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Dr Kate Lovett


Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Dr Kate Lovett’s career choice was influenced by the dinner table conversations she experienced from a young age. As the daughter of an Education Lecturer and a Samaritan’s volunteer, it may explain her career path as a Psychiatrist with an educational interest. She was influenced to choose medicine by visiting a family friend in a mental asylum at the age of fifteen, along with lots of visits to a relative in hospital who suffered from heart disease. Kate realised that she could combine science and humanities with medicine. Kate studied medicine at the University of St. Andrews, which guaranteed clinical training at the University of Manchester. She qualified in 1990 and was awarded a distinction in psychiatry at finals. Although Kate was not convinced that she wanted to be a psychiatrist until after she had qualified, she thoroughly enjoyed her psychiatry attachment as a student. She went on to train as a psychiatrist in the North West and obtained her MRCPsych qualification in 1995. Kate has a longstanding interest in training and education, with a special focus on the development of systems supporting compassionate care and recovery, which is underpinned by values of equity and fairness. Kate then completed her MSc thesis on the role of ovarian steroids in postnatal depression and took up her first Consultant post in Devon in 2001. She immediately started to support trainees and took on educational roles alongside her clinical job as a general Psychiatrist. She completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Education with Distinction in 2008 and served on the Education, Training and Standards Committee at the Royal College of Psychiatrists between 2010-2014, and on the South West Division between 2010-2016. Kate was appointed as CASC (Clinical Assessment of Skills and Competencies) examiner in 2008 and became a Lead Examiner in 2014. She was Head of School of Psychiatry for the Peninsula Deanery for four and a half years until 2016 when she gave up this role having been elected Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She attributes this success to following Sheryl Sandberg’s advice to women to ‘Lean In’. Kate is a Trustee of the College, with responsibility for the education portfolio of the organisation, which includes outreach to schools, supporting undergraduate students, recruitment, training, postgraduate exams, continuing professional development, and developing and running courses and conferences for members. Her role also involves being a spokesperson for the media and delivering talks around the country. Kate is most proud of her Blue Peters Runners Up Badge, which she was awarded at the age of seven. She has also learnt that failure is a teacher from her many challenging times. “We cannot achieve anything on our own; good friends are worth their weight in gold; actively looking after our own well-being is critical and humour is a mature defence mechanism, which needs to be used liberally in both medicine and life,” she says.

* Favourite Book: Anna Karenina * Three objects Kate cannot live without: Soap, iPhone, Running shoes

Kate’s advice to junior doctors is “The old adage that was passed onto me; look after your patients and your career takes care of itself.”


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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