Lives of the fellows

Jane Diana Dudley Wood

b.31 August 1937 d.18 January 2013
MB BS Lond(1961) MRCP Glasg(1965) FRCP Glasg(1985) FRCP(1994)

Jane Diana Dudley Wood was a consultant physician in the care of the elderly at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl, Wales. She was born Jane Diana Dudley Roswell in Penang, Malaysia, the daughter of Reginald Dudley Roswell, a colonial civil servant, and Gladys Roswell, a nurse. She was educated at the Royal Masonic School for Girls in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, and then went on to study medicine at St Mary’s Hospital, London, graduating in 1961.

Family commitments dominated her early career. After junior posts at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, she stayed there to train part-time in diabetes and endocrinology. When her husband was appointed as a consultant surgeon to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Rhyl, she had to overcome prejudices against part-time training in order that she could continue in Wales. It required the intervention of the Minister of Health to secure this transfer.

Her specialty accreditation allowed her to take a locum consultant post at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, Rhyl, and here, single-handedly, she developed a diabetes and endocrinology service. However, when the position was made permanent, old prejudices returned to block her appointment. This great disappointment directed her to retrain in geriatric medicine. She was duly appointed as a consultant physician in the care of the elderly at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Bodelwyddan, Rhyl, in 1986. She stayed until her retirement in 2001.

She was a shrewd politician, and an active supporter of the Labour Party. The trials encountered in her early career, when part-time training was poorly recognised, fuelled her dedication to improving the profile of women in medicine. She established an equal opportunities committee locally and actively promoted the cause of women in medicine. She always supported those female medical graduates who wished to pursue a hospital career.

Her political skills led her to enter medical politics at a national level. A formidable committee member, she chaired the Welsh consultants committee of the BMA, and in her later career she joined the General Medical Council (GMC), sitting on the fitness to practise panel, where her intellect, committee experience and sense of fair play were invaluable assets.

She became a fellow of the Glasgow college in 1985, and of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1994.

Following her retirement she left north Wales for Manchester, where she followed her interests in music, the theatre and art, until her death from carcinoma of the breast. Pre-deceased by her ex-husband, she was survived by her two children, son Edward and daughter Emma.

M W Greenway

(Volume XII, page web)

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