The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh is proud to celebrate physicians who have inspired others through their work and commitment to medicine. Last year we invited our Fellows and Members throughout the world to nominate colleagues and physicians who inspire them and our top ten Inspiring Physicians from 2018 & 2019 are listed below.

Our 2019 Inspiring Physicians

Dr Catherine Monaghan (FRCP Edin)

Nominated by: Professor Jane Metcalf, Deputy Medical Director & Consultant Physician, North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Trust

In what way does the nominee inspire you?
Cath has worked at the Trust and in the region for over 20 years, as a doctor in training, specialty doctor and consultant.  She has a 'can do' attitude which translates into every area of her professional life to enhance patient care.  She is empathic and seeks out ways to address issues colleagues raise, such as work life balance problems and valuing contributions across the health care professions.  She is hugely flexible in meeting her commitments in acute and respiratory medicine and being clinical director for out of hospital care, despite being less than full time and having 3 young children. She is also lead for the local integrated care system for frailty and has developed, implemented and championed new pathways to improve care for patient and their families whilst reducing stranded patients and length of stay. Cath is a compassionate and excellent physician, she leads by example and ensures her colleagues are inspired, supported and challenged to always improve the care they provide.  

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care
Cath has made a significant personal contribution to the care of both individual patients as an acute care and respiratory physician, but also to the overall pathways of care in two particular areas.  Firstly, she was instrumental in setting up the Hospital at Home service for patients with chronic respiratory disease. This is a community based, multidisciplinary team with a patient centred approach to managing debilitating chronic respiratory conditions with proactive management of disease flare ups, achieving excellent patient outcomes both from quantitative (reduction in admissions and length of stay) and qualitative (patient acceptability and empowerment) viewpoints.  It has been of particular benefit for patients in the Hartlepool are who have further to travel for inpatient care.  Cath always emphasises the whole team’s input but she is the bedrock and responsible physician who empowers the team to keep patients at home, safely.

Secondly, she has pioneered work in frailty, now also taking the local lead for this work across the Tees Valley ICS. Within the trust she has developed and instigated a new, multidisciplinary, therapy led approach to identifying and assessing frail patients in the emergency department. This has led to rapid, safe, supported discharge and reductions in length of stay with co-ordinated discharge planning leading to significant (25%+) reductions in stranded patients and fantastic feedback from patients and carers. She is also working across the whole patient pathway to inreach into care homes using community staff to pre-empt and either avoid or speed up admissions.  Additionally she has provided senior clinical time to support emergency care planning and enhance end of life care in the community to enable people at the end of life to achieve their preferred place of care with appropriate care and support, both physically and psychologically.

Her ability to work across staff groups, primary and secondary care and organisations such as local authorities, 3rd sector and other healthcare providers to achieve the best care for patients is well recognised and resulted in her being asked to lead across the locality.  Her natural ebullience and empathy means that she is able to transcend complex system barriers through shared goals around compassionate holistic patient care.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?
Cath embodies a commitment for equality and diversity in everything she does.  She works across professions within the NHS, specifically valuing and recognising the contribution of each and every staff group.  She works with and champions patients’ and carers’ views, including those from socially deprived groups and hard to reach parts of our community.  She supports trainees from all backgrounds and in particular less than full time trainees and colleagues to reach their goals and work life balance.  

She is well recognised as an excellent, fair and supportive supervisor, working with overseas graduates and our refugee doctors to support transition into the NHS.  As an extension to this, Cath is the lead for the Inspirational Female Trainees group within the Trust, aiming to promote and support women in hospital medicine careers.  She has worked as a non-career grade doctor as well as now as a consultant and champions their career development and promotes their worth.

Dr Indrajit Chatterjee (Chattopadhyay FRCP Edin)

Nominated by: RCPE Fellow

In what way does the nominee inspire you?
Indrajit has been organising the undergraduate teaching for Cardiff medical students for many years. He has the passion, enthusiasm and commitment for teaching and works tirelessly to plan and deliver the teaching program.

Indrajit would meticulously prepare the time table for the students (COTE/Neurology module and now C21 module) to make sure every aspect of their training needs are covered. His schedule would include teaching from the multi-disciplinary team (physiotherapists, speech and language therapists); the first to do so in Wales.   

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care
Indrajit has been the lead for the care of the elderly department for many years and took over the role of Clinical Director for the area team. The area team was a new division within the BCU health board and was looking for direction and leadership. Indrajit was able to co-ordinate our efforts and bring the team together.

Since taking on the role Indrajit has started and chairs the bimonthly strategic governance meetings for the team, providing a platform for staff from secondary care and community hospitals to meet, discuss and find a solution for some common problems.   

He has also developed a handover pathway over patients from secondary to community hospitals. This provides vital information for the staff in community hospitals.

Indrajit has re-organized the way staff from community hospitals seek advice out of working hours from secondary care which has prevented some patients being transferred back from the community hospitals.
He has also started a frailty unit in Glan Clwyd.  This was entirely due to his hard work and perseverance. The unit is a success and clearly demonstrated that we could reduce the length of stay for frail elderly patients through comprehensive geriatric assessment and proactive care planning.

