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Professor Celia Moss

Centenary Souvenir


Professor of Paediatric Dermatology, Birmingham Professor Celia Moss has dedicated her life’s work to helping young people with skin conditions. She was brought up on a council estate in Stratford-upon-Avon, where her father was a taxi driver. Celia’s success in her eleven plus exams took her from Broad Street County Primary School to King’s High School in Warwick. Her high school steered her toward Oxford University where she obtained a first class honours degree in physiology.

Celia then went on to do clinical training at University College Hospital in London and qualified in 1975. Medical rotations at North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary and the Whittington Hospital followed, and Celia successfully obtained her MRCP in 1978. An incident as a houseman taught her a valuable lesson for the rest of her clinical career: Celia reviewed a patient who was febrile and cachectic but was labelled as having an occult malignancy and discharged him. He was subsequently brought in dead with a diagnosis of missed infective endocarditis. It taught her the importance of questioning diagnoses even when others (including seniors) did not. Having decided on a career in dermatology, she completed her higher specialist training in Newcastle Upon Tyne, where she was inspired by Professor Sam Shuster, her boss, whose critical mind and unwavering intellectual rigour marked her forever. Celia enjoyed the open-ended flexibility that was made available to her to raise her family. As a result, she extended her training and worked at Senior Registrar level for eleven years. Taking time as a junior doctor rather than rushing into a Consultant post was her best career decision and gave Celia time to discover her true interests and aptitudes within dermatology. She undertook a period of research and completed her MD in 1983 and was awarded her CCT in 1985. By the time Celia was appointed as a Consultant Dermatologist in Birmingham, in 1993, she had developed a keen interest in genetic and paediatric dermatology. She enjoyed establishing and delivering multidisciplinary services for children with skin disease and collaborating with research laboratories. This work led to an Honorary Chair at the University of Birmingham. Other national appointments followed including Chair of the British Society for Paediatric Dermatology; Chair of the UK NHS Clinical Reference Group for Specialised Dermatology; Convenor for Dermatology at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and Council Member of the Royal Society of Medicine Dermatology Section.

Celia is a Member of the Advisory Board of the British Journal of Dermatology and has served on several national patient support groups. She lectures and teaches at all levels, and has published widely on genetic and paediatric dermatology with 140 peerreviewed articles, 150 published abstracts, nine book chapters in major UK and US textbooks and has written one book. Celia’s commitment to teaching led her to set up an acclaimed course, now in its nineteenth year, which has provided training to most of the current generation of consultants in this field. Now semi-retired, Celia spends much of her time travelling abroad with her clinical pharmacologist husband, supporting colleagues overseas and in particular, in India. Her work has been recognised by a Gold (level 11) Clinical Excellence Award in 2004 and the WellChild Doctor of the Year Award in 2011 in recognition of her support of children with skin disease and for her contribution to the Ichthyosis Support Group for over a decade. She also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 2012, the Sir Archibald Gray Medal and Honorary Membership of the British Association of Dermatologists. She was named as a Sunday Times Top Doctor. Celia is most proud of building a dedicated paediatric dermatology team from a part-time minor outreach of neighbouring adult services to a full-time specialist service that treats patients from across the country, with more nurses than doctors, and an international reputation for postgraduate training. In 2016, she was awarded an OBE for years of dedicated work helping young people with skin conditions, and improving and pushing the boundaries of care provided to thousands of children since joining Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 1990. * Favourite Film: Kind Hearts and Coronets * Three objects Celia cannot live without: Pilot Pen, Garden fork, Washing machine

Celia’s advice to junior doctors is “The NHS is a fantastic institution, which is admired worldwide. Don’t give up on it.”


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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