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Plan to change the face of medicine

Pali Hungin, BMA President 2016-2017
HUNGIN: 'Doctors are under duress'

The BMA has lent its backing to a collaborative project which challenges doctors to visualise the future to shape health policy by assessing the fast-moving developments facing medicine.

The effects of technology on the doctor-patient relationship, shifts in public-health needs and emerging challenges to medical education are among the long-term issues being addressed by the CFM [Changing Face of Medicine] project.

The project is being headed up by former BMA president Pali Hungin and seeks to build on the work of his 2016-17 presidential project, which saw the association host a series of round-table discussions featuring leading figures in health and medicine from the UK and internationally.

It aims to focus on five areas central to the changes likely to affect medicine including public-patient-doctor engagement, technology, doctors’ wellbeing, rethinking medical education and leadership.


Pivotal period

Professor Hungin said: ‘Doctors and health systems are under duress all around the world, against a backdrop of evolving patient and public demand, the profusion of electronic communications and information and changing societal attitudes.

‘The shift from professional ascendancy towards a personal inter-operation of health and rapid advances in medical technologies make this a pivotal period in the evolution of our own profession and its organisation.

‘Visualising the future is a challenging activity – where might we be in 10 years, or indeed, will doctors and healthcare even exist in its present format? Imagining the future, without being caught up in the mores of today, is a formidable ask.

‘The CFM project, through the Academy of the Medical Royal Colleges, is aiming to do that – unfettered thinking about how society, medicine and clinicians might look in the future and how to take up a new mindset.’


Education assessment

In considering these issues work will also be undertaken to assess what changes to medical education might be required.

As well as helping to shape and create future health policy, the project also aims to facilitate discussions between doctors and patient groups and provide a forum for junior members of the profession whose careers will need to adapt to future changes.

Members of the project include BMA council and committee members, while the association’s former medical students committee co-chair Charlie Bell is leading on rethinking medical education.

The project, which is based at the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges in London, will hold its next meeting in February.

Find out more about the project

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