Indrajit has re-organised the resources at Llandudno hospital, enabling us to advertise for two consultant posts.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?
He treats all allied health practitioners equal to doctors and has great respect and appreciates their contribution. Indrajit is a mentor for nurses doing advanced nurse practitioner course. In the last 10 years he had mentored at least 20 trainees who had gone on to become valuable assets for our organization and elsewhere.    

Professor Dr Byung In Lee

Nominated by: Dr Ching Soong Khoo, Physician, Neurology Fellow, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Malaysia; Epilepsy Fellow, Haeundae Paik Hospital, Inje University, Republic of Korea

In what way does the nominee inspire you?
Despite his age of nearly 70 years old, he plays an active and pivotal role in the medical field as an academician, clinician, researcher and mentor. He is constantly in good spirits to impart his invaluable wisdom and knowledge to his colleagues, residents and fellows. His steadfastness in establishing the right diagnosis and subsequently right care for patients, unassuming manner and industrious trait make him a stunningly inspiring teacher. His charisma is truly beyond words.

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care
Prof. Lee is one of the most renowned pioneers in the Asian-Oceanian region for his significant contributions towards the field of epilepsy. He has authored more than 300 original/review articles in both local and international peer-reviewed journals and has served several professional boards including: President of the Korean Epilepsy Society (1998 - 2002), President of the Korean Neurocritical Care Society (2007 - 2013), Chairman of the Council of the National Medical College Professors (2007 - 2011) and Chair of the Commission of Asian Oceanian Affairs (CAOA), International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) (2009 to present). One of his most cited research articles on SPECT and EEG correlations in temporal lobe epilepsy published in Neurology has laid the foundation for many important discoveries in the epilepsy networks. Prof. Lee has been awarded the BOWON Award (the best research of the year from Yonsei University) in 1997, Chisuckyoung Academic Award (from Health and Welfare News) in 2005, Epilepsy Ambassador Award (ILAE) in 2013, Songpa Academic Award (from the Korean Neurological Association) in 2014, to name but a few for his exemplary service in the medical profession.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?
Prof. Lee has always treated me (as an International Fellow in Epilepsy) like a family member in his department. Prof. Lee is always grateful to his clinic and ward staff by having periodical appreciation dinners. He regularly holds seminars to update them to improve patients’ care and is a well-respected figure in this region. There was once a volcanic outbreak near a conference venue in Bali (Indonesia), which resulted in many flight cancellations from Australia. He swiftly agreed to taking over many seminars without further ado.

Dr John Mansfield

Nominated by: Dr Anjan Dhar, Reader in Medicine, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Co. Durham, UK

In what way does the nominee inspire you?
John has been an inspiration to a whole generation of Consultant Gastroenterologists and trainees in Gastroenterology in the North East of England. He has worked hard for over 30 years to improve the care of patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, not just in his own hospital, but amongst colleagues across the North East. He has combined a career in high quality clinical care with extensive clinical research into the genetics and pathophysiology of IBD. John is passionate about his patients, is easily accessible and leads a team of clinicians, scientists, nurse specialists and research staff in his nationally acclaimed unit. He has contributed to national IBD research and the European IBD care. He is an excellent role model for how patient care should be organised in the NHS and has a strong connection to the values of the NHS.

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care
John is internationally reputed for leading a tertiary care IBD Service involving clinicians, basic scientists, radiologists, surgeons, pathologists and other specialties. His patients love him for his straight speaking approach, easy accessibility, passion for looking after their holistic needs and pragmatic approach to care. He has led a tertiary IBD MDT across the region and the clinical research group of the IBD Section of the British Society of Gastroenterology. He has also represented the UK at the European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation and has been involved with a number of quality improvement initiatives to improve IBD Care. He has been involved with the national IBD guidelines to drive up standards and has been an Advisor to the Crohn's and Colitis UK Charity.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?
John has been involved with specialist registrar training for three decades and has collaborated with national, regional and international teams to engage in high quality research. His collaborators come from all parts of the country and Europe and he has always supported merit over any other considerations.

Dr Vikramjit Mukherjee

Nominated by: Dr Santosh Agrawal, Consultant Paediatrician and Overseas Examiner for the MRCPCH exams in India, AMRI Hospital, Kolkata

In what way does the nominee inspire you?

Dr Vikramjit Mukherjee has been a passionate clinician, educator and researcher since his entrance into the medical community. He completed his MBBS at the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College in India, followed by residency and chief residency at Georgetown University Hospital/ Washington Hospital Center. He then went on to complete his fellowship and chief fellowship at the New York University Medical Center in New York, following which he stayed on as faculty there. I have had the privilege of knowing Dr Mukherjee over the last few years and his humility and commitment to patient care is truly inspiring.

Over the last few years, Dr Mukherjee has won multiple accolades-including an award for showing humanitarianism in medicine, multiple awards for being the best performing fellow at the prestigious New York School of Medicine, and more recently, being selected as the best teacher at the same university. His appetite for excellence, prioritizing patient care and medical education, along with his rapid ascent in the world of academic medicine serves as a source of encouragement not only to me, but also to his colleagues, house staff and medical students that rotate under him at Bellevue Hospital Center.

