Dr Iona Heath ‘writes beautifully’, according to one of our panel, and it is for the power of her words that she makes our list, albeit a little lower than last year.
Dr Heath is a long-time columnist for the BMJ, using the publication as a forum to champion ‘the cottage industry’ of general practice, to rail against health inequalities and to criticise the mechanising and distorting effects of initiatives such as the QOF. She has also published several books and a large number of peer-reviewed articles, often focusing on issues close to her heart like end-of-life care.
Dr Heath was a GP in Kentish Town, north London, from 1975 until last year – when she retired from practice, but took up the largely ceremonial position of RCGP president.
Dr Heath says: ‘Never before, either in my 34 years as a GP or since, have we seen such critical times for the NHS. It is a privilege to be involved in helping to influence these changes as they happen.’