Chair of the BGS Trainees’ Council – is it really for me?
Stephen Lim is a NIHR Clinical Lecturer and an Honorary Specialist Registrar in Geriatric Medicine within the Wessex region. He completed his PhD in 2018, exploring innovative interventions to encourage increased physical activity among hospitalised older people. He is the current Chair of the BGS Trainees’ Council and a student at the European Academy for Medicine of Aging advanced postgraduate course in geriatrics. He tweets at @StephenERLim.
My term as Chair of the Trainees’ Council started in November 2017. Over the past 20 months, I look back and am humbled by both the opportunity and responsibility of being Chair of the Trainees’ Council. It has been a real delight to work with bright and talented trainees nationally to promote Geriatric Medicine training.
What are my main duties and responsibilities?
I chair the twice-yearly Council meetings and help coordinate activities of the council throughout the year. This includes supporting the BGS secretariat and the council in planning for meetings and events, attendance at career fairs, and raising and addressing training-related issues. The enthusiasm shown by council members to promote Geriatric Medicine training among junior trainees has been phenomenal. During my term, council members have also championed on important issues including less than full-time training, promoting research interest among trainees, and contributed towards the development of the new Geriatric Medicine curriculum.
As Chair, I also serve as a Trustee on the BGS Board of Trustees, to represent the views of trainees at board meetings. This has been an insightful experience, working alongside keen and dedicated geriatricians and allied health professionals, and the BGS secretariat, to carry out the core business of the BGS in improving healthcare for older people.
One of the things that I have enjoyed most is the opportunity to meet and engage with trainees across the country at the annual BGS trainees’ meetings and the Spring and Autumn BGS meetings. Part of my role as chair is to provide updates for trainees on BGS and training-related matters and conduct the bi-annual council elections at these meetings.
Balancing clinical, academic and BGS responsibilities can be challenging at times. Nonetheless, the role has been thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding. It has helped me greatly in my training as a clinical academic, and in developing important transferrable skills such as management, organisational and communication skills. The Geriatric Medicine departments that I have worked with over the past 20 months have been very supportive of my role as chair and understood the time commitment required to carry out my duties. I have been able to obtain study leave or work-related leave to attend meetings or, when unable to do so, had the option of delegating tasks to my very capable council members.
To answer the question that I posted on the title – of course it is! I strongly encourage trainees who are keen to be involved in improving Geriatric Medicine training and be a voice for trainees at a national level, to put yourselves forward for this exciting and rewarding role. The past 20 months have been a fantastic learning experience for me and I will be stepping down in November with a heavy heart, but grateful that I have been given the opportunity to serve as Chair of the BGS trainees council.
To find out more about the role, please click this link or contact Stephen Lim at trainees [at] bgs [dot] org [dot] uk