Times are tough for healthcare and they are likely to get harder. The NHS is in crisis, junior doctors are disillusioned, and women, who are the core of what we do, need our care more than ever. Our College must be the “mothership” for women’s health. I believe we need to focus on preventative medicine, recruitment and retention to the specialty, better relationships with other colleges, and protection of vulnerable women, while maintaining clinical and academic excellence. I believe that my high level national and international achievements and experience equip me well for the VP’s role.
Our health depends on how much we eat and how much exercise we take and our patients’ health should be promoted rather than salvaged. We currently have a national obesity epidemic leading to escalating levels of chronic disease, disadvantaged offspring, and increased cancer risk. As the College for women’s health, we should be promoting healthy eating, non-smoking, responsible drinking, and regular exercise.
Recruitment to our specialty
The junior doctors have been dealt a huge blow and many are now seeking alternative employment or immigrating to other countries. We need to continue to assist them in their contract negotiations and encourage them to see O&G as the most rewarding specialty. We need to have greater visibility at medical schools to inspire them right at the beginning - with enthusiastic role models, nurturing them as foundation doctors, supporting them through specialty training, and mentoring them as newly appointed consultants. We need to pay more attention to sustaining a healthy workforce without which we cannot provide patient care.
FGM, domestic violence, forced marriage, and communicable diseases should be high on our agenda. The numbers of women who are victims of these problems are increasing with our changing population and we need to be more receptive to be able to help these women and connect with other agencies to promote integrated care and keep them safe.
We already have established links with other medical Royal Colleges but there is much more scope with regards to training, examinations, joint educational meetings, and patient/public involvement - all aimed at improving women’s health. The addition of Associate Membership now allows us to engage with other O&G colleges globally, opening up endless possibilities for education, health care delivery and research.
I have been a dedicated Member/Fellow of this college and have served 12 years on council. I have been significantly involved in RCOG education, CPD, recruitment, examinations, and global health for 20 years. I am in active clinical practice, very involved in postgraduate education, and have been Dean of undergraduate medicine of the largest medical school in the country, as well as continuing to have an active research group. I feel this is the right time for me to turn my energy into being VP for the RCOG - ideally with the portfolio for education or global health. I have a track record of hard work, completing tasks and being an excellent role model for the profession.
Janice Rymer, June 2016
For more information, please read Janice Rymer’s CV (PDF, 145 kb).