Anna DonaldBMJ 2009; 338 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.b436 (Published 04 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b436
- Richard Smith,
- Muir Gray
In addition to insatiable curiosity, Anna Donald, unlike most of us, had a mission—she wanted high quality health care to be available to everybody. She developed her mission when a student at the Harvard School of Public Health. Entirely comfortable with mathematics and economics, she saw that inflation in the cost of health care always ran ahead of inflation in the general economy. Inevitably this would eventually make health care unaffordable, particularly for the poorest.
Anna was a young doctor in Oxford when evidence based medicine was being born, and while a senior house officer she published in 1995 one of the first articles on the subject, an article that has been cited 661 times. She lectured as well to sceptical and sometimes hostile professors without trepidation. Anna was convinced that a package of evidence based interventions, with all the excesses of medicine stripped away, could affordably provide high quality health care for all.
More interested in her mission than any institution, Anna pursued it in the NHS, the BMJ Group, and academia. She could have had …