The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has appointed Professor Cathryn Edwards as its new registrar. The first woman to hold the post in over 500 years.
Professor Edwards, a consultant physician and gastroenterologist working in South Devon, has held several other roles at the RCP, including chair of the Joint Specialty Committee for Gastroenterology and Hepatology, member of the Medical Specialty Board and RCP Councilor. She will take up the role in May 2021.
The role of registrar at the RCP is a key leadership position and one of national importance in healthcare. With a broad portfolio, as registrar Professor Edwards will be accountable for clinical and professional affairs and will lead on significant issues relating to the RCP’s relationship with the NHS, across the medical specialties and societies, and with the membership.
Professor Edwards trained in medicine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and prior to which she read Modern History at The Queen’s College, Oxford. Her post-graduate medical education was based in Oxford and her D.Phil studies were supported by an MRC fellowship.
Her main clinical interest is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and related national roles have included the UK National IBD Standards Group, the IBD Registry and the National IBD Audit Steering Group. She is Associate Editor for BMJ_Open Gastroenterology.
Professor Edwards was the first female secretary of the British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) and its second only female president. As part of her work with the BSG, she promoted mentorship as a means of personal development, instigating the BSG Mentorship Programme launched in 2018.
Her non-clinical health sector role is as trustee at Rowcroft Hospice Torquay, where she held the position of Chair from 2017-19.
Professor Edwards takes over the post of registrar from the late Professor Donal O’Donoghue OBE who died from COVID-19 on 3 January 2021.
Commenting on her appointment, Professor Edwards said: “I am delighted and honoured to be accepting the role of RCP registrar.
“I look forward to working with members and fellows throughout the regions, to shape the identity and skills of our future physician community.
“I trust I will be able to continue the legacy of our late registrar and colleague, Donal O’Donoghue."