Dr Jacob de Wolff talks about his experience of being a regional adviser in the North West London region.
My association with the RCP started with the Membership of the RCP (MRCP(UK)) exam. Most of my visits to the RCP building were to drop off applications for practical assessment of clinical examination skills (PACES) on the day of the deadline, which probably says something about my organisational skills at the time (although I also attended the occasional teach-in). Over the years I have been member of the Trainees Committee and the New Consultants Committee, and I support the Medical Training Initiative (MTI) office with the assessment of candidates. Last year I was elected joint regional adviser for North West London.
My involvement with the RCP has taught me about the work that the college is doing on behalf of its members and fellows, and to support healthcare and medical education in the UK and abroad.
The RCP’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been impressive, with advocacy on behalf of patients and physicians with regards to important matters such as testing, PPE and training.
I personally think the RCP has changed a fair bit over the last decade, showing high levels of leadership and encouraging good practice. The RCP’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been impressive, with advocacy on behalf of patients and physicians with regards to important matters such as testing, PPE and training. Meetings have moved online, and the RCP leadership has actively sought feedback from regional representatives on the situation on the ground and how the RCP might be of assistance.I qualified in medicine in the Netherlands but moved to the UK in 2003. It was always my intention to work as a physician, but the precise specialty changed from endocrinology to gastroenterology to haematology and back to gastroenterology.
In 2008 with the aftermath of Modernising Medical Careers (MMC) I needed to make up my mind and given my affinity for acute care I was quite pleased to end up in acute medicine. My current consultant post is a mix of acute medical unit (AMU), ambulatory care and medical high dependency – enough variety to keep work enjoyable. I support non-training grade junior doctors (of whom we have many) as associate training programme director (TPD) and act as acute medicine governance lead.
The regional adviser role requires a good understanding of the organisation of healthcare in the entire region.
I am from a ‘medical family’ (father clinical chemist and toxicologist, mother ophthalmologist) but I was additionally inspired by the opportunity to use scientific knowledge in a practical way.
The regional adviser role requires a good understanding of the organisation of healthcare in the entire region. This means a need for networking and keeping up to date with trust re(dis)organisations and other shifts in management structure. I have contacts in most trusts but, generally speaking, colleagues will not actively provide feedback on situations they are facing in their working lives, and an RA may need to actively seek this information when speaking to physicians in the region.