It’s International Women’s Day on 8 March and we wanted to introduce you to some of the wonderful women from around the world who work at Medical Protection, supporting members each and every day. We can’t mention all the amazing women working in the organisation, but here’s just a snapshot of some of our fantastic female employees.
Professor Dame Jane Dacre
President of MPS Council
As a woman, as a doctor and as the new President of MPS, I am delighted to be working in an organisation that welcomes women, especially on International Women’s Day.
Education services (UK) lead
I followed in the footsteps of my father and sister into the world of medicine, but rather than dedicate my career to helping patients, I decided that my vocation lay in supporting my colleagues. After all who cared for the carers?
So, after entering higher surgical training in Ophthalmology, I joined Medical Protection. In the last 12 years, as a medicolegal consultant advising doctors across the globe, I have fought hard to save doctors’ careers, their liberty and sometimes even their lives. I am proud to have been involved in cases which have impacted the medical profession positively and there is nothing more rewarding than helping and supporting peers in their time of greatest need.
While I have never seen my gender as a barrier to achieving my goals, there have been several times when it inadvertently had a huge part to play in inspiring me to succeed in my career. This included the time a teacher told me that ‘no girl from the school had ever been accepted by Cambridge to read medicine’, and when a senior manager thought ‘I should focus on having babies rather than my career’. However, rather than discouraging me, these instances have simply motivated me to achieve all that I have so far.
International medicolegal consultant
Having moved from psychiatry to the medicolegal field, I now enjoy working in the fascinating and constantly evolving areas of both medicine and law.
My work as an international medicolegal consultant at Medical Protection is varied and incredibly rewarding. I am in a privileged position of being able to provide fellow medical professionals with assistance and support through challenging times in their careers.
Medicine and law have historically been dominated by men. Celebrating women, as with celebrating all diversity and inclusion, can challenge assumptions and inspire others that there is indeed a place for them in these industries.
South African educational faculty
I was a junior doctor in South Africa at the height of the HIV crisis. Day after day, I saw men, women and children dying from AIDs without palliative care; none of us were trained in the care of terminally ill patients.
When I discovered how much we can actually do as doctors to support and care for those that have a serious illness, I knew I had found my passion. I have worked as a paediatric palliative care doctor since 2003.
An enormous part of our role is high quality, empathetic communication with patients, their families and colleagues, and I am excited to cultivate those skills in others. I have found a happy place facilitating workshops for MPS as the goal is very much aligned.
I believe that celebrating the role that women play in medicine in 2019, shows not only how far we have come, but also highlights how far we have to go to reach a fully equitable society. Every individual should be enabled to reach their full potential and make their contribution.
Clinical risk and education manager
In my previous role in General Practice I realised the importance of risk management and patient safety. I was delighted to have the opportunity to join the specialist Education Services team at Medical Protection.
I am passionate about patient safety and it is intrinsic to what we do at Medical Protection. I develop and deliver risk management education and training across the UK and Ireland to healthcare professionals in order to improve the quality and safety of patient care.
International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to recognise and reflect upon the inspiring and courageous work of women throughout the world and the contributions they have made to industry and society as a whole. I would particularly like to congratulate all those women working in healthcare who provide a sterling service to patients and their families, often in very challenging circumstances, and of course to my fellow female colleagues at Medical Protection who have mentored and supported me in my current role.
Marketing and business development manager, Brisbane
I joined Medical Protection five years ago to take up a newly created role with the Cognitive Institute to lead business growth into the private and tertiary healthcare sector and implement culture change programmes with the aim of improving patient safety.
My 30 plus years’ experience as a clinician, senior executive and clinical educator has been critical in understanding the needs of the individual clinician and the executive leadership teams we work so closely with. We are at a tipping point of a ‘checking culture’ in healthcare. Supporting clinicians, boards and executive leadership teams committed to addressing behaviours that undermine a culture of safety is an incredibly rewarding time to be part of this movement.
Reflecting on this year’s theme #BalanceforBetter and the long way off we are with gender-balanced boardrooms, gender-balanced government, and gender-balanced wealth. Gender balance is not a women’s issue, it's a wider issue and when we get it right, it enables our communities to thrive.
Senior clinical educator – Cognitive Institute team, Australia
I started my health career working in a state/faith based facility for children with a disability and went on to complete my nursing training at St Andrews War Memorial Hospital in Brisbane.
I spent time in general nursing, operating theatres and worked in cardiac care before heading out of the hospital system. I was an early volunteer worker when HIV and AIDS hit the headlines and took on a Commonwealth funded role in programme development for HIV/AIDS prevention and management in the workplace.
