Professor Amanda Howe
OBE MA MEd MD FRCGP
Professor of Primary Care, University of East Anglia, Norfolk Professor Amanda Howe is a practising family doctor, an academic Professor and has an international reputation in family medicine. Amanda’s earliest ambition was to be a female adventurer – a modern day Maid Marion. Somehow, she ended up at the University of London and Newnham College, Cambridge, studying medicine. Amanda chose general practice as a career choice early on at medical school, much to the horror of some of her tutors.
For her, it was her best career decision. Her anatomy tutor even suggested that it would be a ‘waste’ for a ‘bright girl like you’ to become a GP. However, she enjoyed the variety and humanity she found working among people in their community and realised the value of prevention and early intervention that strong primary health care teams can offer. After qualifying in 1979, A ma nd a completed her vocational training in Sheffield and became a full-time partner in a busy inner city practice in 1984. While in this role, Amanda became a mother, GP trainer, Continuing Professional Development (CPD) tutor, and undergraduate teacher. Her passion for giving young doctors contact with the real social and health problems of ordinary people led Amanda to engage further with the academic world, and she undertook both a Masters and an MD as further qualifications. Amanda then took up a fulltime academic appointment and became involved in medical education reform and eventually moved to Norfolk to take up to the role of Professor of Primary Care at the University of East Anglia (UEA). She was also part of the core team setting up a new medical school. During her career, Amanda has held multiple roles. These include Course Director for the UEA medical programme during its early years of development and General Medical Council (GMC) accreditation, Chair of Research at the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) from 2000−2005, and Chair of the Society for Academic Primary Care from 2007–
2010. In 2009, she was elected Honorary Secretary of the RCGP and became Vice-Chair of RCGP Council in 2013. Amanda is also a GP appraiser and College Speciality Advisor for revalidation. Apart from championing general practice, Amanda also has clinical and research interests in quality of care, the effective use of education as an intervention to improve care, mental health problems, and patient and public empowerment in health care settings. As an RCGP Officer, she enjoys the leadership challenges of both external change (the Health and Social Care Act) and policy development. One of the most influential pieces of work during her College role has been the RCGP’s ‘Commission on Generalism’, for which she was College Lead and author of the report. Amanda is President of the World Organisation of Family Doctors with the aim of improving family medicine across the world. Amanda is most proud of helping to take the voice of general practice into the academic, specialist and political environment and has learnt not to compromise with bullies and overwork. She was awarded an OBE in 2016 for services to primary care. * Favourite Book: Nelson Mandela – A Long Walk to Freedom demonstrating courage, persistence and the possibility of moral ambition for changing the world * Three objects Amanda cannot live without: Passport, Internet, Bank account
Amanda’s advice to junior doctors is “Be proud of your role as a doctor – and be glad that you can do something morally worthwhile, intellectually stimulating, emotionally satisfying and well-paid.”
Medical Woman | Spring 2017
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...