Message from FSEM President Dr Natasha Jones

By Dr Natasha Jones, President FSEM, 26 Nov, 2021 | 3 min read

Yesterday, I took over as FSEM President from John Etherington. John has been an exceptional president and I wanted to thank him, from all of us, for his contribution. His work at AoMRC and other national fora has had real impact for us, impact that was demonstrated at the recent RCP diploma dinner. Under his leadership we have become a multi-disciplinary organisation, a development that I can see will have huge benefits for SEM. It is difficult to express our gratitude adequately when someone has given so much. John, I hope you don’t go far but enjoy the break for a while at least…

Mike Rossiter also stepped down from his Vice President Role at the end of his 3-year term. Mike’s wisdom and knowledge of all things SEM is a real asset and so I am delighted that he has agreed to remain on council as RCP rep, a vitally important role in our journey towards independence. As Mike says, FSEM is a bit like the mafia – once you are in, you can never leave!

Julia Newton steps into Mike’s place as Vice President with Chris Tomlinson. Her knowledge and leadership skills are second to none and will be a great comfort to me during my presidency. Thank you, Julia, for taking on this challenge.

John leaves FSEM in a strong position. We now have 712 active members. We are into our second specialist training curriculum, the new one reflecting what we have learned about an SEM consultants’ role in the NHS. This is vitally important at a time when we have our highest NHS consultant presence to date and opportunity will be greater than ever as we begin the journey of recovery from COVID19. Through Moving Medicine, we are beginning to understand where our role is in the exercise medicine landscape and opportunities in this area are significant. The importance of leadership and governance in elite sports medicine through our members and fellows is better appreciated.

Not bad for 15 years but there is still much to do in all the areas above.

My priorities for the next three years centre around three themes; learning, uniting and growing. We will be talking a lot more about all of these in the months to come. But for now, some headlines.

Learning from you: It’s time to reflect of where we are as a faculty and to that end, we will be conducting a survey of our members and fellows (and some external stakeholders) over the Christmas period. I’m sure you are all heartily fed up of surveys, but please can I ask you to fill this one in. It will form the basis of our strategy for ’22-’25 to be discussed in January. We need your honest, constructive feedback to represent you properly.

Uniting SEM: Currently, I estimate about 10% of our membership are actively engaged in Faculty work. This is a tremendous result compared to many other faculties and colleges, but it is still not enough. So, we are planning an engagement and unification programme to ensure everybody feels included, whoever they are and wherever they work. There really is a role for all of us. Watch this space.

Discussions with BASEM on our relationship and the future organisational structures for SEM are ongoing. Our dialogue is healthy and optimistic. There are several important collaborative projects already in the pipeline which, we hope, will demonstrate that the impact of a combined effort is greater than the sum of component parts. More on that to come too.

Growing: There are opportunities for new diploma, especially in team sport and exercise medicine, which will set standards for a wider multi-disciplinary team. It is right that FSEM leads in these areas.

FSEM exec and council will be blogging regularly to keep you all in the loop. We hope you find this helpful. Don’t forget the survey when it comes out – enjoy it with a mince pie and a healthy dose of optimism!


Dr Natasha Jones
President, Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine