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Founded in 1788 as The Society for Relief of Widows and Orphans of Medical Men

Dr Roy Palmer - President Emeritus SAMF

Dr Roy Palmer

  • Position: President Emeritus

Dr Roy Palmer

My career in brief…I qualified first in medicine at the London Hospital Medical College (now part of QMUL) and after junior hospital jobs entered general practice in Hertfordshire. Having long had an interest in law I read for an LLB degree and later went on to complete the Bar examinations, as a member of Middle Temple. I joined the staff of The Medical Protection Society, serving for over 26 years, the last ten as Medical Director.

I retired, became in need of more to do and so became a coroner, serving for 20 years in different jurisdictions in London, including 13 years as Senior Coroner for South London and 18, concurrently, as Deputy Coroner in the City of London. I retired just before I became Master of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of the City of London. I am now enjoying retirement!

What SAMF means to me…I joined SAMF well over 45 years ago, encouraged by my then boss at the MPS, because I respected its values and altruism. The society has evolved and now is able, with any funds surplus to the needs of its members, to benefit a wide range of medics, their dependents and those who are offspring of medics albeit not medics themselves. The main criterion is one of ‘necessitousness’ and the board of management has a wide discretion about who and how it can assist. Our flexibility is a great asset in helping those in need.

My hopes for SAMF in the future…We very much hope to expand our membership and convince more doctors to join, not because they might one day need help themselves but because our more recent focus is on altruism – that misfortune can befall any one of us, strike unexpectedly at any time, and prove devastating. Our aim is to do what we can to support individuals in restarting their medical career or, where this is impossible, to develop some other way to support themselves and their dependents. The need for our assistance has endured for 234 years so far and although modern medicine is very different from medicine in 1788, I do not detect any likely forthcoming reduction in calls on us!