Professor Sir Simon Wessely becomes President of the Royal Society of Medicine

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Professor Sir Simon Wessely will today, Tuesday 18 July, be inaugurated as President of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM). Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College London, Sir Simon is the first psychiatrist to hold the office of RSM President. He takes over from cardiac surgeon Mr Babulal Sethia and will hold office for three years.

The Royal Society of Medicine is one of the country's major providers of postgraduate medical education, with over 35,000 doctors and other health professionals participating in 400 multi-disciplinary educational meetings held each year. Independent and apolitical, the Society promotes an exchange of information and ideas on the science, practice and organisation of medicine.

Speaking of his plans for the RSM during his presidency, Sir Simon said: “Health in general and medicine in particular is a crowded space, but what is often missing is a neutral zone for discussions, especially those that might be perceived, fairly or unfairly, as partisan. I see the RSM as the right space (I hesitate to use the word “safe”) for debate on so many major topics – how can we mitigate the impact of the current wave of terrorism, what does a post genomic consultation look like, whither or wither surgery, how will science and medicine fare post-Brexit, how can we restore flagging morale in the medical profession, why can’t we successfully integrate physical and mental health care, and why is the future of primary care the future of the health service. Serious topics indeed, but medicine is also fun, rewarding, enlightening and enjoyable, and I trust the RSM will reflect that in equal measure.”

Sir Simon’s inauguration will follow the induction of four Honorary Fellows of the RSM; Baroness Greengross, Professor David Howard, Professor Sir Michael Rawlins and Professor Tilli Tansey. Former RSM Dean Professor John Betteridge will be awarded the RSM Medal and the ceremony will also include the presentation of the RSM Gold Medal to Professor Sir Michael Marmot.

Notes to editors

The RSM will be hosting a conference: The response of the emergency services to the London and Manchester terror attacks - lessons to be learned on Thursday 7 September, 1300 – 1730. Speakers will include Cressida Dick, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, trauma doctors involved in the care of patients following the attacks, and representatives from the London Ambulance Service. See the full programme.

For more information, or to book a press pass for the President’s inauguration or the event on 7 September, please contact:

Rosalind Dewar
Media Office, Royal Society of Medicine
DL: +44 (0) 1580 764713
M: +44 (0) 7785 182732


About the Royal Society of Medicine
The Royal Society of Medicine is a leading provider of high-quality continuing postgraduate education and learning to the medical profession. Its mission is to advance health, through education and innovation. The Society actively encourages and supports all those entering medicine and aims to be a significant provider of education to the wider healthcare team. Each year the RSM organises over 400 academic and public events each year spanning 56 areas of special interest, providing over 35,000 doctors and other health professionals with a multi-disciplinary forum for discussion and debate. Videos of many key lectures are also available online, increasing access to the Society’s education programme. The RSM is home to one of the finest medical libraries in the world, with an extensive collection of books, journals, electronic journals and online medical databases. As well as providing medical education, the Society aims to promote an exchange of information and ideas on the science, practice and organisation of medicine, both within the health professions and with responsible and informed public opinion. The Society is not a policy-making body and does not issue guidelines or standards of care.

media office contact

Media Manager
Rosalind Dewar

Tel: +44 (0)1580764713
Mobile: +44 (0)7785182732

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