Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Imperial College / Healthcare NHS Trust
Medicine / Healthcare Category Winner 2013
I thank the Medical Women’s Federation for nominating me and on behalf of the female health professionals for whose progress we strive, I rejoice in being a category winner. My life is devoted to the promotion of women’s health and this award will help me in my mission.
Professor Lesley Regan of Imperial College was the first woman in England to head a department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology. Founder of the world’s largest Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic at St Mary’s Hospital, her unit has developed treatments that have transformed pregnancy outcome for women across the world. Lesley’s work has shown that miscarriage is the precursor of later pregnancy complications, which in turn predicts disease in later life. She believes that every pregnancy should be viewed as the healthcare opportunity of two lifetimes. The unique Baby Bio Bank pregnancy tissue archive she is collecting underpins translational research by numerous colleagues.
Lesley’s pioneering techniques for uterine fibroids avoid open surgery, enabling women to return swiftly to work and family. She is a Trustee of Wellbeing of Women.. She is currently developing global policies that educate and empower women to look after their own health, through her advocacy work with the relevant recognised bodies: the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, the Royal Society of Medicine and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics.
The proud mother of twin undergraduate daughters, Lesley believes the role of doctors is to empower patients. Hence she has written two international bestsellers: Miscarriage – What Every Woman Needs to Know and Your Pregnancy Week by Week and presented six BBC 2 Horizon documentaries. Leading a largely female team, she is passionate about promoting the progress of women in the work place and believes that there are still too few at decision-making tables.
Judging Panel Comment
Lesley became the first female O&G Consultant at St Mary’s/Imperial College and now leads the Obstetric and Gynaecological department at a London teaching hospital where 14 of her 20 consultant colleagues are women. Professionally, one of her outstanding achievements is the Recurrent Miscarriage service from which three quarters of couples emerge with a baby.
As well as being a role model for women in medicine, Lesley is frequently invited to speak to women in various occupations about how to combine a diverse professional career with motherhood and external interests. Having benefited enormously herself from being awarded a scholarship to the USA Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM 2010-2011) she would like to introduce a similar UK training course to promote the appointment of more women to senior decision-making positions. As chair the Academic Opportunities Committee at Imperial she is championing its 2014 Athena Swan application.