College appoints new Chief Examiner

College Chair Professor Martin Marshall and Dr Michael Mulholland, Vice Chair of Professional Development, have made the following announcement today.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Rich Withnall will succeed Dr MeiLing Denney as Chief Examiner from 1st June this year.

Rich has been appointed following a competitive recruitment process and brings with him a wealth of assessment and leadership experience.  He has been an MRCGP examiner since 2005, and has led the CSA/RCA Core Group since 2017; he has also supported the College’s work as a Medical Director of MRCGP (Int).  In his work outside the College, Rich is an Honorary Surgeon to Her Majesty the Queen. He is about to become the UK Ministry of Defence’s Director of Healthcare in the rank of Air Vice-Marshal. He also remains a Professor of General Practice with a research interest in mental health.  We are entering an exciting period of development for the MRCGP and are confident that he will be able to lead the exam successfully through this. We will continue to ensure it is a fair and robust assessment that prepares trainees for a successful career in general practice.

We would also like to thank MeiLing for the huge contribution she has made to the MRCGP since she first joined the panel of examiners in 1996.  She has acted as the Research and Development lead and was instrumental in the development of the ‘new’ MRCGP in 2007.  She has been Chief Examiner since 2017 and has undertaken the role with great integrity and a commitment to fairness and upholding standards.  As Chief Examiner she has implemented an extensive review of the examination. Most recently, she has overseen the development of the Recorded Consultation Assessment, in record time. This has supported the needs of trainees who have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are grateful to MeiLing for her dedication and exemplary leadership of the examination for the past four years, and look forward to working with Rich to continue our work to develop and grow the MRCGP to meet the needs of general practice and our patients.

Further information

(For media only)

RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7633/7494/7574

Out of hours: 0203 188 7659

Notes to editor

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 52,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.