As Chief Executive of Beds and Herts LMC, sadly, I witnessed doctors or their families run into serious financial difficulties without any warning whatsoever, usually through no fault of their own.
Serious illness, accidents or bereavement can strike doctors and their families, just as it does our patients. When it does, the financial impact can be equally as harsh, but the Society for the Assistance of Medical Families is here to help.
SAMF has, for over 230 years, helped thousands of doctors and the families of doctors in all branches of medicine when they have run into financial difficulties.
The SAMF website showcases some heart-warming examples of where the Society has come to the aid of doctors or their families.
Take Lydia: shortly after entering medical school, her mother fell ill and was no longer able to support her to sustain her studies. Because SAMF stepped in, Lydia was able to complete her medical studies and, as a result, is now enjoying her dream career as a doctor.
Mhairi and Leah are now both actors thanks to support from SAMF after their GP father was killed in a tragic accident. There are many other examples on the SAMF website.
Hardship can affect members and their families in different ways. SAMF is here to offer immediate practical and financial support that is tailored to individual circumstances.
This may include:
- Help with unexpected expenses during times of financial hardship.
- Financial assistance for the expenses of further education, particularly medical degrees.
- Retraining expenses for those who need to take a new career path, or who have had an enforced break through illness etc.
- Help towards home improvements and disability adaptations, where these are not covered by State Benefits.
- Referral to our money advisor for help with budgeting and rearranging expenditure and debts.
- Vouchers for household expenses where there is a temporary reduction in income that leads to difficulty in covering costs.
- Help with the expenses of courses and examinations to enable those in financial difficulty to progress in their career.
SAMF is a mutual provident fund. Members of The Society get preferential access to financial support. Membership costs £40 per year. SAMF is also a charity because the majority of its financial grants are awarded to colleagues in need who are NOT members. Details about the benefits of membership and an application form can be found on the SAMF website.
Should you find you are facing serious financial difficulties yourself please go to the SAMF website and get in touch with us.
Likewise, if you know of a doctor or a doctor’s family in financial difficulty, get them to contact us.
Dr Peter Graves is an ambassador for SAMF.