BGS MDS trainee reps – what’s involved & is this for me??

Jo Russell is a ST7 registrar in geriatric medicine in South Yorkshire, BGS MDS trainee rep since 2015, will be starting her consultant post in March 2018 (with interest in movement disorders). She tweets at @russ_jo 

The BGS Movement Disorders Section are actively seeking to appoint new trainee representatives, ideally at ST4 level or above.

During the BGSMDS meeting in 2015 I was advised of trainee rep vacancies on the committee. My first thought was “I’m not sure that sounds like me”, but after a chat with the committee Chair, I was soon persuaded that it would be a fantastic opportunity. So much so, that I submitted an an expression of interest the following week.

Any fears I had about not being “academic enough” were soon dismissed, in fact the diversity of the committee members is part of its strength. Academics and non-academics are all represented, we all share a commitment to improving the medical care of older people with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders.

Amongst other activities, the committee organises educational meetings BGS MDS and BritMODIS (working jointly with the Association of British Neurologists (ABN) and the Parkinson’s disease nurse specialists association (PDNSA), alternate yearly. We also contribute to the British Geriatrics Society meeting programmes – look out for the sessions at the forthcoming Autumn meeting.

The Section particularly aims to provide a forum where clinical innovation, quality improvement & service development, audit and research can flourish and be disseminated, we have Small Grants and a Travel Grant to support this.

The committee usually meets twice yearly, the January date coinciding with the BGS MDS or BritMODIS meeting. Between times there is email communication when needed. One of the really enjoyable jobs as a trainee rep is marking the Medical Student Prize essays each year.

Being a member of the committee as a trainee is a relatively rare opportunity to engage with and contribute to the national conversation about movement disorders, including at policy level, while still raising trainee interests and issues.

Above all, the trainee rep role has helped me to maintain my interest and enthusiasm for movement disorders during periods of my training when I have been doing lots of other subspecialties. When the time came to apply for a consultant job with an interest in movement disorders, it was of course very valuable experience to write about.

If you are interested in Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, keen to get involved and contribute, gain transferable skills and experience and work with the enthusiastic and dynamic clinicians who are on the committee then this role is definitely for you.

We would love to hear about your interest and what you can bring to the role in a 150 word statement, so do send expressions of interest to

Please see our website for more information about the Section and the current committee members or email me: or Twitter DM: @russ_jo with any questions.

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