Professor Andrew Goddard has assumed the presidency of the RCP, succeeding Professor Dame Jane Dacre.
Professor Goddard was elected in March and officially became president at a ceremony on the evening of 26 September. As president, he will lead 35,000 physicians as they face the UK’s health challenges: workforce shortages, Brexit, an ageing and increasingly unhealthy population, and growing inequalities.
His priorities for his 4-year term will be:
- Workforce – the need to double the number of medical students, to make it easier for overseas doctors to work here, including those from Europe following Brexit, and to achieve regulation of physician associates.
- Wellbeing – the need to improve the morale of doctors, particularly trainees who are currently suffering from heavy workloads, high levels of stress and burnout. This should include supporting better team-working, and looking carefully at revalidation and the environment that doctors are working in.
- Worldwide – the need to increase the RCP’s international membership and fellowship, to have a greater presence in certain countries and to support training for doctors in countries that have very few physicians.
A consultant physician and gastroenterologist at Royal Derby Hospital, Professor Goddard, 50, is the youngest president for 400 years and will be the first president of the RCP to do on-call work while in post, as well as holding a weekly clinic.
Professor Goddard has previously held two key positions at the RCP – director of the Medical Workforce Unit and, most recently, registrar. Both, he says, have involved him closely in the RCP’s policies and political engagement and prepared him for the presidency.