Observations BMJ Confidential

Catherine Calderwood: Quick witted, optimistic, driven

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h5251 (Published 07 October 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5251


Catherine Calderwood has been chief medical officer for Scotland since March 2015. She is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist who trained at Cambridge and Glasgow and served as national clinical director of maternity and women’s health at NHS England, where she championed the extension of the friends and family test to maternity services. She rejoices in the variety her post provides (“no two days are the same”) and still works part time as a consultant to NHS Lothian. Her research includes thromboembolic disease in pregnancy, and she has been instrumental in reducing stillbirths and neonatal deaths in Scotland.

What was your earliest ambition?

I always wanted to be a doctor. After one particularly bad viral illness I told my parents that I was going to find the cure for flu.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My parents are both doctors—father …

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