Becoming the New President of ASPC

Date: 13 Sep 2023

At the end of a brilliant couple of days at the ASPC 2023 Conference, I was given the incredible honour of being asked to become the new President of the ASPC.

It is truly a privilege for my name to be listed alongside the previous Presidents: the visionary Raj Dhumale (founder of the ASPC), the unparalleled Laurel Spooner (founder of the BANSV and my mentor for so many years), the whirlwind force of nature that is Vijay Kumar, and the intellectual and incomparable Soon Lim.I have only agreed to take on this roleI would not contemplate taking on this role without knowing the support, wisdom and experience that the ASPC Council will offer me, plus our amazing admin duo of Ross and Paula.

So, what is my vision for the ASPC for the next few years?

Growth: The ASPC plays many roles for its members, but the primary one for me is support. Surgeons in the community rarely experience an opportunity to interact with each other, seldom having the time with colleagues to consider and discuss their concerns, their imperfections, but also to share their successes.

For me, the ASPC has always been about networking, camaraderie and comradeship.Our membership numbers have dropped, and I want to discover why, and what the ASPC can do to change this.I hope to locate who is undertaking surgery in Primary Care settings (especially in regard to Vasectomies and CTS surgery) and inform them about the benefits of becoming an ASPC member, bringing them, and their experience, into the fold.

The larger we are the louder our voice is.

Rejuvenation: With many of the ASPC board retiring from surgery over the next couple of years we need to plan for younger enthusiastic ASPC members to step up and make their mark.

After 15 years I also need to pass the baton of audit for both Vas and CTS to one or more people.We also need to identify the next surgeons coming through GP training and working with the training schemes highlighting the benefits of becoming a GPwSI.

Recognition: Publish or be damned… If the ASPC does not publish the audit data I have been building for 15 years then how do we dare hope to gain credibility in, what at times feels, the Secondary Care Surgical monopoly?

With the aid of the Professor Fahad Rivzi new audit team, I hope to publish several articles in respect to Skin, CTS and Vasectomy operations over the next couple of years.

With that in our arsenal the ASPC can then assert our significance in the Surgical community, showing the benefits of surgery undertaken in Primary Care, to both the NHS and the general population, and thus help you procure the contracts you and your patients deserve.

There is a lot of aspiration and hard work here.

Do not be surprised if I reach out to you individually, as I may need each of you, our past, present, and future members, to help me achieve these goals, and I look forward to your support.

Gareth James