Parveen Kumar

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Professor Dame Parveen Kumar
BornParveen June Kumar
(1942-06-01) 1 June 1942 (age 76)
Lahore, British India (present-day Lahore, Pakistan)
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
Alma materSt Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College
Known forPresident of the British Medical Association
Scientific career

Dame Parveen June Kumar, Mrs Leaver, DBE (born 1 June 1942[1]) is a British doctor who is currently Professor of Medicine and Education at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. She is the President of the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund and also the President of the Medical Women's Federation. She worked in the NHS for over 40 years as a consultant gastroenterologist and physician at Barts and the London Hospitals and the Homerton University Hospital. She was the President of the British Medical Association in 2006 and of the Royal Society of Medicine from 2012-2012, and was Vice President of the Royal College of Physicians 2003-2005. In addition, she was a founding non-executive director of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, chaired the Medicines Commission UK until 2005, and also chaired the BUPA Foundation Charity for Research until 2013.

Kumar co-founded and co-edited Kumar and Clark's Clinical Medicine now in its 9th edition, a standard medical textbook which is used around the world. Kumar has also held several leadership roles in medical education. She set up the first MSc course in Gastroenterology in the UK, and continues to teach, lecture and examine medical students and doctors across the globe. Apart from medical education, she is also very interested in global health and set up the Global Health Initiative at the Royal Society of Medicine when she was President. Kumar is also a trustee of British Youth Opera.

Kumar was awarded DBE in 2017, CBE in 2000, the BMA Gold Medal in 2007, and was the first Asian Professional Woman of the year in 1999. She also has several other honours and honorary degrees.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in Lahore (then British India),[2] Kumar moved to the United Kingdom and studied medicine at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, then training as a gastroenterologist under Sir Anthony Dawson and Michael Clark.[3]

After qualifying, Kumar worked at St. Bartholomew's, Homerton University Hospital and the Royal London Hospital as a gastroenterologist. Specialising in small bowel diseases, such as coeliac disease, she was an elected member of the British Society of Gastroenterology's Council,[3] and started the first gastroenterology MSc course in the UK.[4] Interested in education, Kumar became academic sub-dean at Barts, then accepting the job of Director of Post-Graduate Medical Education. She co-founded and co-edited the textbook Clinical Medicine with Clark. Clinical Medicine is now a standard work, and is used worldwide:[3] the 9th edition was released in 2017.[4]

In 1999, Kumar was appointed a non-executive director of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, resigning in 2002 following her appointment as Chairman of the Medicines Commission UK.[3] In 2006 she became President of the British Medical Association, and in 2010 was appointed President of the Royal Society of Medicine. She served as Vice-President of the Royal College of Physicians, and also held the positions of the Director of CPD, and International education. She was a trustee of The Medical College of St Bartholomew's Hospital Trust and also of CancerBackup.

Kumar is also a trustee of the British Youth Opera.[5]


In 1999, she became the first recipient of the Asian Woman of the Year (Professional) award, and in 2000 was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition of her services to medicine.[3] She was also a recipient of the British Medical Association's Gold Medal for "services to Medicine and Education".[2]

She was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to medicine and medical education.[6] In 2017, she was awarded a Lifetime Achievement for contributions to Medicine by the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO).[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Birthday's today". The Telegraph. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2014. Prof Parveen Kumar, President, Royal Society of Medicine, 69
  2. ^ a b Clune, Maggie (15 July 2011). "Parveen Kumar". University of Sussex. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Women at Queen Mary Exhibition Online - Featured Women - Parveen Kumar". Queen Mary, University of London. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Professor Parveen Kumar" (PDF). Royal Society of Medicine. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2013.
  5. ^, British Youth Opera - w:. "Governance". Retrieved 2018-03-21.
  6. ^ "No. 61962". The London Gazette (Supplement). 17 June 2017. p. B7.
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
Sir Charles George
President of the
British Medical Association

Succeeded by
Sir Kenneth Calman
Preceded by
Robin C. N. Williamson
President of the
Royal Society of Medicine

Succeeded by
Sir Michael Rawlins