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1 – Dr Clare Gerada

Dr Clare Gerada only took over as RCGP chair in November 2010, but she's already made such an impression that our panel placed her comfortably on top as the most influential GP in the UK.

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Read an exclusive interview with Dr Gerada as she tells Pulse how she feels about being crowned the most influential GP of 2011. Read the full interview with Dr Clare Gerada here.

A change in leadership often signals a shift of emphasis or tone, but rarely is it as abrupt as the transition from her predecessor Professor Steve Field. She immediately ramped up the college's opposition to the Government's NHS reforms several notches, announcing the college's hardened stance in an explosive interview with Pulse in which she warned the profession risked being ‘corralled and deprofessionalised'.

To cheers from much of the grassroots, and consternation in some corners of the profession, Dr Gerada has shown little sign of toning down her opposition since. She recently poured scorn on the Government's listening exercise as ‘neither academic nor independent', evidently unimpressed that her long-time colleague Professor Field has been asked to lead it.

Dr Gerada, a GP in Kennington, south London, has made few friends at the Department of Health, but has opted to wield her influence through affecting public and professional opinion, rather than behind closed doors. It is doubtful whether the groundswell of discontent across the NHS over the health bill would have grown so rapidly had Dr Gerada not been fuelling the fire.

Watch Dr Gerada hear the news of her top ranking

Click here to see this year's top 50.

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