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care

Dr Mukherjee has had multiple contributions to medical practice.

As the Associate Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Bellevue Hospital Center, Dr Mukherjee leads multiple quality improvement projects. As the Assistant Program Director for the New York University Pulmonary and Critical Care fellowship, Dr Mukherjee plays a crucial role in screening and interviewing applicants to the program, serving as a mentor and serving on multiple committees to ensure adequate curriculum development and trainee growth.

Dr Mukherjee also plays an integral role in the Special Pathogens Unit, where he assists in developing protocols, training curriculum and standard operating procedures for patients who present with Ebola and other Special Pathogens. Nationally, he serves as task lead for organising workshops for the National Ebola Training and Education Center. In the same arena, Dr Mukherjee serves as a member for the Task Force for Mass Critically Ill, a national task force committed to developing evidence based guidelines for mass casualty events.

Lastly, Dr Mukherjee is active in multiple national organizations, including the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the American College of Chest Physicians. He is a regular moderator and abstract reviewer for their national conferences, serves on multiple committees, and plays a significant role in presenting his research at these conferences.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?

Dr Mukherjee serves as a Consultant Physician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Bellevue Hospital Center. Bellevue Hospital Center is the oldest hospital in the United States of America, and is recognized for providing care for those who have no other place to turn to. Dr Mukherjee provides care to patients from across the world, irrespective of their background, nationality, insurance or immigration status.

Professor Frederich Christopher Otieno (FRCP Edin)

Nominated by: RCPE Fellow

In what way does the nominee inspire you?

Simplicity with details during his clinical practice. Professor Otieno emphasises the must know basics of the patient, creating an enabling environment for history taking and physical examination before carrying out any diagnostic tests. He is always available for both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Above all, he is available to all patients who need him regardless of socioeconomic status and this is humbling to see in such a senior doctor. He mentors doctors so well and insists that you must operate like a 3rd year medical student, while simultaneously thinking like a consultant physician.

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care

Currently, he is Dean of the College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi. He is a fine clinician, mentoring many Masters’ students and has published more than 60 papers in peer reviewed journals. Professor Otieno is also a member of EASD, ADA and the African Diabetes Research Consortium.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?

As a lecturer, he supervises students from all walks of life without regard to race or tribe.  

Professor Peter Sandercock (FRCP Edin)

Nominated by: Dr Eivind Berge, Senior Consultant, Oslo University Hospital

In what way does the nominee inspire you?

Peter Sandercock is a well-known clinician and researcher in the field of stroke, and at the same time, a person with a genuine interest in the wellbeing of students and younger colleagues. He is always available when they need assistance, and actively helps them to make success in their own careers. He has been a mentor for numerous would-be trialists, and has always supported investigator-led clinical trials through delivering training courses and serving on steering committees and data monitoring committees. He has also paid a significant contribution to the dissemination of evidence-based stroke practice, especially in low and middle-income countries. For many of these activities, there is not much academic recognition or reward, and for this he is an inspiring colleague.

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care

Peter Sandercock is a neurologist who has devoted his career to stroke clinical practice and research. His lifelong commitments have been to mentoring and training young stroke physicians and academics, disseminating evidence based stroke practice, supporting investigator-led clinical trials through delivering training courses, mentorship of would-be trialists and serving on steering and data monitoring committees.

His initial research was on the epidemiology of stroke in Oxfordshire, and in clinical trials of stroke prevention. He set up and ran the first International Stroke Trial (IST-1) of aspirin and heparin in 19.435 patients with acute stroke from 467 hospitals in 37 countries. He also set up and ran the IST-3, the largest ever randomised trial of intravenous thrombolysis with 3035 patients. He has served (and continues to serve) on many data monitoring and trial steering committees in academic, investigator-led randomised clinical trials in stroke and neurology (total of 61 and 25 as Chairman). He has published over 330 original research articles, serving on editorial boards and is an Associate Editor for International Journal of Stroke.

He has had a career-long interest in evidence-based medicine and served as member of the editorial board of the Cochrane Stroke Group for over 20 years and was the coordinating editor of the Cochrane Stroke Group 1998-2011. He was a founder member of the British Stroke Research Group (which was incorporated into the British Association of Stroke Physicians). He established and ran the Edinburgh Clinical Trials Management Course for over 10 years. Professor Sandercock had a major role in the University of Edinburgh online Masters Course in Clinical Trials by distance learning. Has delivered nearly 400 lectures on stroke, evidence-based medicine and clinical trials to audiences in 39 different countries.

He has served on the Board of Directors of the World Stroke Organisation (WSO) since 2008 and chairs the WSO Education Committee. He is a regular contributor to the EAN/WSO teaching courses for neurologists in Africa and has been made an Honorary Member of the Argentinian Cardiological Society, Polish Neurological Society, French Neurological Society and Indian Stroke Association.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?

