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Dr Helen Goodyear

Centenary Souvenir


Associate Postgraduate Dean for Health Education England, and Consultant Paediatrician, Birmingham Dr Helen Goodyear wanted to be a GP throughout medical school and only when she was doing her first year as a House Officer, did she question this. She enjoyed her student attachment in paediatrics and so decided to apply for paediatric jobs. She did her Senior House Officer jobs in Bristol before moving to the Hospitals for Sick Children, London, which was actually two hospitals – Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children in Hackney and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospitals.

Helen developed her special interest in paediatric dermatology during her first six-month registrar post, which included two months of paediatric dermatology. That was when she decided on her future career and for Helen, this was her best decision. Whilst concentrating on dermatology, she ensured that her general and neonatal skills were kept up to date with a placement at North Middlesex Hospital. The balance of specialist and general training left Helen time to undertake an MD, which was about herpes simplex virus infections in children with atopic eczema. She spent four years training less than full-time (LTFT) and then took up her Consultant post, part-time, in Birmingham when her husband’s job moved to the West Midlands. Helen admits that the move for her was a reluctant one, but that she has since had a wealth of opportunities including developing her deanery role, which may not have been the case if she stayed in London. As part of her Consultant post, Helen was the Lead for Education in the Paediatric Department, and this led to her embarking on a Masters degree in medical education. After six years as a part-time Consultant, she became Associate Postgraduate Dean for LTFT training and subsequently, added careers, professional support and Head of the West Midlands School of Paediatrics to her portfolio. Her Consultant post lends itself to a portfolio career and she spends three days doing clinical work and two days doing medical education.

In 2013, Helen added an MA in managing healthcare careers to her qualifications and received a distinction in this. She is immensely proud of this aspect of her career, as it required much study alongside an already busy work life. It has enabled her to support a number of trainees and believes she has made a difference. Helen has published in clinical and medical education journals and drawn up e-learning modules. She is a reviewer for journals and has been Joint Leader of the teaching and learning module for the Certificate in Healthcare Education at the University of Birmingham. Helen has been active in the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and is Clinical Lead for the Effective Educational Supervisors course, and has delivered a number of these courses over the past few years. She has set up a careers network for non-training grade paediatricians. Additionally, Helen is an RCPCH and DCH examiner and START (taken in ST7) assessor and has been active in setting up the national recruitment for paediatric ST trainees and question writing for recruitment. She was the RCPCH LTFT national training Advisor for a number of years. Other educational roles include Advanced Paediatric Life Support Course Director, PLAB examiner and GMC performance assessor. Helen was Honorary Secretary of the Medical Women’s Federation and President from 2008-2010, being the first President in recent times to hold a two-year term of office rather than only one year. She was Vice-President of the Northern European Office of the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) and is currently Chair of the MWIA Ethics and Resolution Committee, and the Publications Sub-committee of the Centennial (2019) Working Group. She has been instrumental in putting together the MWIA manual on domestic violence, a free on-line resource. Outside her work, Helen has four children and enjoys sport. She is part of the RCPCH Emergency Treatment And Triage Team who regularly travel to Kenya aiming to reduce mortality in children under the age of five. Helen is considering working abroad after retirement as a volunteer, but this will not be for at least a few years yet! *F  avourite Film: Pretty Woman – catchy music & a happy ending * Three objects Helen cannot live without: iPad Air, Fitbit alta, Good pair of running shoes

Helen’s advice to junior doctors is “Think carefully about your career and what you want out of it especially if it is compatible with other aspects of your life. Then go for it and do not be put off by the glass or cling film ceiling.”


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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