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The changing face of medicine and the role of the doctor in the future

Changing face of medicine symposium. BMA president's project April 2017.

In times of rising demand in a fast changing environment, we have been keen to open a dialogue about the role of doctors. We invited a range of clinicians, policy-makers, patients and patient representatives from the across the UK and overseas to identify some of the key issues and questions involved.

The project, led by the former BMA president, Professor Pali Hungin, looked at how social and technological changes might affect doctors' sense of vocation, professional values and the doctor-patient relationship in the future and draws on international perspectives.

Between January and March we held a series of small, roundtable discussions. Each meeting focused on open, unstructured discussions on the current situation, followed by an exploration of future scenarios. A range of different and sometimes contrasting opinions and perspectives were expressed across different groups.

In April an international symposium was held at BMA House. This featured presentations from, among others, Professor Raphael Bengoa, Professor David Hunter and Jocelyn Cornwell, alongside panel discussions with international guests and representatives from a number of national medical associations.

Together, the roundtables and the symposium elicited a rich variety of discussion points across a broad range of themes: the morale and well-being of doctors, the potential for new technologies to transform the provision of health care, the evolving nature of the doctor-patient relationship, medical education and training, and medical leadership.


Watch delegates from the symposium talk about the themes and ideas



The report of the project

The changing face of medicine and the role of doctors in the future report draws together the themes, areas and ideas discussed at the symposium and roundtable discussions.

Download report


Watch the videos from the Presidential symposium below

Day One

The current state of medicine and doctors within society - Professor Pali Hungin

Healthcare, the doctor and the patient: the future – Professor Rafael Bengoa


Day Two

Healthcare systems transformation: how responsive are organisations and policy to the future - Professor David Hunter

Doctors: the future. Reshaping medical training and the form of the new doctor - Mary Jane Kornacki

Patients, the public and doctors: the future - Dr Jocelyn Cornwell

Imagining medicine in 2040 - Professor Michael Farthing


Further information about the project

Pali Hungin introduces the project in BMA News

Read the news report from the symposium

Pali Hungin at ARM 2017 (sign-in required)

Read Read Pali Hungin’s blog on becoming President