What inspired you to become a part of ASME, and how have you deepened your involvement over time? 

 I first got involved with ASME as a final year medical student when I submitted a project for the Sir John Ellis Student Prize. I had no expectations from this but had really enjoyed doing the project and thought it was interesting enough to be worth reading, so thought I would give it a shot! Much to my surprise, I won the prize and was invited to speak at the Scholarship Meeting. Whilst this was online due to Covid-19, I was made to feel really welcome by the senior ASME team who showed genuine interest in me and my project. I still remember one of the senior team complimenting my “clear focus on scholarship” – which I hadn’t realised at the time that I had! 

As I have become more senior clinically and in my research career being part of ASME has built my confidence in giving feedback via assessing prize submissions and abstracts, which I find a really valuable part of giving back to the health professions education community. More recently, I have formalised my ongoing relationship with ASME by joining the committee of Trainees in the Association for the Study of Medical Education (TASME) and am also delighted to be leading a new ASME Special Interest Group in Arts and Humanities in Health Professions Education (Aflame). 

 

Can you tell us more about how you have been involved with EDI work within ASME?

 One of my areas of research interest is widening access to medicine, particularly with a focus on socio-economic class and continued support throughout medical school and into a medical career. I’ve been lucky enough to present several pieces of work on these themes at several ASME conferences, including being runner up for the TASME Communication Prize in 2023 for my work on experiences of widening access students during their first year of medical school.  

 

 In what ways has being a member of ASME influenced your career or studies in medical education?

 I can honestly say that without the support I have gained through ASME (including experience presenting, publishing and applying for grant funding) it is unlikely I would have been in a position to gain an academic clinical fellowship. Not only have all these experiences been valuable to my CV, they have also helped me develop the confidence and experience to put myself forward for opportunities, especially when competing with those from more “traditional” academic fields.  

 

Can you share a memorable moment or experience you’ve had within or with ASME?

 My favourite ASME moment was at the ASM in Aberdeen in 2022 where I was able to meet with two long-term collaborators in person for the first time ever. We were all equally impressed/in awe of the bagpipe music that formed part of the entertainment.  

 

Apart from your activities with ASME, are there any other initiatives or projects you’re passionate about and would like to share?

 I am involved with my local Medact group, an organisation the empowers and trains healthcare professionals to mobilise together for social justice causes. We’re currently supporting a campaign to stop the building of a new waste incinerator in Teesside – you can find out more about Medact here: https://www.medact.org/ 

 

  For someone considering joining ASME, what advice would you offer?

 If you are a student or early career clinician or researcher, ASME is incredibly welcoming and not at all intimidating! Alongside the specific offerings for students and trainees (JASME/TASME) you can become involved with the special interest groups and apply for prizes and funding on a completely level playing field to more experienced researchers/educators. Come to an event and say hello – you never know who you might end up sitting next to or chatting to at a coffee break.  

Anna Harvey