Women in medicine: Sheona Macleod and Vicky Osgood

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The Women in medicine project showcases a number of today’s leading female clinicians and the women from the history of medicine who have inspired them.

Professor Sheona MacLeod is chair of the UK’s Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (known as COPMeD), lead for Health Education England’s deans, and the postgraduate medical dean in the East Midlands. She also holds honorary professorships at the universities of Nottingham and Leicester.

After graduating and completing her training in Glasgow, Sheona moved to Derbyshire, where she spent 26 years as a GP, combined with healthcare education roles and working as an occupational health adviser, clinical assistant at a local hospital, and medical officer for Her Majesty’s Prison Service.

Appointed GP dean for the East Midlands in 2009, she has now been the postgraduate dean in the region since 2012. Professor MacLeod chairs a number of national groups and committees, including Health Education England’s working group on enhancing junior doctors’ working lives. She is also the organisation’s recruitment adviser and lead for changes in medical training.

Vicky Osgood was passionate about professional education and putting the patient at the centre of everything we, as clinicians, do. During a lifetime in medicine, she strove to improve medical education in order to ensure that tomorrow’s professionals receive the best possible training today, and go on to provide the best possible care in the future. She is a greatly missed force for good.

Sheona MacLeod on her inspiration Vicky Osgood

Dr Vicky Osgood (1953–2017) was an accomplished clinician, brilliant mentor and respected educationalist, devoted to promoting excellence in medical education, and across the profession as a whole.

Qualifying at the Royal Free Medical School in 1977, Vicky Osgood continued her training in London, specialising as an obstetrician and carrying out research into the endocrinology of fertility. Posts followed in Oxford and Portsmouth, where she was appointed a consultant, working to ensure seamless midwife and obstetric care across the organisation, placing the welfare of women and newborn babies first.

Always passionate about training, Vicky went on to gain a diploma in medical education at the University of Wales, Cardiff. Soon after, she was appointed postgraduate dean of Wessex, responsible for the planning, development, education and training of the healthcare and public health workforce across Hampshire, Dorset, the Isle of Wight and South Wiltshire, as well as medical training for the Channel Islands.

In 2011, Dr Osgood joined the General Medical Council as deputy director of education and standards, just as the council was evolving its recently acquired regulatory role in postgraduate medical education. In her new position, and latterly as director of education and standards, she worked ceaselessly and successfully to win the respect of colleagues across the sector, and to implement her vision of patient-centred postgraduate medical education.

Following her recent untimely death, that vision, along with a life’s great work improving standards in both education and service provision, is Vicky Osgood’s lasting gift to healthcare.