Message from the President

Dear ISCoS Family,

I miss meeting you all and seeing you in person. Giving talks via Zoom, Teams, Webinars, etc., is not the same as being in the same place and time zone with you all. I know we are all struggling in some way due to this pandemic for which there is no end in sight anywhere but much worse in some places than others. We are struggling to look after people with newly acquired spinal cord injuries or established cord impairments, and keep then and ourselves away from Sars-Cov19, struggling with our teaching commitments, with keeping ourselves and our families well but perhaps not able to see elderly parents, new grandchildren, children living far away and struggling with achieving our own professional development goals when so many other issues are taking over.

As clinicians and researchers in these difficult times we still have to look after ourselves. We have to maintain our health with physical exercise, intellectual pursuits and emotional care – otherwise we cannot look after our patients, the staff we work with and, of course, our loved ones. Personal learning plans are an important way of ensuring you set yourself some educational goals that are achievable in the next 12 months and personal selfcare plans too. Attending the ISCoS conference in Vancouver in person if possible but otherwise virtually is one way of ensuring some learning happens and we hope most if not all of our membership attends in some way. Then there are our affiliate conferences in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania. I had planned to attend many of these meetings but alas remain at home in Adelaide not even able to fly to New Zealand for the ANZSCoS conference but, instead, the conference will be virtual. Learning opportunities through attending virtual conferences or other online courses are now everyday events.

There are other educational opportunities as well.  An example is our ‘elearnsci’ programme.  We are starting work on the second edition and there is lots to do with sections that require revision and new sections coming. We need your help in what is an enormous task so contact Dr. Harvinder Chhabra or Stephen Muldoon if you have even a little time to donate. Apart from professional learning goals, don’t forget that each of us is precious to some of the others in our lives so have some goals for yourself too such as ensuring you take some daily exercise, relax, spend time with loved ones, stop to smell the roses and smile every day. Please let us know what is important to you and what ISCoS can do to assist you to achieve your professional goals. I am sure you can find ways of achieving your personal life goals which, I trust, includes having your Covid vaccination or ‘jab’ as we say in Australia.

 Stay well, stay healthy and stay in touch with your friends and colleagues in ISCoS.


A/Prof Ruth Marshall MBBS, DPRM, FAFRM (RACP)

Where to find us

National Spinal Injuries Centre,
Stoke Mandeville Hospital,
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire,
HP21 8AL, United Kingdom

How to contact us

Tel: +44 1296 315 866


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