By Professor David Brettle, IPEM President 2015 - 2017
There are many answers to this and will vary depending on the individual, but I have highlighted a few reasons below that have relevance to me:
Imagine a world where there are no professions such as medical physics, clinical engineering or bioengineering. Imagine no guidelines, recommendations or best practice to work from when you turn up at work in morning. Imagine no research funding so you do not have the ability to improve or pursue your work which for all of us, is ultimately for public and patient benefit. This is the risk if IPEM is not active to ensure the sustainability and relevance of our professions. Many of these activities are often indirect or intangible but they happen and do have impact. Maintaining the professions relevance with government and national bodies in order to secure appropriate resources and influence are essential elements of IPEM.
I believe members of IPEM are highly motivated vocational individuals who have inherent belief in what they do and as such have a professional duty to drive forward the profession, to maintain and improve standards, to push forward new knowledge to ultimately use ‘science for patient benefit’.
Many of us will be ambitious to maximise our personal potential and amplify our impact in our profession. Invariably this requires employment and the ability to demonstrate activity over and above your core employment, particularly at a national level, is a valuable addition to any CV which may make a significant impact on any job application. In addition IPEM is willing to give appropriate training to volunteers, a valuable opportunity in the often training limited workplace.
Many in our professional and personal lives have had help at some point or another that has helped us develop in our professional careers. We need to ensure that we now repay that debt and enable others to have access to the profession that I, and I believe most of you, passionately believe in.
There are member benefits which are valuable and useful including access to journals, CPD through meetings, research and innovation awards, travel bursaries’ and a range of prestigious awards that any member can apply for. But please remember IPEM is not a ‘for member benefit’ organisation; first and foremost we are a charity and as such cannot give member benefits that exceed the amount of subscriptions.
I do not draw any distinction between practitioners, scientists, academics, members in industry or any other type of member of IPEM. IPEM is a platform for you to use for all the benefits outlined above, but you have to use it; you have a choice to allow things to happen around you without your influence or say, or to be involved and use your power as a member to ensure your profession evolves as you believe it should.
On a final note, I absolutely believe in the need for ‘one voice’ for healthcare science. The ability to amplify our vision, to influence and inform at the highest levels and at the right times is essential for the whole relevance of IPEM. I therefore support the Academy of Healthcare Science in this goal and look forward to working with them toward providing a sustainable and resilient model for ‘one voice’.
‘Ask not what IPEM can do for you but ask what you can do for IPEM’
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