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RCGP names new chair

By Nigel Praities

Dr Clare Gerada has been elected as the 21st chair of the RCGP, the college's first female chair for 50 years.

Dr Gerada will succeed Professor Steve Field in November 2010 and will hold the post for three years. She will hold the position of chair-elect from June 2010 to ensure an effective transition.

Dr Gerada has had an increasingly high profile while serving as the current vice-chair of the RCGP. She has been a vocal campaigner on equal rights in the profession and has spoken of her commitment to making general practice a more level playing field for women, salaried GPs and those from deprived areas.

Last year she was a co-author of the radical Changing Partnerships policy paper, which warned that 'a collective helplessness and confusion is pervading the profession' and called for the traditional practice-based model to be phased out as little as five years, with GPs of the future working under large umbrella organisations.

Dr Gerada is the RCGP's lead for child services and substance misuse, and a partner at the Hurley group clinic in south London – which won a bid for one of the capital's first GP-led health centres. She has been a GP in Lambeth since 1991.

Prior to her career in general practice, Dr Gerada worked in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital in South London, specialising in substance misuse. She is currently the medical director of the Practitioner Health Programme - a service for sick health professionals – and will continue to provide services to the PHP throughout her tenure as RCGP Chair.

Dr Gerada said: 'It is an enormous privilege to be appointed chair of the RCGP at such a significant and historic time for general practice. As a frontline clinician, I am well aware of the of the major challenges – and opportunities – facing modern general practice and am looking forward to leading the college through the next exciting stage of its development, including our 60th anniversary in 2012.'

Dr Annis Gillie was the first female chair of the RCGP in 1959. She served in that role until 1962.

Dr Clare Gerada