Peter Sandercock has always been inclusive towards colleagues with other medical specialties who want to work in the stroke field. This has been particularly important for many colleagues from other countries, where neurology is not the main specialty in the field of stroke. He has also actively favoured the inclusion of other health care professionals working with stroke patients. He has also shown a keen interest to help and promote the career of colleagues who are underrepresented in clinical and academic fora, such as young or female colleagues, or colleagues coming from underdeveloped countries. His practice of inclusivity is unique, and has contributed to more equality and diversity in stroke medicine.

Dr Jugal Kishor Sharma (FRCP Edin)

Nominated by: Dr. J.P.S. Sawhney Chairman Deptt. of Cardiology Sir Ganga Ram Hospital

In what way does the nominee inspire you?

In the years I have known Dr Sharma, I would definitely describe his personal ethics and professional ethics as highly inspiring. From his bedside manner in treating his patients to dealing with attendants, colleagues and residents, Dr Sharma has always shown unparalleled skill in being a leader. Right from the beginning of his journey in the field of medicine, Dr Sharma has been a brilliant student with a knack for attention to detail, and proper understanding of the science behind his job. As a medical student and as a resident, he showed promise of being an astute physician with a natural aura of leadership with his focus on complete patient care. I think any aspiring student or current student of medicine can learn a lot and be heavily inspired by his journey.

After successfully graduating from medical college (MBBS) with highest honours and being at the top of his class, he was inducted into the highly competitive internal medicine residency program based solely on merit and graduated with the MD degree also at the top of his class. What is truly inspiring is that Dr Sharma never stopped in his pursuit of excellence and strived to be the best physician a patient could hope for and I think he has passed his own expectations with flying colours. He is a natural born leader and is truly humble. I think he embodies the best that a doctor can be.

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care

I have seen Dr Sharma wage a long war on diabetes, he does this by heading the Central Delhi Diabetes Centre in his capacity as the Medical Director and Senior Consultant, which he founded fifteen years ago. With the Central Delhi Diabetes Centre, Dr Sharma has a strong grasp of the conditions of his community members and patients and works jointly with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, BLK Super Specialty Hospital and the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre to deliver the best possible care to his patients.

Dr Sharma was elected as the Honorary Secretary for the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India’s Delhi Chapter on a three year tenure and organized the annual conference. He is also in good standing with the remaining state chapters in both north and south India and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Rajasthan Chapter. By cofounding and being elected as the Secretary General of the Innovative Physicians Forum, Dr Sharma and his colleagues promote and discuss new scientific advancements in the field of medicine by organising highly informative bimonthly scientific CMEs. These lectures are recorded and available for the public.

On all the patients that we have consulted on together, I have always received words of kindness and patience in their care. Along with this, he keeps himself updated on the latest medical advancements and publishes multiple papers and chapters in books on a regular basis along with delivering lectures regularly. I think Dr Sharma is a high standing citizen and physician in our society, and as far as I know he will not slowdown in his pursuit towards excellence in patient care.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?

Being trained in the largest state of India and having practiced medicine for thirty years in the capital of the country, Dr Sharma has vast experience with people from all walks of life. Over the years I have seen him show true commitment to his motto ‘Every life is equal’ by never discriminating on the basis of class, sex, race, class, age or creed. He has always put patient care over everything and has over the years held multiple not for profit medical camps, walks and meets to educate, promote and treat people from society about the prevention and proper care of patients suffering with all kinds of diseases and lifestyle problems.

Being an active part of Geriatric Society of India, Jugal focuses and promotes elderly care and has written a number of papers, given lectures on the same while always trying to make the quality of life better for the patient regardless of their background. By organizing the annual conference for Innovative Physicians Forum, Dr Sharma showed inclusivity by promoting medical students and resident of all backgrounds by hosting multiple poster presentation programs, orations, quizzes and workshops.

He is a natural born leader and promoter of underrepresented parts of society. He has strived to fight for equality in all his roles in life and I am sure he will continue to do his best to make the world a better place.

Professor John Starr (FRCP Edin)

Nominated by Dr Susan Shenkin, Senior Clinical Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

In what way does the nominee inspire you?
Professor John Starr died suddenly on 8th December, 2018, aged just 58. He was an unconventional and unique figure, an inspiration to many. Many current students and doctors in training, and those who are now consultants themselves, were strongly influenced by John and carry his lessons and example with them. Who else would start a ward round with a review of a poem; or theme an entire ward round on collagenous diseases; or use only Renaissance paintings as the slides for an academic talk; or illustrate a complex MRI technique with an analogy using a mattress and a wine glass?

No one who trained with or worked with John, sat with him in a meeting, or who received his insightful – though illegible – comments on their draft manuscripts could fail to be influenced by such a unique, knowledgeable, perceptive, kind and gentle soul. His gentleness was, however, combined with a steely determination. He would never be bullied or intimidated, standing firmly for his ideas, and continually questioning. He was a key influence and guide into clinical research for many, and the sage voice we would turn to in times of doubt. One of his greatest gifts was his ability to truly nurture and mentor his trainees, including his influence during his time as Training Programme Director for South East Scotland.

His key hallmark was his focus on the individual at the centre of every encounter, treating them with respect and kindness. He is missed terribly, and this award would be a recognition of his influence throughout his all-too-short career.

