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Published: 18 Dec 2017
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By Jono Bruun

In September, we published a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as part of our ongoing Focus on Pharmacology project. The report was commissioned with the intention that it would provide a valuable insight into the educational and career landscape for UK pharmacologists.

The main findings are encouraging and show that as an academic subject, pharmacology is growing: degrees are in high demand, and pharmacology graduates are experiencing positive employment outcomes. However, the report has also highlighted the need for further information and guidance for young people when considering university options and seeking work experience.

Findings from this report will inform how the Society acts to minimise obstacles to career progression and bridge gaps in provision of information and support for a diverse and ever-widening community of pharmacologists. One way of achieving this will be to explore opportunities for working with our partners in industry.

For a concise and informative summary of the PwC report, I would recommend reading our blog written by our education and policy leadership.

October saw the launch of our inaugural Clinical Pharmacology Month. You may recall a report commissioned by the Society in 2016 which highlighted that each £1 spent hiring additional clinical pharmacologists has the potential to reduce NHS costs by £5. Since that time our Clinical Committee and the Specialty Registrars Advisory Group have been working hard to ensure that message gets attention, and Clinical Pharmacology Month is a natural extension of these efforts.

A series of Grand Rounds, lectures and other educative and engagement activities took place throughout the month, printed materials that detail training and careers pathways were made available to medical students and foundation doctors, an online careers hub was developed and case studies were collated to illustrate the variety and vibrancy of the discipline and encourage interest in CPT specialty training.

Over the course of 2017, we have been pleased to welcome many new staff to the Society team and since I last wrote to you in July, we have successfully reorganised into 4 business units: finance, operations and membership; education, engagement & policy; business development, and; research dissemination.

The reorganisation of the team at the Schild included a transformation of our education, training & policy team to support and expand our reach and impact in these critical areas. I would firstly like to congratulate Anna Zecharia on her recent promotion to director of policy & public affairs, where she will drive the Society’s strategies for education, engagement and policy work. Anna’s previous role as head of education and engagement will be filled by the Societies very own Lee Page. The domino effect continues as Lee’s previous role as clinical education, training & policy manager will be taken up on an initial interim basis by Lisa Hevey, and our summer intern Alison Bate will be staying with the Society for several additional months in Lisa’s former role as education, training and policy officer. I would like to extend my congratulations to the whole team and I look forward to working with you all in these roles.

Further people news, Yasmin Clark has joined us as a digital content editor, working on a contract basis with Dave Adams, acting senior manager, marketing and communications, to support and enhance our website and other digital media.

After more than 11 years with the Society, our IT manager Carolina Medal made the decision to take a position that is closer to home, allowing her to spend more time with her daughter, Marnie. Carolina has been a huge part of the Society, revolutionising our IT, commissioning and overseeing the new member database, and supporting the needs of our members and our growing team of staff at the Society office. She has gone above and beyond the call of duty in her contributions over the years and we all wish her the very best in her new role.

As we approach the end of 2017, I’m acutely aware that we will also be reaching the last few months of Professor David Webb’s presidency. I have enormously enjoyed the opportunity to work with David over the past 4 years (including his 2 years as President-Elect) and have benefitted hugely from his supportive, challenging and encouraging approach. David’s commitment to the Society, to pharmacology and clinical pharmacology, is genuinely inspiring and his capacity to drive excellence in all that we do has been consistent from day one. I wish David all the very best for the future, and look forward to the opportunity to work with Professor Steve Hill as Society President from January 2018.

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