As this quite extraordinary year draws to a close, I should like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the medical community – RSM members, healthcare professionals and research scientists alike – for their myriad and exemplary contributions during the pandemic.
As we look back over an undeniably doleful year of coronavirus disease, lockdowns and restrictions, we can feel proud that the RSM, and indeed the rest of the healthcare sector, has risen to the unprecedented challenges with which we have all been confronted.
Our building has been largely closed since March with the result that we have had to pivot to online learning rather than in-person events. The enthusiastic reception of our COVID-19 and In Conversation Live webinar series, as well as the hundreds of online events from our much-valued Sections has surprised and delighted us all. I would in particular like to thank the outstanding team in our Education and AV Departments who have worked tirelessly, mainly from home, to make these educational events work so professionally.
We have made significant strides in other directions as well. The RSM Library has adopted a new user-friendly system for access known as the Library Search Hub, which our members have applauded. The excellent senior management team led by our Chief Executive, Michele Acton, have worked in close collaboration with our Trustees to develop a coherent and practical strategy for the future of the RSM. Our august institution is 215 years old and it now falls to us all to ensure that its future is as secure and productive as its past.
To conclude I would like to wish you all a happy festive season. The sunlit uplands of a world of safe and effective vaccines beckon for the New Year, but until that becomes a reality, I have to exhort you to stay smart and stay apart (well two metres apart anyway!) and to crack open a bottle of your very favourite beverage and raise a glass to the prospect of a 2021 less ravaged by the dreaded Covid-19 for the RSM and for us all!