Quarterly Update from the PSI Chair - Q1 2020

Apr 6, 2020, 10:51 AM

Welcome to the first Chair's update of 2020 and even as a statistician, I would not have been able to predict we would all be in the situation we are in today, during my last blog. I hope you, your family, friends and loved ones are all well and are managing to enjoy getting into a new way of life and working that may be with us for a while. For me personally I’ve found I am more connected to my friends and family now than I have been in many years and I am taking the weekends to learn to garden and bake – words not usually in my vocabulary! I have meditated for a few years now, but during the last few weeks I have really appreciated having this quiet time to try and remain calm and reflect on life’s priorities.   
Within PSI the first quarter has certainly still been extremely busy and I’d like to share a few highlights and thanks with you all now, linked to our PSI Strategic objectives.

Empower members in their profession by strengthening and broadening their technical and influencing skills 
Mary Elliot and the training committee have been working through a strategy they shared with the board on leadership and influencing intended for anyone at any stage of their career. Naomi Givens also came to the board in March to propose options for how PSI can better support our members through-out their careers, there was some lively discussion and we look forward to sharing how you can get more involved in both of these activities.  

Nurture and expand a collaborative and engaged community 
As we begin our assessment and renegotiation of the association management contract, we have been looking at options of bringing in a community discussion forum to help better connect our members on topics which they are passionate about as well as bringing the committees themselves closer. With our members now being almost 40% outside the UK, making sure everyone can learn from each other and feel connected is extremely important. We will make a final decision on the platform in the coming month and it will be launched before the end of the year if we move ahead. 

Promote the value of career opportunities related to the use of statistics in healthcare
Nigel Howitt has also worked closely with Leicester University to secure four MSc. Scholarships for the 2020-2021 education year that will be funded by PSI. We have previously reported on the reduced funding that is going into Masters Degrees in the UK and felt this was a needed gap to support newcomers into the industry. Amanda Darekar is also leading efforts for a formal press release around this initiative. For 2021 onwards, we are looking into other ways to support people through higher-education and with broader reach beyond the UK. Watch this space.

Advance healthcare by being a leading partner in the application of statistics
With many companies looking into the impact of COVID-19, I would encourage you all to input into the comments that are being collated by the PSI/EFSPI Regulatory Committee on the Draft: Points to consider on implications of Coronavirus disease 5 (COVID-19) on methodological aspects of ongoing clinical trials. Please use the comments template (link in the draft guidance) and email your comments to Dan Evans  and/or Christoph Gerlinger  by EOB April 10.

Finally, I would like to say a heart-felt thanks to all our committee members/SIGs/Directors and event attendees who have had to make tough decisions about moving or cancelling events. The decision particularly on the PSI Conference was extremely tough to make after months of hard work went into the planning. The Scientific Committee is putting together some alternate options for you to still access the great content – more news to come on this shortly.

Stay safe, look after each other and keep smiling ☺

Book Recommendation: 'Your Best Year Ever' by Michael Hyatt (Buddy was not so keen on having his best year in 2020!)
Buddy the pug I have been listening to the Lead to Win podcast for a while, but have never read a book one of the presenters wrote. With the start of a new year and with many changes coming into my life, my first child and an international rotation planned to China later this year, I felt it a perfect time to reflect on the year to come. You can still benefit from reading this book any time of year! 

Two key areas I found particularly useful were on confronting my beliefs in myself that may be holding me back and how to optimise my habits to support my achievements. I also read Atomic Habits by James Clear this quarter, so this section of the book nicely linked the two. With the situation we are all facing now, this book may give you some interesting insights on how to adapt and still achieve your best year ever!

'In every difficult situation is potential value. Believe this, then begin looking for it' - Quote by Norman Peale 



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