Specialty and Associate Specialist Doctors
Message from the Chair, Dr Monique Schelhase
Dear College Member,
I wish to take this opportunity to introduce myself as
the Chair of the Specialty Doctors’ and Associate Specialist
I graduated from medical school at the University of Cape Town,
South Africa in 1995. Since 2007 I have worked for Leeds and York
Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) at the Yorkshire Centre
for Eating Disorders (YCED) in Leeds and have been an Associate
Specialist in Eating Disorders since January 2009. I am the Lead
Clinician for the YCED Community Treatment Service. My research
interests include body image therapies and the psychological impact
of enteral feeding regimes. Additionally I am the LYPFT SAS Tutor
and a Medical Appraiser.
Specialty Doctors and Associate Specialists (SAS) make up
approximately 20% of the workforce within the NHS alone. The latest
Royal College of Psychiatrists Census (2015) indicated that 1671
Specialty Doctor and Associate Specialist posts were filled
nationally. Of this total 60.3%, 23.8% and 15.9% were substantive
full time, part time and locum posts respectively. In addition,
there were 193 vacant or unfilled posts within the NHS and private
sector. We are therefore a significant group of doctors yet our
voice has not always been heard and we know that not all SAS
doctors are currently Members or Affiliate members of the College.
This is something that I would like to see change during my five
year term of office.
Increasingly Specialty doctors desire recognition of their
significant clinical contributions and increasing autonomy, in line
with their enhanced skills and expertise. We, as a whole, require
leaders who are passionate about improving grade recognition,
driving career progression and ensuring that development
opportunities are presented to Specialty Doctors, all of which are
in keeping with the British Medical Association (BMA) SAS Charters.
I believe that the Royal College of Psychiatry Specialty Doctors’
Committee should assist the SAS Tutors within your organisations to
lead and that your Committee should be your voice within the
College. Therefore we are keen to hear from you, and your SAS
Tutors, regarding your educational needs as well as current
professional development issues or concerns that you may hold.
Please feel free to come and seek me out at College events. I would
like to hear from you in person or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
As Chair I am committed to promoting and supporting SAS career
development through new College initiatives and together with the
Committee will actively strive to increase and maintain SAS College
membership numbers. My hope is to have an open dialogue with you
and for the College to be recognised as a primary source of support
for all SAS doctors working within Psychiatry. In keeping with this
sentiment The Royal College of Psychiatry Specialty Doctors’
Committee meeting minutes will now be available for you to read on
the SAS pages of the College website.
I am excited at the prospect of working with you all over the
next five years.
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