Dr Olwen Williams
Vice-President, Medical Women’s Federation, and Consultant, Sexual Health/ HIV, North Wales Dr Olwen William is a Consultant in Sexual Health and HIV at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board in North Wales, and until recently she was Chief of Staff managing a budget of £180 million. She is also the incumbent Vice-President of the Medical Women’s Federation (MWF). Olwen was born in Manchester but has spent so much time in Wales that she considers herself ‘made in Wales’. Olwen initially wanted to be a vet but was put off by the male members of her family who told her that women could not do the job. At the age of only eight years, this was her first exposure to sexism. Soon after she decided to become a doctor. After retaking A ‘levels, Olwen secured a place at Liverpool Medical School and qualified in 1984. Recognising that the potential HIV epidemic that was predicted in the 1980s would require individuals with robust training in general medicine, Olwen switched her career path to train in genitourinary medicine and has never looked back. She does, however, regret not becoming dually accredited in general medicine. Olwen settled into her Consultant career in North Wales and has worked as a Consultant there for twenty-five years, holding many roles along the way. Between 2004-2007, she was BBC Audience Council Member for Wales and Chair of the Adolescent Special Interest Group for the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH), leading the development of the National Clinical Effectiveness Guidelines on the Management of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) in Children and Young People. Olwen has worked closely with the Welsh Government and advised on the development of the Welsh Sexual Health Strategy, HIV service delivery, and issues regarding Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. She has championed Equality and Diversity in Wales and developed services for individuals affected by HIV, survivors of sexual assault and improved access to sexual health services through the implementation of sexual health services
at Her Majesty’s Prison Berwyn, a new super-prison. In 2006 Olwen reviewed the Joint Royal Colleges of Paediatrics and Child Health, Physicians and the Faculty of Forensic & Legal Medicine guidance, The Physical Signs of Child Sexual Abuse. A year later she was a stakeholder in the Clinical Standards for the Management of STIs for BASHH. From 20072010, Olwen was the Welsh Representative for the MWF Standing Committee and was elected Vice-President of the organisation in 2016. Olwen spent five years as a Member of the Welsh Commission for Equality and Human Rights and is a Trustee of the National AIDS Trust. She is also a Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Wales Strategy Group Member. In 2009, Olwen was appointed Chief of Staff, leading the delivery of services in primary, community and specialist medicine. Olwen led a pioneering programme using video technology to help frail and older adults in rural communities access appointments with consultants. The CARTREF project was shortlisted at the 2016 Health Service Journal Value in Healthcare Awards and was highly commended at the award ceremony. She also obtained the RCP Future Hospital Development Site Status for her Trust with his project. Olwen was awarded Welsh Woman of the Year in 2000 and received an OBE for services to medicine in Wales in 2005. * Favourite Film: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy for escapism * Three objects Olwen cannot live without: iPad (I love to tweet), Toothbrush, Glasses
Olwen’s advice to junior doctors is “Explore every opportunity. It’s a tough world, and nothing comes easy but if your passion is medicine, then you will overcome obstacles, and find your niche. Seek a mentor and coach. We are here to help, support and guide.”
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...