Ginny Bowbrick (she/her)
Ginny Bowbrick (she/her)
I qualified from Barts in 1989 and decided on a surgical career the first time I scrubbed up as a medical student to assist. I was a registrar in the South East with my final year at St Thomas’ and spent 18 months as a research registrar at St Mary’s where, on my first day and feeling a bit nervous, I was welcomed by Professor Averil Mansfield with tea, biscuits and a chat. This act of kindness left a lasting impression on me as to the effect a trainer, even as eminent as her, can have on a trainee and the importance of role models.
I am a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at East Kent NHS FT. I have been involved in Medical Education from the start of my consultant career when I joined the SE Thames General Surgery Specialist Training Committee, of which I later became Training Programme Director. This was before Vascular Surgery separated from General Surgery as a specialty. I am now Head of School of Surgery for HEE Kent, Surrey and Sussex, overseeing the surgical training programmes and trainees at core and higher level in this region. I joined the Vascular SAC in 2018 and became involved with national recruitment, ultimately becoming the Lead for Vascular Surgery ST3 National Selection in 2021. This was a role I had to give up when I became Chair of the Vascular SAC in 2021.
Diversity and inclusivity are important to me. As well as being Chair of PRiSM, I am also involved with regional and national projects promoting recognition and help for neurodiverse trainees, and better understanding of Autism and Learning Disabilities in our patients. Improving outcomes for patients with learning disabilities is extremely important to me as I am the mother of four children, two of whom are autistic with severe learning disabilities.
I have been out at work since 2013 and married my wife (who is also a surgeon) in 2017. I am birth mother to our three sons and non-birth mother to our daughter.
Karen Chui (she/they).
Karen Chui (she/they)
Identifies as genderqueer.
I grew up in Hong Kong and came to the UK for medical school in 2010. I graduated with a BSc from Barts and the London in 2014 and completed my MBChB from University of Birmingham in 2016. I have been interested in orthopaedic surgery since 4th year of medical school and am currently a Trauma and Orthopaedic Specialty Registrar in London on the Stanmore rotation. I am the current Vice Chair of the PRiSM Committee and the Vice President of the British Orthopaedic Trainees Association (BOTA) 2023.
I attended my first GLADD event in 2013 as a medical student, where I met LGBTQ+ doctors and surgeons for the first time. Before this event, I didn’t believe I could be queer and a successful surgeon. Attending the GLADD event transformed my perspective - it showed me the power of community and positive role models on empowering under-represented groups. I am passionate about increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in surgery and healthcare, promoting an environment in which surgeons and patients feel proud to be their authentic selves. As Vice Chair, I hope to lead and build PRiSM to be a safe and inclusive community for LGBTQ+ medical students, junior doctors and surgeons to celebrate their identities. I am honored to be working with my fellow PRiSM committee members to lead and create change for the LGBTQ+ community.
Outside of work I enjoy portrait photography, climbing, surfing and running.
Mark Bagnall (he/him).
Mark Bagnall (he/him)
I’m a gay Colorectal Consultant Surgeon, married to a Consultant Endocrine Surgeon. We have been together for 23 years now. My pronouns are he/his. I was born in the Isle of Man into a working class household, at a time when homosexuality was still illegal. I came out publicly in 2000 in my first week at medical school, as one of the first in the UK to attend a completely graduate only entry programme at Warwick University, later graduating with honours. Influenced by a charismatic and deeply dedicated surgeon who was highly progressive to see and nurture potential, and not keep the status quo of the traditional cis white male heteronormative surgeon in training, both myself and Ms Lucy Green have broken through the ‘glass ceiling’ to become successful Consultant Surgeons. Now we pay this forward.
I am a Surgical Trainer in Laparoscopic Colorectal Benign and Cancer surgery, Complex Abdominal Wall Reconstruction and Emergency General Surgery. I also perform over 250 colonoscopy procedures per year and I am working towards becoming a JAG accredited Bowel Cancer Screening Endoscopist.
