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Professor Dame Jane Dacre one of BMA's inspiring women role models

8 March 2021

Professor Dame Jane Dacre features in a new publication from the The British Medical Association’s (BMA) Women in Academic Medicine Group. The new book highlights fifteen women who have distinguished themselves for having motivated and inspired those around them.

Professor Dame Jane Dacre

The book celebrates achievements, career highs, great advice and opportunities. It offers readers an insight into the diverse and exciting world of medical academia and importantly, each of the women highlighted have been nominated by one or more of their colleagues and mentees. The WAM Group hope the stories will encourage more women to pursue a career in academic medicine and help eradicate existing barriers in the profession.

Marcia Schofield and Sarah Allsop, co-chairs of the BMA’s Women in Academic Medicine Group, are both passionate about the need both to celebrate role models and to cast aside any stereotyping in this field. Sarah says, “There isn’t one definition of what it means to work in academia. I am an educator and my co-chair Marcia works in research but we’re both academics. For me, working in medical education gives me the opportunity to be part of medical students’ early journey. I still remember role models from when I was at university and their advice and guidance has stayed with me over the years.”

For Marcia, whose own route into medical academia didn’t take a traditional trajectory, she is clear about what matters, “We have to change the viewpoint that academics are a certain way. I played in a rock band and came to medicine late and I work alongside amazing people who have come from the arts, science and industry. Anyone can be an academic in medicine; you just have to be interested in finding answers to tough questions.”

Nominated by Louise Verill, Jane Dacre is a Professor of Medical Education at UCL, whose research interests are focussed on medical education, in
particular assessment and examinations. Speaking of the nomination, Louise says,"Jane Dacre is brilliant and has shown it is quality and not quantity that rises to the top."

Professsor Dacre is an ardent supporter of women in medicine and the value of role models: "I am a firm believer in the adage ‘What you can’t see, you can’t be’, so am very keen on role models. My most influential role model was Parveen Kumar. She was an academic, a clinician, a mother, and a lovely person. As a registrar, working with her, she made me see what was possible."

Jane sees tackling the gender pay gap as essential for improving the lives of women in medicine and academic medicine. She has recently led an independent review - commissioned by the UK Government - into the pay disparities between male and female NHS doctors and staff. Commenting on the review, Jane says, “The causes of the gender pay gap in medicine are complex and wide ranging and will require a system-wide effort to tackle. This review has uncovered the underlying causes and made recommendations for government, employers and the profession to address the pay gap." 


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