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Overseas members of the BMA

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 26 April 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:932

Forgotten members should be recognised

  1. Peter A Sims, professor of public health medicine (
  1. School of Medicine, PO Box 5623, Boroko, NCD 111, Papua New Guinea
  2. St Bernard's Hospital, Gibraltar
  3. University of California at San Francisco Cancer Risk Program, Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
  4. BMA, London WC1H 9JP

    EDITOR—I resonated with Kisely's letter on the forgotten overseas members of the BMA.1 After years within the vineyard of the NHS my first instinct is relief not to be part of BMA politics, GMC utterances, and royal college solemnities. They can be more comfortably observed from here.

    However, we are now doctors in a global village and should encourage health workers to be internationalists. There should be an internationally recognised and accredited medical qualification. The citizens of the world should reasonably expect common standards and expertise from the medical profession. In the same way, the continued validation of skills and registration must work towards an international perspective.

    The BMA is a British phenomenon, but the BMJ is an international publication. Plainly, overseas members should be listened to, and in the age of electronic communication this is not difficult. International committees should be international. The same arguments apply to the royal colleges, which are often strikingly parochial.

    In a working lifetime I have worked three times …

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