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care
John Starr graduated in Medicine from Cambridge and King’s College, London, including a History of Fine Arts degree. He came to Edinburgh as a research fellow in the Department of Psychiatry in 1989, investigating the relationship between blood pressure and cognition. After a two year senior registrar post at the renowned Hammersmith Hospital, London, he was appointed as consultant and part-time Senior Lecturer in Geriatric Medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Edinburgh, and soon thereafter was promoted to an honorary Chair – Professor of Health and Ageing – at the University of Edinburgh.

He was a clinical academic, working as a consultant physician in Geriatric Medicine at the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.

His specialist interest was in dementia care, particularly for those with associated complex physical diseases. His particular passion was improving the care for older adults with intellectual disabilities, including adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities, which he did with compassion, humour, and immense enthusiasm.

His academic interests were broad and he had a wide-ranging interdisciplinary portfolio of research based around improving the understanding of cognitive ageing, dementia, and intellectual disability. His approach to questions was never restricted by traditional disciplinary boundaries, or conventional methods, and he had a particular talent for bringing novel approaches to questions.
Areas of research that he explored included using routinely collected data to understand the environmental epidemiology of dementia; the use of MR elastography to understand differences in brain structure and function; mathematical modelling to map the spread of Clostridium difficile infection; item response theory to simplify functional decline scales; noticing that brain imaging would include measures of neck muscles and so could study sarcopenia; realising that birth records could allow investigation of early life risk factors for cognitive decline; considering the use of hair samples, dental records or hat size measurements to consider early life determinants of health; and in an early paper estimating genetic relatedness between individuals by counting the number of great-grandmothers they shared.

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?
He was a strong advocate for groups who are traditionally disadvantaged, and often explained that you can judge society on how it treats the 'disadvantaged'. His academic and clinical work focussed on the least glamorous aspects of medicine such as dementia and intellectual impairment.

Professor Kaushal K Verma (FRCP Edin)

Nominated by: RCPE Fellow

In what way does the nominee inspire you?
Prof. Kaushal K. Verma, is a highly acclaimed and reputed Professor in Dermatology & Venereology, not only at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, but across the country and abroad. He has been at AIIMS for over 35 years and Professor there for over 15 years. He has immensely contributed to medical education, research and patient care in India.

He has written a book, more than 150 research papers, and 25 chapters and edited 5 books. Professor Verma has received many prestigious awards including: the Dermatology Excellence Award (2003), National Best Medical Services Award (2011), Prof. L.K. Bhutani Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research by the Indian Association of Dermatologists, Venereologists and Leprologists (2016), Prof. S. Lal Award Award for distinguished contributions in Venereology (2007) and Bhanupriya Debi Award for best published Research Paper in IJDVL in 2002, 2006 and 2008.

He has delivered over 150 invited lectures at various international and national meetings. Dr Verma established and developed Lasers and Dermato-Surgery Services at AIIMS. He also established and developed the Department of Dermatology and Venereology as Chairman of the Department, B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal. Also he has been Visiting Professor to University of Ulm, Germany, Consultant to United Nations and Expert to several advisory Committees of Govt. of India. He has fellowships/memberships of several professional associations and held various positions in them. He has been Advisor, Govt. of India to Nepal and Dean (Examinations) at AIIMS.

Nominee's personal contribution to medical practice and impact on care
Prof Verma, is a very eminent clinician in the field of Dermatology and Venereology. He is very well-known and respected professional amongst his colleagues, due to his contributions in the Speciality. By virtue of his international recognition, he has been nominated Member of the very prestigious and coveted International Contact Dermatitis Research Group (ICDRG).

He has been actively involved in patient care at AIIMS, supervising and personally contributing to the care of over 500 patients with various difficult and challenging dermatological problems, referred from all over the country  and neighbouring countries. He established and developed the Department of Dermatology and Venereology and started post-graduate (MD) training courses at B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal. He also established and developed Laser and Dermato-surgery services at AIIMS and has been providing laser therapy services as a Consultant to patients, devoting about 12 hours per week doing laser surgery for the more than 20 years. He has also devised its therapeutic regimens with Azathiporine to treat and achieve long term remissions in patients suffering from air-borne contact dermatitis (parthenium dermatitis) and also role of azathioprine treatment in severe unresponsive lichen planus and atopic dermatitis.

He served as a Consultant to the United Nations on HIV Prevention Strategies and has been Visiting Professor to University of Ulm, Germany. He was an Expert to Technical Advisory Committee for STIs and RTIs, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, Member Academy Committees of B P Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, Nepal and Jivaji University Gwalior, India and Convener – Experts Group (Dermatology, Venereology and Leprosy) of Medical Council of India.  

In what way has the nominee shown their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusivity?
Prof Verma is serving as a Professor and Senior Consultant at an apex medical centre of national importance at New Delhi, India which caters to 8,000-10,000 patients every day. This hospital is dedicated to provide tertiary level care to people of all races, religions, colours, ethnic groups and genders irrespective of their socioeconomic status, income or other background free of cost.

He has also been working with and lending his services to the poor and needy people of the Himalayan region, which lacks Dermatology services, for several years at no cost, through the Asoka Mission; a charitable organization engaged in welfare programs, medical and health related activities in Ladakh Region of Himalayas.

