I have been associated with the SAS Committee for over five years now. I joined as a member and am currently the Chair. This in itself speaks of my passion, as well as the support from the College and its Officers to recognise and work with SAS doctors.
For SAS doctors things are changing for the better and there is increased impetus from all the Colleges including ours to recognise and support our tribe
Who are the SAS doctors? – This is one of the most common questions asked when I attend a talk. I don’t blame them, as yes, SAS doctors are indeed the hidden tribe who constitute a considerable part of the paediatric career grade workforce, silently working alongside trainees and consultants. SAS doctors have different terminologies such as Clinical Fellow, Speciality Doctors, Associate Specialists and Trust doctors to name a few. The majority of us have qualified overseas and have considerable experience in the specialty. We work in isolation and undertake independent work, though under a consultant’s name. For SAS doctors things are changing for the better and there is increased impetus from all the Colleges including ours to recognise and support our tribe. There is constant interaction and co-ordination by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which overlooks policies and issues guidance. I meet up with them twice a year and feedback to the College and Committee members.
The fact that I have been in this role for so many years is high testament to the excellent support and encouragement by the College's senior Officers and staff
The fact that I have been in this role for so many years is high testament to the excellent support and encouragement by the College's senior Officers and staff (I am not naming anyone in particular as I fear I may offend by missing others!!). The opportunity to network has kept me abreast of the work happening on the front, as well behind the scenes which is shared with the Committee and wider SAS community. The needs and welfare of SAS doctors has been recognised by various College activities such the CESR training day, mentoring courses, support on how to be an educational supervisor as well as data from the workforce survey.
SAS Committee members have representations on various Committees. I sit on the Membership Committee where Fellowship applications are evaluated in addition to membership issues and subscription. I'm also involved in the Annual Conference Committee and organise a session during the conference for SAS doctors. This is one of the most beneficial sessions as it helps to share views of members and provides updates of College initiatives aimed towards SAS members.
While most of the networking events happen at local levels, there are also some national events. I am happy to be part of the panel for a session at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges National SAS Doctor Conference which is to be held virtually this year on 30 November.
I am really glad that some progress has been made so far given the fact that all the positions in the Committee are filled up with very active and vastly experienced members who will ensure that voice and needs of SAS doctors are not lost.