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32. Dr Fiona Cornish

High-profile spokesperson for female GPs

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Dr Fiona Cornish comes in at number 32 in the 2013 Pulse Power 50. She is a new entry in the list.

As a GPC member, trainer and appraiser and newly minted RCGP fellow, Dr Fiona Cornish has many roles, but it is her exceptional support for female GPs that principally earns her position in the Pulse Power 50.

In her role as president of the Medical Women’s Federation, the largest organisation of women doctors in the UK, Dr Cornish is a visible and vocal spokesperson on behalf of female GPs.

Her peers praise her as a ‘mentor to female GPs’ who ‘stands up for employment rights’. She has been particularly staunch in her defence of maternity locum cover.

Asked for her personal highlight from the last year, Cambridge Dr Cornish remembers an appearance on BBC Radio Four’s Women’s Hour, defending part-time GPs who had been criticised by a female MP.

‘Anna Soubry, the health minister, ended up agreeing with what I said,’ she recalls with satisfaction.

Dr Cornish balances the medical politicking with professional and personal satisfaction. Her other highlight this year, she says, was spotting and treating potentially fatal meningitis in an 18-year-old, while away from work she somehow found time even as a mother of four to complete a half-marathon in the snow in March.

Her advice to young GPs entering the profession is to embrace medical politics and make no compromises when it comes to speaking out.

‘If you are not involved, you can’t have any influence,’ she says.

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