Presidents of their profession

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Consultant named as only second ever female president of surgical association

picture of Gill in her uniform

A consultant at UHDB has been named as President of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI), becoming only the second woman to hold the role in the organisation’s 100 year history.

Miss Gill Tierney, Consultant Surgeon, has been elected as the President of the ASGBI and will take up the post in 2023 after first becoming Vice President for the next two years.

“It’s a great feeling. It must say something about the fantastic culture of support and encouragement that we have so many national female leaders as part of UHDB.

“There has only ever been one other female President of the organisation, and that was Professor Averil Mansfield back in 1993. I am the only woman who is part of the ASGBI Executive as Director of Emergency Surgery and some other female members encouraged me to apply for the presidency.

“It’s a lot of work but I want to reenergise the organisation. It is 100 years old so we need to make sure that it’s staying relevant and need to encourage more female members to join. Tradition is great, but it’s not the worship of ashes but the passing on of fire.”

The ASGBI was founded in 1920 by a group of leading surgeons in a bid to bring together knowledge of a range of surgeons, promoting positive relationships between surgeons and aiding the development of trainees and medical students. 

This encouragement of more junior surgeons is something close to Gill’s heart and is something she’ll be aiming to improve on during her time as president, especially when it comes to female students:

“Many medical students are women, but not many of these go on to hold these sorts of positions later on in their careers, so I really want to do more work to help and encourage our female members.”

Gill is one of many females at UHDB who have gained such positions recently, joining Dr Tanya Bleiker who is the current President of the British Association of Dermatologists

Miss Mary O’Brien, Consultant Hand and Plastic Surgeon, has recently been appointed as President of the British Association of Aestehtic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), while Dr Tanuja Shah has been appointed as President of Age Anaesthesia Association, a collaboration of health professionals from anaesthetic, surgical and medical backgrounds with the shared mission of attaining age-equal access to and improved outcomes for older people undergoing surgery.

Kathy McLean, Chair, said: “It is fantastic to see our local leaders here at UHDB are being recognised nationally and becoming leaders in the respective fields. Seeing so many women leading the way and being role models and to have so many of those inspirational leaders with us here at the Trust is really encouraging, and is a testament to the work we continue to do become a fully inclusive and equal organisation for all.”