Throughout 2021 and the beginning of this year we have continued our rollercoaster ride through the Covid pandemic. The society has managed to maintain most of its activities safely through a flexible mix of face to face and online meetings.
During Covid maintaining contacts between members has been an important outlet for many, given that working colleagues were facing burnout and some retired colleagues were at times relatively isolated. Our meetings have facilitated this
and there was a good mix of medical and non-medical topics both interesting and varied. Our social committee chaired by Dr Sarah Watson admirably continued to plan and deliver some excellent events including countryside walks, wine tasting,
Pilates sessions and Christmas wreath making and others.
We have supported five medical students with elective bursaries. Whilst these were all affected by Covid with some having to cancel interesting trips to far flung corners of the world in favour of UK electives they all gave excellent presentations.
The Founders Prize as always showed the high quality research going on amongst the regions trainees.
Colleagues Prof Jim Drife and Mr David Pring have done good work maintaining the library and our collections of historical items. Our kitchen has been upgraded creating much needed cupboard space. We are exploring new uses and possible refurbishment for the outdoor space next to the panelled dining room.
This year we have supported three worthy charities. Martin House children’s hospice provides support and care to children and young people up to aged 25 with life-limiting illness and their families. We had an excellent talk from their lead medic
Dr Michelle Hills. Aside from the usual donation the charity comedy night raised £1250 for the hospice with the very funny Fake Thackray (aka John Watterson) keeping us laughing for an evening. YoungMinds is a charity supporting child mental health nationally and is close to my heart as a child psychiatrist. Medecins sans Frontieres was chosen prior to the unnecessary tragedies unfolding in Ukraine but has proved to be an important choice as they support medical and nursing care
in war torn countries. Many of us have had Ukrainian citizens joining our local communities and have found it richer for that, but hope that they will be able to return home sooner rather than later.
As out going President I would like to thank colleagues for all their support notably Jane, Angie and Tony for their down to earth practicality, flexibility and positivity and my predecessor Dr Jonathan Evans who is always supportive and willing to give advice or lend a hand. Thanks also to the Board and sub-committees for wise discussion and decision-making and to Dr John Reid our treasurer for taking on and being our finance lead guiding us calmly through some turbulent financial conditions. Thanks also to our secretary Dr Kathryn Griffith who has steered us over the course of the year as we have been busy examining the Society’s Articles and membership policies to try and find sustainable ways of keeping a strong Society going forwards. Thanks also to Dr Sarah Anderson, Dr Tim Hughes and Dr Barbara Adams for looking after our technology (Website, Zoom etc) at a time when it has been more needed than ever. Thanks to my very supportive wife Julia.
Thanks also of course to all the members who have supported us and each other during the year.
As part of our modernisation we have agreed at the AGM to extend categories of membership to broaden the Society. We believe that this is an important step forward. Revised Articles will be coming to a future meeting.
We continue to try and be accessible and meet the needs of a wide range of members in a world where many medical societies have been struggling.
We appear to be emerging from the Covid crisis albeit as we cautiously approach new ways of interacting in work and in social settings. It is with great anticipation that we have Dr Mark Roman following on as President after the AGM on 20th May with an innovative programme going forward.