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Seize every opportunity

Sarah May, IBMS Deputy Chief Executive, looks back over her career and IBMS achievements in a final editorial before retiring.

Sarah May, IBMS Deputy Chief Executive, looks back over her career and IBMS achievements in a final editorial before retiring.

This month, David has handed me the pen to write the final editorial of 2023, and what is also the final editorial of my amazing career as a biomedical scientist. Yes, I have taken the decision to discover a little more “me” time and I will be retiring at the end of this year.

Thank you to all of you who have shared my professional journey with me, it’s been a good one and one that has seen many changes; it is somewhat sobering to realise that every one of the seven different laboratories in which I worked before joining the Institute has now disappeared – I hope I wasn’t the common denominator. However, those changes do not represent a loss, but rather they are a reflection of the seismic changes that pathology services have undergone in the past 20 years.

I don’t want to dwell on the past, but our transition from MLSO (how I hated that title) to achieving the career pinnacle of consultant scientists is nothing short of amazing. I know there is still a way to go but there’s no turning the clock back. Every time a new expert or advanced qualification is launched, I feel a sense of satisfaction that we are affirming and extending our position in healthcare, and I am pleased to have been a part of that legacy. Our recently launched IBMS Long Term Biomedical Scientist Workforce Plan captures what we have achieved and how it can be applied to delivering a workforce that offers genuine solutions and benefits to patient care. We are an organisation and a workforce that has so much to offer, and under the leadership of our CEO David and our Council, I know we are in safe hands.

I can’t leave without also mentioning what I think is my biggest achievement – our Biomedical Science Congress.

I couldn’t have done it alone and I have had the best possible partners in delivering our success story. The consummate professionals that are Step Exhibitions, our advisory panels who put together the superb scientific lecture programmes and my friend and colleague Marie-Helen, who has helped, advised, and supported me over the years. Thank you to all of you.

For those for those who followed my thoughts and opinions and doggy anecdotes in numerous past editorials: as I write, Hugo is asleep on his back, legs twitching, making doggy dreaming noises. Socks and gardening gloves have lost their irresistibility and are safe once more. Life is good.

Finally, I always think it’s best to leave a party while I’m still having fun so, to all my fellow biomedical scientists, carry on dancing and laughing, and seize every opportunity to have the best careers possible in the best profession.

Sarah May Deputy Chief Executive.

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