Professor Jenny Higham
MBBS MD FRCOG FFFP FHEA
Principal of St. George’s, University of London, and Chair of The Medical Schools Council Professor Jenny Higham is Principal of St. George’s, University of London and continues to work as a Consultant Gynaecologist at the St. Mary’s Campus, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. She is the first female Chair of the Medical Schools Council (MSC), which supports medical schools in furthering medical education and research. Most proud of sorting out her inappropriate A ‘levels to get into medicine in the first place, Jenny initially planned a surgical career because she enjoyed practically orientated specialities. However, she was alienated by the sexism she observed in the operating theatre and found her niche in obstetrics and gynaecology after she did this as her last speciality rotation at medical school. Jenny has over thirty years’ experience as a doctor with clinical expertise in the management of abnormal uterine bleeding, outpatient hysteroscopy and reproductive medicine. Jenny will never forget when a woman who had conceived after two years of infertility lost her precious IVF baby. Two days before this had happened, the woman described her premonition that the baby would die to Jenny and had requested the baby be delivered at 33 weeks. Jenny declined this request. Although obstetrically correct at the time, Jenny has struggled with the guilt ever since. Her lesson for challenging times is “you’ll get over it and can move on, even if ‘in the moment’ it feels overwhelming,” she explains. During her almost twenty years at Imperial’s Faculty of Medicine, Jenny has held a number of senior positions including Head of Undergraduate Medicine for five years, and then Director of Education in 2009. She retained this title when she was appointed Vice Dean for Institutional Affairs. Jenny was instrumental in establishing the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine in Singapore, a joint medical school of Imperial College London and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Jenny has extensive responsibilities within the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, and in 2013 was appointed Senior Vice Dean. She is a Member of the governing
board and was Chair of the London-Singapore Board that was responsible for ensuring the course was ready for its first student. The project was shortlisted for the Times Higher Education and the Wharton QS Awards in 2014. As Chair of the MSC, Jenny has been actively involved with the academic medical policy and has previously Chaired the council’s Education SubCommittee, and was Treasurer of the MSC before taking up her role as Chair. She remains a Member of the MSC Assessment Board, represents Higher Education Institutes on the North West London Education and Training Board, is Governor of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and is a NonExecutive Director of the West Middlesex NHS Trust since 2009. Jenny also initiated and became the inaugural President of the Health Sciences Academy, a partnership with Brunel University and Buckinghamshire New University, in 2014, and Chairs their Strategic Board. Additionally, she is a Member of the Brighton and Sussex Medical School Joint Board and Universities and Colleges Employers Association Clinical Academic Staff Advisory Group. In November 2011, Jenny was awarded the ‘Mentor of the Year’ award at the national Women of the Future Awards. In May 2013, she was awarded a President & Rector’s Award for her outstanding contribution to teaching excellence, and in 2014 she received the Imperial College Medal for outstanding leadership. * Favourite Music: Rachmaninov Piano Concerto Number 2 * Three objects Jenny cannot live without: Family, Friends, Phone
Jenny’s advice to junior doctors is “Keep an open mind about where your future may be – had I been told what I would end up doing, I would have laughed out loud.”
Published on Apr 26, 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...