I’m the Mentorship Lead on the PRISM Committee. I have an interest in Medical Education and I'm currently completing a Masters Degree in Medical Education. For the last 12 years, I have been a course director and co-ordinator for RCS England courses, including Advanced Trauma Life Support, ATLS instructor course, Basic Surgical Skills, Care of the Critically Ill Surgical Patient, START and Training the Trainers courses. I am also teaching faculty on Definitive Trauma Skills course. I support the education of trainees and the professional development of new faculty. I am the F2 foundation programme director at Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Part of my role is to offer careers guidance and pastoral support to F2, including those contemplating a career in surgery. It’s important to inspire and support the passion of all doctors, regardless of their gender, ethnicity and sexual identity, to explore and find their career which stimulate them and is inclusive, welcoming and respects them for who they are.
Evri Tokidis (he/him).
Evri Tokidis (he/him)
Identifies as a gay man.
I am an International Medical Graduate from Greece and moved to the UK in 2016. While working as a locally employed surgical doctor in London, I have completed my Foundation Competencies while studying for an MSc at the University of Edinburgh. I have secured a Core Surgical Training and a further NTN in General Surgery. Since then I have been working across Yorkshire and the Humber. I have developed a specialty interest in Colorectal Surgery.
I have experienced Surgery changing significantly over the past few years and now it is time, more than ever, to promote inclusivity, equity and diversity within our field. As a Senior Colorectal Registrar, I advocate for a diverse surgical workforce and health equity through my work on the PRISM Committee, and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of ACPGBI.
I am partnered to a lovely man who has been standing next to me during some of my biggest surgical career achievements.
Phillipa Burns (she/her).
Phillipa Burns (she/her)
Phillipa is a Vascular Surgeon in Edinburgh where she has been a Consultant since 2009. She was attracted to the specialty by the three vascular surgeons in Edinburgh being able to keep their cool whilst doing amazing operations.
She is on the Surgical Training Committee for Vascular Surgery for SE Scotland, and has been part of the PRISM Committee since it first formed. She trained in and around Edinburgh, apart from a sojourns to Birmingham to do her MD with Andrew Bradbury, and a 1 year Fellowship in Sydney.
She has given numerous talks and interviews on Life as a Transgender Surgeon.
Phillipa is married, with six children. When she’s away from work, she enjoys running (slowly) and walking in the hills – both in the Lakes, and Scotland. She is determined to finish the Munros in the next couple of years.
Christian Macutkiewicz (he/him).
Christian Macutkiewicz (he/him)
Identifies as a gay man.
I qualified from Manchester University in 2000 and knew I wanted to pursue surgery as a career as soon as I had my first dissection class. I made my own rotation up, which involved jobs in London, Cambridge and Nottingham as SHOs, followed by a research MD in Sepsis and bacterial translocation in Manchester. I completed my Higher Surgical Training in the North West Deanery and did a HPB/Liver Transplant Fellowship in Leeds.
I became a locum consultant HPB surgeon in Nottingham in 2013 and got my first substantive consultant job in Leeds as a consultant pancreaticobiliary surgeon in 2014. I enjoyed four years in Leeds where I was the lead for surgical teaching in our unit. In 2018, I moved back to Manchester where I am a consultant General & HPB surgeon and Clinical Lead for General Surgery at Manchester University Trust. I am also President-Elect of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI) and have been involved in organising the congress for the ASGBI for the past four years. I am the chair of the local organising committee for the PRiSM and RCS England event, Out at the College, in June 2023. As well as organising the event, Out at the Congress, for the forthcoming ASGBI Congress in Harrogate in May. I am a member of the ASGBI EDI committee and was a panel member of the first EDI session at the 2020 congress.
Diversity and inclusivity are very close to my heart. I was always very cautious of being “out” during my training, as wanted trainers and colleagues to focus on my ability rather than my sexuality, but finally I came out at work in 2010. We regularly have LGBTQ+ trainees in our team, I pride myself that they feel open and comfortable with the inclusive atmosphere we have nurtured in Manchester.
I love my job, I love training the surgeons of tomorrow, and I believe everyone deserves to enjoy this career regardless of their background, religion or sexuality.
Jonny Evans (he/him).
Jonny Evans (he/him)
Identifies as a gay man.
I started my medical training at Cambridge in 2012 before transferring to UCL to complete my studies in 2018. After finishing my foundation training in London, I moved to Melbourne to work in Plastic Surgery at both the Royal Children’s Hospital and St Vincent’s. Whilst in Australia, I served as Co-Chair of the St Vincent’s Education committee and led teaching on LGBTQIA+ health inequalities.