Prof Verma has provided his services in Special Health Camps organized by the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt. of India, Medical Camps organized by Professional Dermatology organization in underserved areas in various parts of India and Nepal. Prof Verma has also been regularly lending his services to poor and needy patients through NGOs, voluntary and non-profit professional organizations.    




Our 2018 Inspiring Physicians

Dr Kate Granger MBE (FRCP Edin)

Consultant in Medicine for the Older Person, Pinderfields Hospital

Nominated by Dr Catherine Labinjoh, Consultant Cardiologist, Forth Valley Royal Hospital

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care:
Kate Miriam Granger MBE FRCP Edin (31 October 1981 – 23 July 2016)
Launched in 2014 and presented annually at the Health and Innovation Expo, the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards are a lasting legacy to the inspirational #hellomynameis campaign that she and her husband started.

Kate was passionate about quality improvement and she used her experiences and observations as a patient to raise awareness and drive up the standard of care delivered by the NHS.

The #hellomynameis campaign, launched in 2013 by Kate and her husband Chris Pointon, came as a result of staff failing to introduce themselves when they were caring for her.
Kate jokingly said she thought the campaign would “amount to one or two tweets and then fizzle out”. Instead it became a national campaign, winning the support of over 130 organisations, including NHS Trusts across Scotland, England, and Wales, before becoming a global phenomenon – with #hellomynameis receiving more than 1.8billion Twitter impressions.

Kate, who wrote books as well as posting tweets and blogged regularly about her experiences of illness, also raised over £250,000 with her husband which was donated to the Yorkshire Cancer Centre. Since Kate's passing Chris has continued to talk at events across the world and is currently in the middle of a 12 month global tour as well as taking the fundraising total to over £340,000 and has set a new target of £500,000 by the end of this year.

How does the nominee inspire you?
She was, in some ways, a "difficult patient", who complained about her care, was vocal when we weren't good enough and who started a social movement around the fact that staff routinely failed to extend to her the common courtesy of introducing themselves. Not only did she struggle in adversity to complete her medical training and take up her consultant post, she continued her campaigning and her fund raising whilst struggling with what was ultimately a terminal illness.

Dr Saeed Ahmed

Consultant in Nephrology and General Medicine City Hospital, Sunderland

Nominated by: Dr Rachel Davison, Consultant Nephrologist, City Hospital, Sunderland

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care:
Dr Saeed (Sid) Ahmed has helped to steer our department through difficult times. Despite this, Sid has remained immensely positive and supportive, driving our department forward and constantly innovating. He is a pioneer of interventional nephrology, developing his skills to mean that all our of dialysis lines are now fluoroscopic-assisted and that he can undertake complex lines that previously would have needed radiology input. He has developed new techniques for inserting peritoneal dialysis catheters under local anaesthetic. He is also learning how to undertake contrast examinations to diagnose arteriovenous fistula problems and to correct them with fistulaplasty. I feel he deserves recognition for his dedication to our patients and developing a new subspecialty in nephrology which is unique in the UK.

How does the nominee inspire you?
As a brand new consultant, Sid has constantly supported and encouraged me. He has taught me to 'think outside the box' and to remain positive. His commitment to our patients and his enthusiasm in trying to improve the difficulties they face is truly inspiring. Regardless, whenever I ask for help, support or advice he is always there for me and can never do enough to support me.

Dr Jane Atkinson (FRCP Edin)

Consultant in Acute Medicine Northumbria Emergency Care Specialist Hospital

Nominated by: Dr Catherine Labinjoh, Consultant Cardiologist, Forth Valley Royal Hospital

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care:
During training she was Trainee Representative within the region and also for the Society of Acute Medicine. Jane has a particular interest in ambulatory care, nurse practitioner training and junior doctor education. Jane is an active member of the Recently Appointed Consultants' Committee which provides resources and educational events primarily directed at Consultants within 10 years of appointment but which generates a programme of activity with wide appeal.

How does the nominee inspire you?
Jane was at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and proudly carried the Paralympic torch. She's a doctor who "just happens to be disabled" and wrote frankly on this topic in BMJ Careers in 2004. With multiple congenital abnormalities, particularly affecting her lower limbs, she underwent bilateral lower limb amputation in early childhood. For many people, such disabilities might have made a career in acute medicine seem too difficult. Jane has embraced her challenges as she embraces all challenges with determination and enthusiasm.

Dr David Ewins

Consultant in General Medicine, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Countess of Chester Hospital

Nominated by: Dr Chi Hin Brian Ho, Countess of Chester Hospital

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care: Dr Ewins has been involved in or the lead in development of numerous of local guidelines ranging from management of diabetic ketoacidosis to thyroid storm. Formulating and establishing the diabetic foot clinic, where a patient sees an orthopaedic surgeon, vascular surgeon and a diabetologist within one clinic at Chester and in the North West. Dr Ewins is also a Clinical tutor in undergraduate education for University of Liverpool medical students. He is a Member of Diabetes UK and delivers local health promotion lectures in open meetings.

