Professor Amanda Howe was elected as WONCA President-Elect in Prague in June 2013 and became the first woman to be WONCA President in 2016.
Professor Howe will speak at the RCGP Annual Conference in Liverpool on Saturday 16 October 2017, on ‘Breadth, depth and diversity – building a lifelong career in general practice’.
Professor Howe is a practising GP, an academic professor, and a national and international leader in family medicine. Since 2001, she has been Professor of Primary Care at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where she was part of the founding team for the Norwich Medical School.
During her career she has held multiple roles in undergraduate, postgraduate, and faculty education, including being Course Director for the UEA medical programme during its early years of development and accreditation by the GMC.
Professor Howe has particular expertise in effective models and impacts of involving family medicine in community based medical education; in the teaching and learning of professionalism and patient safety; and in resilience and doctors’ wellbeing. She also has clinical research interests in primary care mental health, the contribution of patients to health care and health systems; and in early interventions for health risk factors.
She was an officer of the RCGP from 2009 to 2015, serving first as Honorary Secretary and then Vice Chair of Council, having previously chaired both the RCGP Research Committee and the Society for Academic Primary Care.
Professor Howe practises one day a week at the Bowthorpe Health Centre in Norwich and remains ‘in awe’ of the resilience of patients. ‘I wanted to be a GP when I was a medical student, despite influences from tutors to do otherwise’, she says. ‘It’s a privilege to work with people faced by adversity and illness. People are often very courageous and extremely strong, they really do inspire me.’
Her priorities as WONCA President include continuing to champion and explore how family doctors, and WONCA as an organisation, can impact on equity; in particular addressing issues around gender, the needs of vulnerable and displaced people, and the challenges of poverty and under-resourced health systems. Another passion is promoting leadership within primary care with a view to ensuring the profession has enough leaders for the future.