Support for non medical members - the PHoCuS group
Together with Christine Bond, I lead the SAPC Primary Health Care Scientists (PHoCuS) group to provide focus for and support non-medically qualified members of the Society. The request for this group to be established came from two medically qualified SAPC members - Professor Helen Lester and Professor Peter Croft. We have to thank both of them for helping us establish the group, Helen for her vision and belief in the added value PHoCuS members brought to APC and Peter for identifying a start-up fund of £5k.
Annual scientific meetings
We organise PHoCuS meetings at the SAPC Annual Scientific Meetings to discuss issues relevant to the membership. A meeting at the 2014 ASM resulted in the establishment of champions throughout the UK to take forward three specific initiatives: leading meetings at regional SAPC meetings, using twitter to raise the profile of the group and taking a lead in teleconferences for PHoCuS members in between the ASM. We are very grateful to the individuals who are taking on these roles: Jenni Burt, Lily Lai, Sarah Knowles, Christie Cabral, Susannah Fleming, Sarah Tonkin-Crine, Akke Vellinga, Barbara Nicholl.
There are now more conversations at more levels within SAPC about the contribution and role of non-medical members of the Society, with PHoCuS members getting to know each other better and supporting each other and more folk taking a lead in enabling this. Our brief when setting up the group was to find ways to support this part of the membership and encourage them to stay in academic primary care. By involving more folk in the leadership of this group and raising its profile we hope we are doing this, while also building sustainability for the group’s future.