Pali Hungin, a Durham University lecturer and ex-GP, has recently been appointed president of the British Medical Association. He will be in the prestigious post for one year. The British Medical Association, or BMA, is the trade union and professional association for doctors and medical students in the UK. Professor Hungin was officially inaugurated into his new position at a ceremony in Belfast, held during the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting.

Palace Green Library, Durham University -
Palace Green Library, Durham University – courtesy of

Professor Hungin has served as a GP in Eaglescliffe, on Teesside, and has undertaken clinical research, specialising in the early diagnosis of long-term illnesses. His current position is as a professor of primary care and general practice at the University of Durham. Professor Hungin was also one of the founders of the UK and European Primary Care Societies for Gastroenterology, with which he worked to set up research networks in Britain. He has held the post of Foundation Dean of Medicine, also at Durham, and has published over 150 medical articles.

As the BMA’s president, Professor Hungin wishes to make patients central to the whole culture of medical care. He also aims to encourage a re-evaluation of the role of doctors and to highlight the importance of research as a vital element of healthcare and medicine.

Professor Hungin said it was “a real privilege to take up this position with the BMA, especially at a crucial time for the NHS and the medical profession. I hope that my experience as a GP and more recently in medical academia will help me to bring a distinct perspective to take this role forward.”

Professor Hungin grew up in Kenya and is a graduate of Newcastle upon Tyne Medical School. He trained to be a GP in the North-East of England and at the University of Ontario in Canada. In 2000 he earned an OBE for his services to research.

Professor Hungin added, “I very much look forward to working with the BMA over the coming year to promote the values of clinicians and patients, the role of the doctor in modern society and the NHS that we all cherish.”

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