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At the heart of general practice since 1960

RCGP set for female chair

By Lilian Anekwe

Exclusive: The RCGP looks set to have its first female leader in recent years, with two women the frontrunners in the race to replace Professor Steve Field as chair.

Pulse understands that Dr Clare Gerada and Dr Maureen Baker are the leading contenders as RCGP council prepares to meet to elect a new chair from 5 to 26 March.

Dr Baker served as honorary secretary and had a high-profile role in the college's swine flu planning and response.

But the college's current vice chair, Dr Clare Gerada, a GP in Kennington, south London, will be seen by many as the favourite.

Dr Gerada, who ranked ninth as Pulse's list of most influential GPs last year, has gone on record with her commitment to increasing the profile of women in general practice, and has called for the profession to implement ‘radical change to address the feminisation of the workforce'.

She was part of the working group who published the controversial report Women doctors: making a difference last October, which called for tax-breaks for women GPs to pay for childcare and encouraged women who feel discriminated against to lodge complaints with the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

If a female GP is elected as chair it will complete an unprecedented clean sweep of women in leadership roles at the college. Dr Iona Heath, a GP in Kentish Town, north London, began her three-year tenure as RCGP president in November and Professor Amanda Howe will serve for the next five years as honorary secretary.

The RCGP is set for its first female chair

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