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Voting set to begin at GMC following retirement of Wendy Savage

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 28 July 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:256
  1. Allison Barrett
  1. BMJ

    The retirement of Wendy Savage from the General Medical Council opens up the first elected seat since 2003. Whoever wins her seat for the south east of England—voting is from 9 September to 7 October—will have a tough act to follow, says Allison Barrett

    On 12 April 2005, her 70th birthday, Professor Wendy Savage retired from the General Medical Council, leaving a vacancy on the council for an elected member. The nominations have now closed and voting opens in August for a new member. But for Savage, her career and political life are far from over.

    Well published in both medical and lay media, a fierce advocate of women's rights, and memorialised with a portrait in the National Portrait Gallery's primary collection, Savage's is a well known name.

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    After she had received her medical degree from the London Hospital Medical College and worked in three continents, her patient centred approach to obstetrics and gynaecology became the focus of her NHS career. Often contentious, but admired by patients, she survived a tumultuous inquiry in the 1980s and was reborn as an advocate for patients' choice.

    In 1985-6, she came under fire for her management of five obstetrics cases. Her determined belief that women should be allowed to chose their method of treatment and delivery opposed the views of conservative theory, that of “doctor knows best.” …

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