How does the nominee inspire you?
I have worked with Dr Ewins closely as a CMT. He is approachable, supportive and knowledgeable. As such, he is a great teacher and supervisor to have. He gives trainees independence, but also there to provide support when needed. His strong work ethic is manifested daily by his impossible schedule of arriving to work at 7:30 AM and leaving later than most of his colleagues. He respects opinions from colleagues (junior or more senior), involves them in patient care and as results fosters teamwork effortlessly. Casually, he would also sometimes share his life stories, crack a joke, making him also a friend at work. He has been a consultant for more than 20 years and yet when he comes across something novel clinically, he would still go into great lengths to learn and read about it, then share it with his team. He would spend time speaking and listening to the worried, naturally developing rapport. My colleagues, including CMTs, registrars, foundation doctors, nurses have expressed a similar opinion of him. I believe he inspires us all because the description of him is how I imagine what our profession represents. His lack of an academic background makes him an unsung hero.

Dr Sarah Keir (FRCP Edin)


Consultant Physician in Stroke Medicine and Medicine of the Elderly Western General Hospital, Edinburgh

Nominated by: Dr Catherine Quinn, Specialist Registrar, Western General Hospital

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care:
Dr Keir is passionate about providing safe, quality care for every patient. She has been very active in the Scottish Patient Safety Programme and leads on many of the Quality Improvement Projects in the MOE department in North Edinburgh. She involves all the juniors in audit and QI and supports them throughout. She feeds the results back to the entire department in bite-size chunks on a weekly basis so that we all know what we're aiming for and what we need to improve upon. I've watched prescribing errors, HAI's and Stroke complications fall as a result of her drive to improve quality of care. Dr Keir has an incredible wealth of knowledge when it comes to Stroke Medicine and Geriatric Medicine. Even more impressive than this, is her ability to apply that knowledge on an individual level to each and every patient that she cares for. There is no 'one size fits all approach'. She is incredibly skilled at communicating with patients and carers in a way that allows everyone's questions to be addressed, helping them to come to a decision that is patient specific. I would gladly have her caring for my loved ones. She is supportive as a leader, guiding when necessary, whilst encouraging input from all team members. She is always willing to teach and gives informative, constructive feedback which benefits doctors, and ultimately, patients.

How does the nominee inspire you?
Sarah has made me, and many other registrars strive to improve our medical knowledge, communication skills and clinical decision making skills so that we can give patient-centred care at a level that Dr Keir would expect. She has become my 'gold standard' of good geriatric medicine. Her patient safety and quality improvement work has allowed me to see the benefit of constantly reviewing any changes that are made to patient care, to figure what works and what can still be improved upon. She takes great care to give great care which is an inspiration in itself.

Professor Khalid Mahmood (FRCP Edin)

Served as Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi up to his retirement in 2016

Nominated by: Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care:

Throughout his career, Professor Mahmood has contributed immensely to medical practice, and education. He has spent 35 years of his professional life at a public institution serving underprivileged population. Despite the opportunities to work abroad, he remained in Pakistan for service, teaching and training with exemplary leadership. He started as an intern, became Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Department and ultimately became Dean Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences of world renowned, Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi. He has been an outstanding clinician with unmatchable clinical acumen who is equally admired by students, trainees, colleagues and patients. His contributions to curriculum development and improvement at Dow University have been enormous. He has been conducting free of cost, regular courses and mock assessment for FCPS Part II and MRCP candidates. He has also served as Chairman of Ethical Review Board, Curriculum Committee and Library and as an active member of Board of Advanced Studies & Research, PhD Advisory Committee and University Scientific Committee. He has been an undergraduate and postgraduate examiner for past twenty years. He has published more than sixty papers in national and international journals and has also written two books, ‘Medical Disorders in Pregnancy’ and ‘Atlas of Diagnostic Radiology’ later published internationally in India.

Serving the poor masses has been his ultimate motto. The charity medical services he has provided for poor patients throughout his professional life have been exemplary. Providing free of cost GI Endoscopy and Bronchoscopy, Diabetic Foot care services and free drug banks for Cirrhosis and TB patients are some of the examples. He has received the Best Teacher Award several times, and for his contribution in Medicine he was nominated thrice for the President of Pakistan Award- Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, by his university and the Chief Minister of Sindh.

How does the nominee inspire you?
Professor Khalid has been my mentor and teacher for past 20 years. He was the reason why I had opted Internal Medicine as a career. I was highly impressed by his knowledge, skills and dedication towards patients and medical profession. He was an avid teacher and was highly efficient in dissemination of knowledge to his juniors. He also passionate for his poor and needy patients and motivated us to give best care to those underprivileged individuals of the society. He continuously strived for his professional development and propagated culture of reading and other scholarly activities in the department. In short he was a role model and a lifelong mentor for me and many other who has always been available to provide guidance.

