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Professor Una Martin Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Equalities, and Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Birmingham Professor Una Martin is Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor for Equalities and was appointed to this role shortly after the College achieved an Athena SWAN Silver award in April 2014 under her leadership. Una took the lead in a Women in Academic Medicine (WAM) Steering Group, and their report outlined the reasons why women in medicine are underrepresented in the University sector. She is also Professor of Clinical Pharmacology in Birmingham, where she leads the hypertension service. Una was brought up in Dublin and qualified in 1983. Her mother, who was a dentist working with special needs children in Dublin, has always been an inspiration for Una. Her optimism and warmth saw her through many a crisis, and she still misses her very much. Una decided to do a postgraduate BSc in Pharmacology and this move, her best career decision, confirmed her interest in Clinical Pharmacology. When Una achieved first class honours in her degree, it made her realise that she could aspire to succeed in an academic career. Una then continued with her medical training, and completed her membership exam for the Royal College of Physicians and trained to medical registrar level. From there, she went to Edinburgh to do a PhD in Clinical Pharmacology and then moved again to Southampton to take up a Senior Registrar post in Clinical Pharmacology. Soon after the birth of her first child, twenty-one years ago, Una joined the University of Birmingham as a part-time Senior Lecturer. In 2015, she was promoted to Professor and held many leadership roles there including Programme Director of the NIHR/ Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility from 2011-2015. Her clinical research interests are in hypertension, and she runs the Hypertension Service at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Her contribution to this field has been recognised by a Fellowship of both the British and Irish Hypertension Societies and has had a major impact on how hypertensive patients are diagnosed and treated in the UK and internationally. Highlights include the influence of ethnicity on blood pressure measurement, the relationship of inter-arm blood pressure measurements to ambulatory readings and the difficulty of treating elderly patients to target because of adverse drug reactions. Una has shaped undergraduate teaching in Therapeutics at the University Medical School and has developed a ‘Prescriber’s Licence’ (previously the Therapeutics OSCE). She has also developed the National Prescribing Assessment, which all newly qualified doctors have to pass to take up their Foundation Year

1 posts. She is lead for a hypertension module in the postgraduate MSc in cardiovascular medicine and is responsible for Clinical Pharmacology training in the West Midlands. Una is Chair of the Specialist Training Committee, and she has also received a Fellowship from the British Pharmacological Society. Following the publication of WAM report by the British Medical Association in 2008, Una became an effective advocate for Athena SWAN at Birmingham and led the College of Medical and Dental Sciences self-assessment team (SAT) to their first Silver Award in 2014. Una has ensured the lessons learned have been disseminated across other disciplines and has actively supported schools to achieve awards to date as Chair of the University SAT. Her experience of diversity issues and proactive approach were instrumental in the success of the initiative, Advancing Equality in Employment, which won the first ever Personnel Today Human Resources Award for Equality and Inclusion. In 2015, the University established a Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor role for Equalities to build on progress made, and Una was appointed to this post. Since her appointment, she has overseen the development of a new Equality Scheme encouraging all students and staff to identify ‘one key change’ they would like to see and ensuring that wider equalities are represented, particularly about race, sexuality and disability. Una is married to a nephrologist, and they have two children aged 21 and 17 years. Despite her many high-profile achievements, she is most proud of her children. She worked part-time until 2015 so that she could combine clinical and academic work with raising her family. * Favourite Film: Mama Mia – cheerful and fun * Three objects Una cannot live without: There is no object I cannot live without (but my husband, son and daughter make living great!)

Una’s advice to junior doctors is “Cherish your friendships, ask your seniors for advice and make sure you do not neglect your personal lives.”


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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