Opinion. The upcoming #LetsTalkRCSEM BASEM vote – why I am going to #VoteYes. Dr Katie Marino

I recently wrote a BJSM blog outlining what the upcoming BASEM ordinary resolution is all about. Now I would like to make my position on the vote clear. I am in favour of BASEM and FSEM engaging in discussions regarding a potential merger to form a Royal College of SEM.

Disclaimer

I am a junior doctor and I am currently a co-opted member of the BASEM Executive Board with no voting rights on the BASEM Executive. I have held this role for the last 3 years and have sat on the BASEM Education Committee during this time. Any views I have are my own and do not represent the views of the BASEM Executive Board or the BASEM Education Committee.

My Thoughts

  • We need a powerful organisation to take responsibility and take the lead in asserting SEM’s place in the NHS. This would benefit all professions working in SEM.
  • There is already significant overlap between BASEM and FSEM.
  • We at least need to take the opportunity to discuss the possibilities of what a merger between the two biggest SEM organisations in the UK (BASEM & FSEM) might look like! The resulting RCSEM could be a game-changer for the specialty of SEM!
  • I cannot foresee a RCSEM that does not honour the MDT ideals of SEM and does not provide a ‘home’ for all SEM-related professionals. Other royal colleges have successfully achieved these inclusive ideals.
  • This 1st vote is just to allow discussions to occur between BASEM and FSEM. Further votes have to happen for any big decisions to be made.
  • 50% of ALL BASEM members need to vote yes for it to be passed. Therefore, if you don’t vote, it essentially counts as a ‘no’ – please get your votes in (and find your BASEM numbers to vote using the graphic below!)

Currently SEM is struggling to define itself in the NHS. Most people working in the NHS do not know what SEM clinicians do, and NHS SEM and MSK services are few and far between. We need a powerful organisation to take responsibility and take the lead on asserting SEM’s place in the NHS. This would benefit all professions working within SEM and MSK services in the UK. This single organisation would be more influential if it is made up of the two biggest SEM organisations in the UK (BASEM & FSEM!). In addition, a RCSEM would be better placed to push exercise medicine initiatives with councils and governments, resulting in better improvements to the health of the nation.

There is concern among BASEM members that a Royal College of SEM would be for doctors and would not sufficiently provide for other professions. Although the traditional structure of a Royal College is a doctor/specialist dominated organisation, it is clear that many modern colleges are more inclusive and look after their associated professionals. Since specialty of SEM has been founded on multidisciplinary working, I cannot foresee a royal college of SEM that does not appreciate the MDT ideals and does not provide a ‘home’ for all SEM-related professionals. Importantly, it would provide a single, powerful voice for sport and exercise medicine.

In conclusion

I strongly believe we would be doing a disservice if we do not at least allow BASEM and FSEM to discuss what a merger to form a RCSEM might look like. I know this would be a huge change to SEM, but in order to progress we need active, positive change in the speciality. I thoroughly believe this could be the most effective way of pushing the specialty of SEM forward and into the future!

I welcome debate and responses from those who do not believe BASEM should engage in discussions with FSEM. I believe this is important and an essential part of the process.

Please feel free to start the conversation with me via Twitter or email.

@krmarino1

katiemarino@live.co.uk

Katie Marino

FY3 Doctor- Nottingham

Sport and Exercise Medicine MSc- University of Nottingham

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