be able to find the program on the website. 
There will be plenty of opportunities to break down the boundaries between primary and secondary care at the meetings by chatting with colleagues you only know by name. The Society depends and revolves around its members – my resolution for my Presidential Year is to promote the society and encourage more medical colleagues to attend, even if only once to try us out and hopefully to join. I hope you will help me with this task of spreading the word.
I look forward to welcoming you to a new season of talks and activities.

 
 
Picture
I am pleased to report that there was a good turn out for our AGM and my Valedictory Address.
The video of this should be available on the website soon. My title was 'I can't believe I used this' and was a demonstration of some of the slides, cartoons and video clips I have used over the last 20 years - though probably most were from the last decade.
I have really enjoyed my time as President and my thanks go to everyone in the Medical Society who have supported me over the past year. My special thanks go to our Honorary Secretary and Treasurer and also to our Administrator Paul Herring. I wish Ian Lyall and equally enjoyable year.

 
 
Picture
Mark Andrews is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon from Scarborough. He presented a fascinating overview of osteoarthritis of the hip and updated us on new theories as to why it occurs. He used several 'props' to help our understanding and explained that some potential new treatments that may delay the need for hip replacement are currently not funded locally. 
He explained why there was a need to continue looking at the implants used in total hip replacement as we seek longer lasting solutions but tempered this with explanations about recent failures such as the metal on metal hip replacements.
He has been championing national registers of all joint implants and the need for continued follow up of patients.
It was amazing to hear the efforts that Mark and his Orthopaedic colleagues have gone to trying to improve their results in hip and knee surgery - I believe their results are currently amongst the top 2-3 units in England. The team - consultants, nurse practitioners and trainees meet every week to review all joint replacements planned and completed. This multidisciplinary approach is obviously paying dividends for their patients. He ended by giving a brief overview of enhanced recovery - explaining that their patients can usually go home on day 2 following surgery. His talk stimulated many questions - it was an excellent evening.

 
 
Picture
Kate Silvester originally trained and practised as an ophthalmologist. In 1991 she  retrained as a manufacturing systems engineer. Kate spent seven years in management consultancy transferring manufacturing principles to service  industries such as banking, airlines and healthcare.

She provided an overview of work she had completed with two different NHS Hospitals in England looking at the management of emergency patients. It was an amazing description of issues many of us are only too familiar with. However there was also relief that some of the issues that Kate had worked on had already been addressed in York. I believe we came away with some good ideas on how we need to address the issues around the flow of acute patients in the hospital.

 
 
Steve Leveson Travel Scholarship Awardees
Grace Bottani; Thomas Needs; (Flurina Micholetti - was unable to be present)

YMS Bursary Recipients
Chris McLeavy; Ben Boxall; Louise Gardner; Sukhvinder Dhamrait;

Charles Smith Travel Award Winner
Tom Armstrong.

We enjoyed a stimulating evening from the winners of the 2012 travel bursaries. Members were taken around the world from exotic pacific islands to the wonders of working with NASA. It is sad to consider that obesity and concomitant diabetes is an issue in so many countries that are ill equipped to deal with these issues. Your President has no doubt that the experience gained by these students has not only enriched their knowledge but more importantly helped their personal development towards their future role as doctors. 
Society members can be justly proud of our role in supporting student elective placements.

 
 
Picture
Dr Spence lived up to his billing and produced a series of challenges to the audience about current medical practice.
We started with issues around the use of statins - did the studies used as evidence for the use of these drugs in preventative medicine really stack up? Des attempted to persuade the audience that the rate of ischaemic heart disease was already on a downward profile long before we introduced drugs like aspirin and statins. Is there something else at work here - could it he suggested be related to reductions in infectious disease?
We then travelled through discussions on psychiatry and the value of PR and PV examinations. Again current perceived wisdom was challenged. We ended with a discussion on Chronic Pain. Are we right to accept that pain is 'what the patient says it is' and treat this with ever increasing doses of opioid drugs? 
Sadly the number of people who die 'accidentally from overdoses' from prescription analgesics is increasing and has reached incredible numbers in the USA. A sober thought.
Our thanks to Des for travelling down from Glasgow to provide a stimulating evening.

 
 
Picture
David lived up to his billing by providing a lively and humorous overview of the relationship of Anaesthesia and the media. It appears we are divided into two camps in Anaesthesia - those who think having a low profile is good for the speciality and those who feel our profile should be much higher.

David highlighted the lack of anaesthetic involvement in books, in film and on TV. Sadly the one time that we had an opportunity for a positive role model in Holby City the writers decided to make the Anaesthetist have an affair with one of his patients!

It was a lovely evening and our thanks to David for coming to York and entertaining us.

 
 
Picture
Karl provided an insight to his passion for photography. He took us on a tour down the Yorkshire coast providing not only captivating photographs but also a history of each settlement over the centuries. I did not realise there had been so many piers on the Yorkshire coast or that shipping accidents had removed most of them!
From smuggling to fishing the history of the coast provided was excellent but it was the photographs themselves that stole the show. Our thanks to Karl for an excellent evening.

 
 
Picture
Terry delivered a tour de force on how to improve your presentations skills with whichever software you are using. He used Powerpoint to demonstrate the importance of using it as a true educational aid, to help capture the audience, help them understand your point and importantly remember it.

I am grateful to Terry coming to York to impart his wisdom and many of us left the room determined to do better! 

 
 
Picture
Professor Sir Graeme Catto delivered the Medical Society Annual Oration on Friday 5th October.
His title The Profession in the 21st Century: Who Cares? was perhaps not surprising for a former President of the GMC.
However the talk looked at the professions in the widest sense looking at everyone involved in healthcare. The question as to why when entry requirements to these professions is at an all time high do we have such significant issues (e.g. Mid Staffs) that somehow we must all be complicit with.
His thought provoking talk brought many questions from those attending and there was a real buzz that continued into the Annual Dinner.

Despite the background concern of having to make a speech later in the evening the Annual Dinner proved to be a lovely evening for your President. Discussing the pressures on and the future of our societies with the Presidents of the Dental and Law Societies revealed a common theme of dwindling involvement form the next generation. It may well be that looking to co-operate ,ore with more joint functions might be a way to ensure that we can maintain some of the important traditions of our societies. The importance of societies such as our own was emphasised during Sir Graeme's after dinner speech. I hope I was able to build on that theme in my own talk - I will certainly spend ths year attempting to increase membership and attendance by hospital colleagues.