RCSEd Saddened by the passing of Dame Clare Marx CBE

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27 Nov 2022

The College is saddened to hear of the passing of former RCS England President, Dame Clare Marx CBE, DL, MBBS, PRCSEng.

A champion of compassionate leadership throughout her career, from her early days as a surgeon, to Chair of the GMC, Dame Clare Marx reminded us of how the interactions we have with our patients are a crucial part of the medical care we provide. Our empathy and professionalism shape a patient's experience almost as much as our diagnostic ability or surgical skills, and they shape our own experiences as clinicians.

Upon her diagnosis, Dame Clare looked back on her career in a letter sent out via the GMC to all medics, stating:

When I look back on my career, I remember how I was treated. In my happiest moments, I felt respected, valued and listened to. I felt I belonged.

In a service short on time and short on resource, there is no excuse for being short on kindness and politeness. We are in control of how we treat each other. Our behaviours determine the success of our working relationships, with both colleagues and patients.

From the mentors who encouraged me when being a female surgeon was a rarity and the colleagues with whom I have had the privilege to serve, to the medical team who have cared for me over the past days, it is your professionalism, kindness and support that I appreciate and will remember.

There is so much to admire in the health service's response to the last 18 months. But perhaps the greatest triumph is not what has been done, but how it has been done - through camaraderie, communication, and collaboration.

My wish is that this spirit carries through to the months and years ahead. So every doctor and every patient experiences the compassion that defines first-class care.

The College offers our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and life-long colleagues of Dame Clare.


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