A VOICE for medical specialties – a paradigm to be heard


Jeffrey Aronson

All clinical specialties need to grow and develop. I suggest a paradigm to help focus on important ways of doing this. It is the VOICE paradigm, which was developed for clinical pharmacology, and is one that other specialties could tailor to their own needs.

In the early 1990s, the number of core clinical pharmacologists in the UK started to fall, mainly owing to reduced support from universities. The decline continued until 2006, but since then, mainly through the efforts of the members of the British Pharmacological Society (BPS), there has been a turnaround. The latest data show a marked increase in the number of posts in the discipline. And clinical pharmacology has been shown to offer the NHS good value for money .

As part of these instaurational efforts, 50 senior clinical pharmacologists, their junior colleagues, other medical specialists, and pharmacists gathered in Oxford in June 2011 to discuss an agenda for the future development of clinical pharmacology in the UK. In June 2012, at a similar meeting in Erice, Sicily, 30 clinical pharmacologists from 19 different EC member states discussed the future of the subject in Europe as a whole.

The paradigm
The outcomes on the two occasions were strikingly similar and were summarized using the acronym VOICE:

Many of the efforts that the BPS has been making have been related to the VOICE paradigm, and currently the following activities are being undertaken, illustrating how the paradigm can be used:






So, use your VOICE. Shout about your specialty.

Jeffrey Aronson

About Jeffrey Aronson

Honorary Consultant Physician & Clinical Pharmacologist

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