Message from the President – 2017
President: Dr Leisa Freeman
The Presidential Chain of Office is truly splendid, ornate and remarkably heavy. Usually the President wears just the MEDCHI medallion at the meetings, but at the AGM the full chain, inscribed with each Presidents’ name since 1867, is draped over the new incumbent. It is a little daunting to feel that weight of history and expectation – but the MEDCHI is forward looking, gregarious, sociable and above all good fun.
The Society may have some arcane traditions but I hope this year that existing and new members will come to the meetings and enliven proceedings to dispel any notion that it is a gathering of the ‘crusties’ who are not “whully” welcoming – as they say in Norfolk.
The meetings this year are on a Tuesday evening and the usual format is supper, for those who can get there from 6.15, followed by the lecture at 7pm. As with many things in life, there is an exception. The November meeting starts with Professor Carl Phillpott (UEA) discussing the sense of Taste at 6.30 followed by Professor Krishna Sethia leading the tasting of wine with his comments. Some education and a lot of social interaction. I would like that to be an ethos of the coming year.
The programme, I hope, will have appeal for the many and varied clinical areas in which we all practice. Sam Nashef, friend, cardiothoracic colleague from Papworth and acclaimed author of the “Naked Surgeon” – is talking about surgical risk and transparency in the October 17 meeting. January 2018 brings insight into what is meant by Breach of Duty of Care. I do clinical negligence cases and whilst there may have been Breach of Duty, the patient may have had overwhelming reasons why death was inevitable – and so Causation is not proved. Many of us will have a claim against us in our careers and so I hope it will be insightful to understand some of the issues. February 2018, Professor Lucy Raymond, is taking us on a journey of genomics that will pertain to all of us in the patients we see. She is involved in the 1000 genome study – and your patients may help. In March, Dr Terry Gibson talks about being in the wrong place at the right time – the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Front line triage and organisation of resources – something that has resonance in Norfolk as much as Africa. MEDCHI provides awards for the Norwich School of Medicine so April 2018 is an evening of presentations from the pre and post elective prize winners as well as the Carlisle prize. My Presidential address in May 2018 is really a story that starts with Bill Oliver, consultant cardiologist in Norwich in the 50-70’s and is an achievement of survival due to better intervention and long term surveillance, that has culminated with the NNUH ‘grown up congenital heart’ service being commissioned by NHS England to provide specialist care for over 3000 patients in our catchment area. Such survivors are no longer rare flowers seen occasionally but will turn up in your clinic, operating list or GP surgery.
Flyers to download are on the Annual Programme page of the website. I do hope that I see many of you during the forthcoming year.
Dr Leisa Freeman