Celebrating achievement

Posted on: Wednesday 28 February 2024
Author: William Booth

How to cite:

Booth, W (2024), ‘Celebrating achievement’, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, 27 February 2024. Available at: [Link]

This blog article has been prepared by William Booth

Deputy Chief Executive, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

In a dynamic landscape like pharmaceutical medicine, change is a constant. New treatments are developed, take hold and evolve, standards are written and re-written, and new generations of professionals emerge to build on the work of those who came before them.

FPM is no stranger to change. In many ways, 2024 is for FPM a year of significant change, and two particular issues with which FPM is very actively engaged this year are representation and recognition. We are very aware of the diversity of the sector and of the very valuable contributions professionals in the sector are making, but we haven’t always been able to reflect that in our existing membership offer.

Take representation. FPM provides a collective voice for more than 1,600 members in the pharmaceutical profession who are striving to advance the research, development and bringing to market of new medicines. FPM members are all medically qualified and work within the pharmaceutical industry, biotechs, research organisations or drug regulatory authorities, or as independent consultants as well as in the NHS, and their impact is felt everywhere.

And yet, we recognise that’s just a drop in the ocean. There’s a much bigger challenge before us to expand our influence, more fully represent the size and diversity of the profession, and shape the future. And to do all that without in any way compromising our standards. In the UK alone, for instance, it’s estimated there may be as many as 4,000 pharmaceutical physicians, while according to figures from the ABPI in 2021, some 66,000 people were employed in the pharmaceutical sector. Most will not be suitable for FPM membership, but it suggests there is still a lot of growth to be had.

More on that to follow in the coming months. For now, though, I’d like to talk about the other issue I mention above, recognition. This month, in a push to more fully recognise some of the fantastic achievements of people in the profession, not just in the UK but globally too, we launched our annual Fellowship campaign with newly updated criteria.

Fellowship of FPM recognises achievement at a high level in the profession and confers peer recognition. Under the new criteria, eligibility for Fellowship is now based upon experience and seniority in the specialty of pharmaceutical medicine. Importantly, it is not dependent upon time served as a Member (MFPM). There is a route specifically for Members who wish to progress to Fellowship and a route for those who wish to apply directly for Fellowship. The direct route is open to those who underwent specialty training in another discipline and to those who qualified in medicine outside the UK.

In making the change, we want to open the doors a little more widely without compromising the standard. We also want to bring FPM’s requirements for Fellowship more closely into alignment with those of the Royal Colleges.

We’re asking applicants not just to demonstrate their career history through submission of a CV but to evidence how they’ve made a contribution to the practice and science of pharmaceutical medicine. That will include, of course, describing their involvement in such things as medicines regulation, clinical pharmacology, drug safety and surveillance and others. But we’re also asking for evidence of their considerable efforts in more collaborative activities (membership of committees, working groups etc), their contribution to public discourse (presentations at events, published research) as well as their work in educating, mentoring or supporting the next generation of professionals.

In a related vein, we’re also asking applicants to evidence their contribution, or intended contribution, to FPM or its mission. Again, there’s plenty here could be cited, including acting as an Educational Supervisor or Specialty Adviser on our specialty training programme, joining an FPM event as a speaker or panellist, contributing to the development and delivery of one of our training courses, or promoting the adoption of some of our guidance. We know that not everyone will have been able to support FPM directly, but for this requirement applicants might also evidence “indirect” contributions in the form of, say, encouraging colleagues to enrol on our exams, promoting FPM Membership to colleagues or advocating for our work in countries that don’t otherwise have a significant FPM presence.

Fellows of FPM

In both instances above, we’re looking for candidates who have made a sustained contribution, not a one-off occurrence.

As we embark on this new chapter in FPM’s evolution, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing excellence in pharmaceutical medicine for the benefit of patients and society. So if you think you might be eligible to join us as a Fellow, or if you’re already a current Member, Associate or Affiliate and think you might be ready for Fellowship, why not submit an application today?

For more information, detailed criteria and guidance on how to apply, please see our Fellowship and Awards page here. Nominations close on Thursday 4 April 2024.


William Booth
Deputy Chief Executive, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine

The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of FPM.

Fellows of FPM

The eligibility criteria for Fellowship of FPM have changed