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Lessons learnt from engaging with the political system
  1. Roderick Jaques
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roderick Jaques, The Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (UK), 6 Hill Square, Edinburgh EH8 9DR, UK; rod.jaques{at}

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I am in my third year as the President of the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM UK) and while the footprint of the specialty remains small in the UK National Health Service (NHS), I have learned a few things when dealing with the political ‘establishment’.

Our specialty in the UK is still young. Recognised by the General Medical Council in 2006, we have, despite a worldwide recession and increasing health rationing, had to impress internally and externally in the medical and political sphere. Doctors in older specialties are under pressure for improved efficiencies and justification for expanding or even replacing retired colleagues. To some extent we develop an understanding in how to deal with colleagues, as we share common early educational and career pathways.

The political system, for many of us, has a different culture. The …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.