I recently moved back to the UK to start Core Surgical Training in Newcastle, with a view to pursuing Plastic Surgery as a specialty. I have been out at work since the middle of F1, and my role as Secretary of PRiSM has been a unique opportunity to connect with other LGBTQIA+ members of my profession.
Alex Ashman (they/them).
Alex Ashman (they/them)
Dr Alex Ashman is an ENT Specialty Registrar in the Thames Valley Deanery, and one of the RCS England Emerging Leaders 2023 cohort. They qualified from UCL Medical School in 2010 and they have trained in Bedford, Cambridge, Bristol, Swindon, Oxford, Reading and Slough.
Alex was AOT ENT Treasurer for two years and is currently on the PRiSM Committee and on Women in ENT Surgery (WENTS UK). Alex lives in the South of England with their wife and children, and currently works Less Than Full Time. Their interests include allotment gardening, science fiction, cross stitching, and intersectional feminism.
Matthew McMillan (he/him).
Matthew McMillan (he/him)
Identifies as a gay man.
I completed my Graduate Entry Medical degree from Swansea University in 2020, prior to which I graduated from the University of Southampton with both a BSc and Post-Graduate MSc in Chemistry. I am currently working as a Junior Clinical Fellow, whilst applying for Core Surgical Training, in General Surgery at Morriston Hospital, Swansea, where I undertook my Foundation Training during the Covid Pandemic. My initial interests lied in Emergency Medicine, but an FY1 post in Vascular Surgery changed my career plans, and highlighted my love for surgery.
I am thrilled to be on the PRiSM Committee, to help promote equality and diversity within our profession, and also to help support our LGBTQIA+ patients and colleagues.
Xander Stephenson-Allen (he/him).
Xander Stephenson-Allen (he/him)
Identifies as a queer man.
I am currently a Core Surgical Trainee and aspiring Urologist in Kent, Surrey, Sussex Deanery, where I also completed my foundation training. I took a slightly scenic route to medicine, first reading Physics and undertaking a master’s in Medical Physics, ultimately finding myself working in LGBTQ+ health advocacy whilst running an HIV screening programme across South-West London. I reluctantly returned to my studies in 2014 at the University of Nottingham Medical School with the aim of becoming an HIV and GUM Physician, but fate would have it that an excellent Urology placement changed my direction.
My passion for queer advocacy within healthcare and beyond remains, and I am the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion lead for PRiSM. As a queer, mixed raced, Muslim, neurodiverse man, I understand the ways in which the various aspects of one’s identities can shape experiences both as a patient and a professional. I am keen to improve the surgical landscape for both clinicians and patients alike. My specific clinical interests within Urology include surgical gender affirming care, and sexual (dys)function. Outside of clinical work, I am often found tending to my over-pampered houseplants, or when I have a chance to return to my home away from home, chasing around a beloved flock of chickens.
John Piedad (he/him).
John Piedad (he/him)
Identifies as a gay man.
I grew up in the Philippines and moved to the UK when I was 11. I had a roundabout journey to medicine. An undergraduate degree and masters led me to research in neuropsychiatry in Birmingham. At a crossroads between a PhD and medicine, I went down the medical school route. Throughout medical school and FY1, I wanted to be an obstetrician/gynaecologist. In retrospect, part of the reason was because I thought, perhaps wrongly, that it would be more accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals. However, a solid group of surgical mentors and an underwhelming O&G job, where I was looking forward to the surgical on calls instead of my day job, led me to decline an O&G training offer and apply for Core Surgical Training (CST). I am now in my last year of CST and am interested in a career in urology.
I have mixed feelings about being ‘out’ at work. On one hand, ‘work is work’ and I feel my sexuality should have no bearing on my capacity as a clinician. However, I appreciate the importance of visibility and LGBTQ+ role models in the surgical workforce. It’s a balance I haven’t found yet. Throughout Foundation Training, I was the representative for my local Trust and Foundation School at the Foundation Doctors Advisory Board, which developed my interest in workforce welfare. It was a short step from there to thinking about how to make the surgical workforce more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. Joining the PRISM Committee and seeing the work of these talented and exceptional individuals is inspirational, as was seeing a picture of the pride flag fly above the RCS England building.
In my spare time I enjoy going back to the shires to hike up the local hills and enjoy the local cider, canoeing, visiting the Cornish coast, thanks to some friends that have helpfully moved there, keeping fit with the CrossFit cult, and travelling.