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4 – Professor Steve Field

Professor Steve Field has been so successful in establishing himself at the top of general practice that our panel placed him fourth even though voting took place before he was appointed to lead the Government's health bill ‘listening exercise'.

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He is also chair of the national health inclusion board, set up to improve the health of marginalised groups, and came close to an even higher-profile role, narrowly missing out in his bid to become chief medical officer.

As chair of the RCGP until November 2010, Professor Field oversaw the opening moves in the biggest overhaul of the NHS since its inception, and was a key figure in smoothing over differences between Whitehall and general practice – perhaps a little too well for the taste of some grassroots GPs.

Professor Field said: ‘I would like to see strong local GP leadership, but what I would really like is more support for our younger colleagues.'

Click here to see Pulse's top 50 GPs 2011.