My first happy duty as incoming President of the Liverpool Society of Anaesthetists is to welcome you to this Website and indeed, to this Society. A less happy duty is to say that because of Covid- 19 restrictions, electronic communication is likely to have an enlarged role in the functioning of the Society. As I write, it is likely that our meetings this year will have to take a hybrid, digital, at-distance form.
I think it a great honour to be appointed President of the LSA. My predecessors number major figures in Anaesthesia, people who have shaped the profession and made huge contributions to the subject. I can make no such claims, but I can say that I am a Liverpool anaesthetist, and I am proud enough of that. I was born and raised in Liverpool, returned to the city to start my training in Anaesthesia in 1987 and essentially, have remained here since, taking up a post in theatre and PICU at Alder Hey in 1996.
Looking back over my career, I am struck by how much of it has been serendipitous rather than as a result of meticulous planning on my part. There was good formal training but principally, there was the example of role models and their timely encouragement. Thus, it seems to me, I was nudged into a job which I continue to love.
What can I say to encourage you to engage with the LSA? How can I ask you to give up further time at the end of a working day?
As one of my predecessors noted, the aims of the LSA are quite Reithian; to inform, educate and entertain (not necessarily in that order) and also, I think, to encourage.
A career in Anaesthesia offers unparalleled opportunity for meeting both triumph and disaster. It will certainly provide enough moments when you must keep your head when all about are losing theirs and blaming it on you. It is then that you realise that responsibility is at the core of our profession, even (or is that especially) when it comes with all too little power. At such times, an anaesthetist needs encouragement; the LSA cannot always provide poetry, but its meetings do frequently provide a little knowledge, some nourishment, and always, a framework to allow us to support each other.