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 are listed below.

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.


Nominations are now open for our 2019 Inspiring Physicians. To submit your nomination please complete the following Survey Monkey.

Submissions are welcome until noon on Friday 25 January 2019.