Professor Jane Metcalf (FRCP Edin)

Deputy Medical Director & Consultant Physician North Tees & Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Nominated by: Dr. Anandapuram Deepak Dwarakanath, Medical Director, University of Hospital of North Tees

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care:
Jane has developed and stringently evaluated a programme for overseas doctors to facilitate transition of doctors who qualified overseas into working in the NHS. The programme includes assessment of learning needs through assessment clinical skills, a targeted programme of training spread across several weeks including communication skills, ethical and management frameworks in the NHS and career advice, ongoing support through buddying, enhanced educational supervision and social events to welcome and promote integration. Retention and career progression were better in the doctors on the programme and they also had significantly less involvement in patient safety incidents than non-participants. The programme has been embedded in the trust for 5 years and Jane has been worked across the North East and Cumbria to share good practice and teach other organisations how to implement a similar programme. The research has been published in Medical Education and was awarded best research paper at the Association of Medical Education in Europe 2016. She is working with the National Association of Tutors to develop national guidelines and with colleagues in the Midlands to develop an accredited programme for national use.

Subsequently she has developed a programme to support refugee health care professionals back into practice working with the local Deanery and a charity. The first group started in December 2016 and has 12 participants: 11 doctors and one pharmacist. They each have a clinical mentor and support with passing IELTS, then tailored clinical attachments with simulation, clinical and communication training and an external programme of speakers from the GMC, BMA and others and finally they will have support in applying for jobs. Already 2 participants are progressing through PLAB exams and we expect one will be in employment by the end of the year.

How does the nominee inspire you?
She has a long track record in our Trust and in the University of Durham in providing innovative teaching methods to multi-professional groups. She has led undergraduate education for over a decade. Of late, she has energetically arranged support for overseas doctors and refugee doctors. This work has been recognised internationally and also by the major authorities in the UK. She continues to inspire juniors and seniors to follow her passion for medical education and training.

Professor Paul Teelucksingh (FRCP Edin)

Consultant Endocrinologist and Professor of Medicine University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago

Nominated by:  Dr Kanterpersad Ramcharan, Overseas Regional Adviser (Caribbean), Royal College Physicians of Edinburgh

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care:
Professor Teelucksingh has been one of the leaders in academic medicine in the English speaking West Indies. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies (UWI) with distinction and completed his MRCP (UK) and PhD in Endocrinology at the Western General Hospital with Professor CRW Edwards. He has been a teacher and mentor in Clinical Medicine for almost a generation, at undergraduate and Post Graduate levels, and is well respected. He has published his research extensively, on diverse subjects in clinical medicine. His contributions to the epidemiology, prevention and management of Diabetes Mellitus, Obesity in school children and adults in the Caribbean, Dengue fever and thyroid disorders have been some of his major contributions. He has been an advisor to governments developing guidelines for management of chronic illnesses, is currently the Public Orator of the St Augustine campus of UWI, and serves on the Editorial board of the journal of the College. He reviews articles for many international journals. He has served as President of the Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago.

How does the nominee inspire you?

He has been a true advocate of the ideal Physician as envisaged by our predecessors contributing at the highest levels in the areas of clinical service, teaching, administration and research.
He epitomises the broad spectrum of useful contributions that the Physician can make to his country and internationally, and at the same time enjoying a stable family life. He has been a true and worthy representative of the University of the West Indies and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh with outstanding service to the peoples of the West Indies.

Dr Christopher Wells (FRCP Edin)

Consultant Gastroenterologist and General Internal Medicine Physician North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

Nominated by: Professor Jane Metcalf, Deputy Medical Director & Consultant Physician

Contribution to medical practice and impact on care:
Chris has been an inspiration as a colleague since he was appointed some years ago. He is universally valued and respected by his patients due to his excellent communication skills and his genuine compassion and empathy for them and their carers. He will always go the extra mile to ensure that those in his care get the very best treatment and experience. He is a truly excellent physician who daily demonstrates his commitment to lifelong learning through his inquisitive mind and reflective practice, sharing his knowledge with colleagues and never being worried about asking for and providing second opinions about difficult clinical and ethical issues. He is a hugely supportive colleague, the ‘go to’ person for second opinions and as a sounding board for myself and others, providing wise advice and using his coaching and mentoring skills to bring about positive resolution of issues and supporting self-recognition of how our actions contribute to issues. He is enormously supportive of junior medical and other colleagues, identifying and addressing training issues in a supportive but challenging manner, always striving to improve patient and colleague experience. He is an excellent interventional endoscopist, who regularly trains on local and national colonoscopy courses with the highest positive feedback from participants. He seeks out and instigates service improvements as part of his normal working practices, for instance seeking and listening to juniors' feedback and helping change working practices such as implementing an appointment system to ensure the families of ward patients have easy access to doctors to receive updates about their loved ones health whilst protecting juniors time to reduce working beyond hours.

How does the nominee inspire you?
Chris inspires me always to try to improve my personal practice, to not let poor practices go unchallenged and to personally instigate changes. His empathic approach enables me to recognise my own blind spots and change my approach, particularly promoting a harmonious working environment. His unwavering commitment to personalised, compassionate care inspires both peers and juniors to provide the same. His enthusiasm for learning, both personal and providing training for others, also helps to inspire me to go the extra mile. Having a truly interested and supportive colleague to seek out for feedback, particularly when I feel I have not provided best care, is a real way of enabling me to improve my practice and ensure that improvements (my own and system wide) can be instigated.