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Royal College of Psychiatrists appoints new president

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), the professional body responsible for setting standards in psychiatry, has elected its new president, Dr Wendy Burn, in its triennial presidential election.

Dr Burn, who recently served as Dean of the college, will become the RCPsych’s fifteenth president after being elected on a 33.1% turnout, an increase on the college’s previous election.

She will take over from the current president Professor Sir Simon Wessely this June at the end of his three-year term.

Dr Burn said that she is honoured to have been elected president of RCPsych and will look to dispel the stigma surrounding the profession.

“I know what it’s like on the frontline of psychiatry and how difficult it has become,” Dr Burn said. “The current morale amongst trainees is the worst I have known it, but as president I will ensure that they are supported and valued by the college.

“There is still so much stigma surrounding the profession. Psychiatry is an incredibly rewarding and important profession, and we must work hard to challenge the negative views that still exist.”

Dr Burn became a consultant old age psychiatrist in Leeds in 1990 and currently works full-time as a regional leader in a community post with her particular clinical interest being dementia.

She previously served as co-clinical lead for dementia for Yorkshire and the Humber Strategic Clinical Network between 2013 and 2016, was the first head of the Yorkshire School of Psychiatry, and has held many roles at the college including deputy convenor, regional co-ordinator for CPD and deputy lead for national recruitment.

RCPsych’s chief executive Paul Rees said: “I have very much enjoyed working with our president Sir Simon Wessely, who has been an inspirational leader for the profession for the past three years.

“However, I congratulate Wendy on winning what was a keenly fought election to replace him and I very much look forward to working with her to promote the voice of psychiatry and the needs of service users.”

(Image c. RCPsych)

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David Tombs   03/02/2017 at 17:31

Well done Wendy, I am sure that you will be an excellent president of our college.

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