Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Bee Wee: Determined, resourceful, considerate

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 15 April 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1846


Bee Wee, 51, is national clinical director for end of life care at NHS England, a palliative care physician at Sir Michael Sobell House, a senior lecturer at the University of Oxford, and a fellow of Harris Manchester College. She also chairs a NICE standing committee. She migrated alone from Malaysia to Ireland as a teenager, supported herself through medical school with a variety of jobs, and qualified from Trinity College, Dublin. Her major interests are clinical education, palliative care research, and leadership development in the NHS.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a doctor, for as long as I can remember. Maybe it was something to do with the “filial piety” that is so important in Chinese culture. Who knows?

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

I’ve been very lucky. A series of people in my life have inspired and supported me at different times: Richard Stephens and Dermot Moore, two Irish surgeons; Doc McCarthy and then Michael Kearney, in Dublin, who inspired me to go into palliative medicine; and the GP George Doyle, a well of wisdom and humour. But most of all, my mum, who cannot read or write but is a great cook and, at 85, is still just amazing.

What was the worst mistake in your career?

Leaving …

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