Dr Eddie Morris writes to the membership
This blog represents my penultimate correspondence with you as your President. As such, it won’t have the usual style and content that I know those of you who read it have become accustomed to.
I was prompted by a recent trip to India to the AICC-RCOG annual meeting that this month’s update should describe some of the behind-the-scenes work at the College. This trip was the first time a small RCOG team travelled overseas to perform its critical functions with our friends and colleagues who live and work in India, combining an academic meeting with running the MRCOG Part 3.
But first I wanted to concentrate a little on India and the RCOG. As you may or may not know, 9% of our Fellows, Members and Associates live in India, and this does not include the hundreds of you who come from India and work in the UK. So, I hope you agree, the RCOG travelling to network, and provide speakers at this congress in India, should be one of the key roles of the College, amongst many other activities such as running the MRCOG exam, supporting our members there and many of our global health projects.
At this AICC meeting I experienced first hand a two-way sense of pride in this relationship which is wonderful and humbling in equal measure, and reinforces the mutual sense of collaboration and respect our decades of acquaintance have fostered. The election of Ranee Thakar, an Indian medical graduate, as our next President clearly fills our Indian colleagues with pride, as it does me. She will be a fantastic leader of the RCOG and in doing so can only further enhance our relationship with India.
At the meeting we performed an admission ceremony for over 60 new RCOG Fellows and Members. This ceremony, like all I have presided over during my tenure, was uplifting and full of pride, relief, achievement and family love. For those of you have attended a ceremony while I have been President you know I walk around the reception once the admission ceremony is over to talk to you, find out where you work, hear your path to membership and have a chat with your loved ones. I have also appeared in a few hundred selfies and impromptu family photos!
The organisers of the AICC-RCOG congress told me they couldn’t believe how slick and well organised the ceremony was, and also commented how well the team of four RCOG staff and our Officers worked together to make the day so special for our new Members and their families. So that is why I wanted to use this blog to thank and highlight the amazing staff at the College.
You most probably know about the Officers, who we are and where we work, and probably know we have a Chief Executive, but beyond that have no need to know who else runs the machine that is the RCOG. I can’t possibly name everyone but want to highlight a few with whom I have worked particularly closely.
Kate Lancaster is our CEO and has kept the RCOG together during some of the most difficult times for medical Royal Colleges. She led our move into our fantastic new home at Union Street that we completely own, she worked with me to attract other charities and women’s health organisations that now reside in the College with us, and supported many of the projects and modernisations that have been the cornerstone of my presidency. Most importantly, and hugely relevant to us and the lives of the women we look after, she supported me in my calling upon RCOG resources to urgently write and disseminate the RCOG COVID guidance.
The External Affairs directorate, led by Ben Butler, Jenny Priest and Bex Couper deal with communication and marketing, policy, our digital transformation work, the women’s network, and ensuring the College stays one step ahead of the health policy environment. They help us shape all our communications: professional interactions and in all the various types of media.
Education, Exams and Clinical Quality are headed up by Carly Edwards, Kate Newland and Dan Wolstenholme. Their teams shape all our education, exams, guidance, patient information, quality improvement and academic projects. This team and their work is the one you probably interact with more than any other, and more recently they have taken on the mantle of workforce issues which has become one of my priorities.
The Membership and Global teams are led by Kristen Morgan, Sarah Hall and Paul Roberts. Their job is to make sure all your membership needs are addressed, wherever you are in the world, and to progress our projects to improve the health of women and girls around the world. I am sure you understand with 16,000 Fellows and Members globally they really have their work cut out for them. It is members of this team that run our admission ceremonies and came with us to India most recently.
Last but not least we have Lynn Whitley, leading the team that sets up all our events, meetings and conferences whether they are home or away, and Quentin Padgett who looks after the team that keeps our home at Union Street looking and working so well.
These amazing people and their teams are just the tip of the iceberg of the wonderful and diligent people who are the beating heart of your College. Their work supports the work of all the committees, Council and us office bearers. To us Officers they have become indispensable in what we do and for all that they do we are hugely grateful. During our term of office we have achieved some incredible things in the interests of women’s health. As Officers we are proud of those achievements and I know the dedicated RCOG staff are too.