Q&A with Marcia

Posted on: Wednesday 17 June 2020
Author: FPM

Dr Marcia Philbin, FPM Chief Executive, quiz master, trekkie, Eurovision fanatic, has now been in post for a year.

She has taken some time to give some of her reflections from the first 12 months of her first chief executive role.

Marcia Philbin

How would you describe your first year at FPM?

A whirlwind!  There has been so much to learn and understand but I have really enjoyed it.  I have a fantastic team who are excellent at what they do and that has helped me enormously.  I also work really well with the President and Board of Trustees.  Thankfully, they trust my instincts and vision for FPM!


What's been your proudest achievement so far?  

I think it has to be publishing my first Annual Report!

Weird I know but that report is a culmination of FPM’s evolution as it says farewell to the old strategy and embraces the new one along with the new vision statement “A world where effective medicines meets the needs of patients”.  The new strategy represents an organisation that is moving forward.  You can see that in the Annual report in terms of what has been achieved in 2019.  The staff group is small but they achieve so much which just proves that quality not quantity is what matters.

What changes have you seen – either in yourself, or in the organisation (or both) in the time so far?

I have grown in confidence and now believe that I can lead FPM to be a sustainable, influential and successful organisation that is the go to body for all information regarding the development of medicine and medical devices.  I have expanded my network and I am now receiving invitations to contribute to external activities.  Not bad for working class kid from Birmingham!

FPM is more outward looking as it is engaging more with members and external stakeholders. The requests from the media for FPM’s expertise during the COVID-19 crisis has been exceptional and demonstrates how much FPM has evolved in the last 12 months.   The range of training and events has expanded and will continue to evolve as we respond to the needs of our members.  The staff are excited about the changes and enjoy seeing their ideas come to fruition.  I like it because it helps the balance sheet (lol)!

How have things changed for you during the lockdown period?

Well, I need to lose a few pounds, that’s for sure!  But seriously, what has been amazing is how quickly the staff transitioned to working from home and have provided members with a seamless service.  I took the decision that we should try things and we have.  We ran our first webinar on how to work virtually with teams and had over 100 attendees across four sessions.  We started Journal Club and that has been well attended with members putting themselves forward to lead future sessions.

The lockdown has been the springboard for adventurous exploration by FPM and so far,  we are delighted with the progress we have made.

Eurovision or Star Trek?

Ahh, that is a hard one but it has to be Star Trek.  FPM has boldy gone where it has not gone before!

Mentioned in this article

This article features in the 6th Edition of the Journal of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine (Spring/Summer 2020).

Read more articles from this publication.