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Fellowship of the British Blood Transfusion Society.

Malcolm Needs

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1 hour ago, John C. Staley said:

Malcolm, I'm always hesitant to show my ignorance but what is the difference between a Life Membership and a Fellowship?


Hardly ignorance John!

I'm not quite sure how to explain this, but Fellowship of both the Institute of Biomedical Science (FIBMS) and of the British Blood Transfusion Society (FBBTS) is, if you like, a "silver medal" given for either passing some serious examinations in a particular field, and/or for serving the Institute/Society on various committees etc over a prolonged period of time.  I can only used the FBBTS post-nominal letters while I am still a paying member!

Life Membership is, for want of a better way of putting it, a "gold medal".  For example, when I was awarded Life Membership of the IBMS, it was for "exceptional service" over many years, notably as their Chief Examiner in Transfusion Science for eight years (writing many of the questions for their Higher Specialist Diploma, and marking the scripts) and also serving on their Special Advisory Panel for Transfusion Science for (I think) just over a decade, helping to organise speakers for the biennial conference, etc, etc.  It means I no longer have to fork out for membership.  This is only awarded to four members (from all of the various pathology disciplines) per year.

Life Membership of the BBTS is slightly different, in that it is awarded to individuals who have given exceptional service to blood transfusion as a whole - not just the Society.  Here, I am talking about people like Dr Patricia Tippett, Nevin Hughes-Jones, etc.  The last time I looked (and found!) the Society Rules, only about 12 people at any one time could be Life Members of the BBTS - but I can't find anything on the website about it now.  I know some have "dropped off" the list, as it were, and I haven't seen any new Life Members to take their place, so this may have been quietly dropped (which is a shame, if it has).

The analogy of the "gold medal" is a bit complicated by the fact that the BBTS actually does award a gold medal that was introduced in 1997, and is awarded to an individual for their exceptional and long standing services to the Society and to the practice of blood transfusion in the UK.  I was lucky enough to be awarded this back in 2018.

It is all very complicated!!!!!!!

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