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Professor Jane Dacre


President of the Royal College of Physicians Professor Jane Dacre was elected President of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in April 2014, only the third female to hold this post in the college’s history. She was Director of University College London Medical School before taking a secondment to become President of the RCP and is Professor of Medical Education, and a Rheumatology Consultant at the Whittington Hospital.

Jane decided to become a doctor at the age of twelve because she liked people and biology. She trained at University College Hospital Medical School in London. Having qualified in 1980, she pursued her two key interests, rheumatology and medical education. She undertook her postgraduate clinical training in general internal medicine and rheumatology at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, in London and then became Clinical Lead for the country’s first Clinical Skills Centre at St. Bartholomew’s Medical School (Barts). Something of an expert in medical assessment, Jane was co-author of the GALS screen (a screening examination for Gait, Arms, Legs and Spine), and has been instrumental in the development, implementation and evaluation of several undergraduate and postgraduate assessment systems in medicine. Examples are too numerous to mention but include the finals examination at Barts and University College London (UCL), the Royal College of Anaesthetists postgraduate examination, the PLAB test and the MRCP (UK) examination. She has been heavily involved with the General Medical Council (GMC) performance procedures, and since 2006, Jane has run the development of the tests of competence for them. Deciding to focus on medical education, however risky it was deemed, has been one of Jane’s best career moves and one she has never regretted. In 2007, Jane Chaired the postgraduate taught course review and the MBBS review steering groups as Director of UCL Medical School, and from 2008-2012 she Chaired the GMC Education and Training Committee. She was Chair of the Research Steering Group at the RCP on Women in

Medicine, which published its findings in 2009 and was also a GMC Council Member from 2009-2012. Jane was Medical Director of the MRCP (UK) examination from 2010-2013 and was responsible for the assessment of more than 24,000 physicians worldwide. Her research interests include investigating the characteristics of doctors who get into diff iculty with the GMC as well as whether there is any racial or gender bias with the MRCP examination. She was also academic Vice-President of the RCP. Jane has remained upbeat at most times and is unable to identify one biggest mistake in her career – rather she believes that things could have been better on occasions, and she has always tried to learn from her errors. Her lesson for challenging times is to “be resilient – it will pass.” Apart from the first women doctors, whose career struggles were immense (including pretending to be men), Jane’s greatest inspiration comes from her late father for being calm, cool and clever. She has won numerous accolades including the Woman of Achievement in Medicine and Healthcare Award from Women in the City Awards for 2012. She was listed in the Health Service Journal’s (HSJ) inaugural list of 50 Inspirational Women in healthcare in 2013 and was again named in the HSJ’s Top 100 list in both 2014 and 2015. Jane was listed in the science and medicine category for people of influence in Debrett’s 500 in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Jane is married with three children and is most proud of her family. * Favourite Book: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Jane’s advice to junior doctors is “Don’t leave – stay and help us sort things out.”


Medical Woman | Spring 2017

Medical Woman – Magazine Centenary Issue, April 2017  

The magazine for the Medical Women’s Federation (MWF), the largest and most influential body of women doctors in the UK which aims to promot...

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