Observations BMJ Confidential

Gillian Leng: Pet hate is fixed opinions

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7562 (Published 10 December 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g7562


Gillian Leng sails through controversy with a gentle answer and an honest approach. As deputy chief executive of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) she’s had plenty of practice, often being the midwife to new ideas such as the NHS Evidence web portal and NICE’s annexation of guidance in social care. She trained as a doctor at Leeds, spent several years at Edinburgh studying peripheral vascular disease, and worked as a consultant in public health in Bedfordshire before joining NICE. She has been an active contributor to the Cochrane Collaboration since its inception.

What was your earliest ambition?

I wanted to be a vet when I was about 10 and a scientist when I was 17; eventually I chose medicine at 21.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

Vera Brittain: I read her autobiographies when I was a student, and I hugely admired her determination to make a difference after the first world war. I’ve since …

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