As a female and a nurse, my career has spanned some very old fashioned hierarchical environments through to much more equitable, team based workplaces. We still have a way to go, yet, there are opportunities all around us. Joining MPS has been a wonderful way to bring together the varied experiences I have had in both hospital and governance roles, and to provide education to our clients to help them to make the culture within which they work, safer for both the clients/patients and the workforce.
Director of claims policy and legal
I qualified as a solicitor back in 1991 in a small city law firm. I thought that I wanted to do commercial law, but it was only when I started to work in a law firm that I understood how wide and varied a career in law can be.
A period working in the firm’s nursing regulatory team piqued my interest in medical malpractice work and professional regulation, and I was offered a job at what is now Radcliffe Le Brasseurs, which in turn led to a role at Medical Protection.
I have always felt an immense sense of pride in working at Medical Protection, and feel that it is a privilege to work alongside outstandingly talented colleagues in an environment that puts members first. When I qualified, women were in a minority in the profession, but now it is good to see that more than 60% of newly qualified solicitors are women, with women now holding leading positions as judges in the Supreme Court, senior partners in law firms, and in in house and industry roles. There is no longer a glass ceiling!
Head of underwriting policy
While working as a consultant anaesthetist, I became involved in education, training and clinical governance. Aware of the increasing impact of law on medicine, I became interested in reducing the risk of similar misadventures repeating themselves in complex healthcare systems and impacting on patient safety.
Working as a medicolegal adviser at Medical Protection from 2010 enabled me to advise doctors seeking to mitigate clinical risk and to assist others in professional difficulty. I gravitated towards underwriting a few years ago, becoming Head of Underwriting Policy in 2018, when seeking to understand better the themes underlying Medical Protection’s case experience for sharing in our publications and ensuring that our subscriptions reflect, as accurately as possible, the risk posed by different specialties and specialists.
I believe International Women’s Day is a valuable opportunity to reflect on the improved opportunities women now have to make an impact in society. Over the past few decades more women than ever have attained senior roles in medicine, law and the indemnity industry, expanding the range of talent available and creating mentoring possibilities for younger women who might not, otherwise, see opportunities there.
International medicolegal consultant
Working as an international medicolegal consultant at Medical Protection is the ideal role to combine my experience as a GP and a solicitor, supporting the interests of members during difficult times in their careers.
I worked as a solicitor in England and the Channel Islands for over 10 years, and also enjoyed my experience as a Senior Lecturer in Law at a university in the UK. In 2003 I followed the vocation I held since childhood and studied medicine, qualifying as a GP in 2014.
Worldwide, women often have to overcome significant personal and professional barriers before they can fulfil their potential. Historically, medicine, law and the business world have been dominated by men, but this is now beginning to change. I fully support International Women's Day to achieve equality of opportunity and support the past, current and future achievements of women throughout the world.
Head of UK medical advisory and case management
I started my leadership journey 18 years ago and have not looked back since. There is not a day goes by that I do not learn something new about myself and those I lead, and I constantly strive to be a ‘better me’ using situations I encounter each day to learn, reflect and continue to develop.
Being a full time working mum is not easy; however I want my six-year-old daughter to grow up with the same ambition, drive and determination to succeed. I want her to see that ‘mummy loves what she does’ and instil into her a strong work ethic, that you get out what you put in. I want her to understand that if you work hard then you can progress and have a fulfilling career - any career that you want to.
I am also a Girl Guiding Leader of girls aged 5-7 and we’ve celebrated International Women’s Day with them. We talked about a variety of important women in history and what they achieved as pioneers of their time. Women such as Emmeline Pankhurst, Amelia Earhart, Mary Anning and Marie Curie all demonstrated what is achievable through perseverance and determination. We should celebrate women in any career or life choice, any achievement or aspiration. It’s exciting to consider where women will be in future, given how far we have already come.
Claims lead - Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland
I qualified as a staff nurse and worked in intensive care units in London and Edinburgh while studying law at Edinburgh University. It was an obvious move into the field of clinical negligence and I wanted to support the medical profession having witnessed the impact a claim could have on my colleagues.
The majority of legal graduates are female, and as a mother of two young children I appreciate the desire to have a rewarding career while also raising a family. In-house working can provide greater flexibility and I have been lucky to join Medical Protection and advance in my career whilst being a working mother.
Every day is different and interesting, and working with individuals with incredibly high standards encourages me to challenge myself to be the best possible leader I can be. I believe I am also setting an example to my children that hard work and determination leads to success irrespective of whether you are a male or female.
I champion all members of my team to be the best they can be and seek to provide them with the tools to deliver their potential.