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Professor Wendy Burn

Professor Wendy Burn


Professor Wendy Burn BM, MMedSc, FRCPsych

Wendy was born and grew up in Oxford. Her grandfather was a Professor of Pharmacology there and her father also worked for the University. Her parents were both doctors. She went to the school of St Helen and St Katharine in Abingdon. As a child she was a keen member of the local St John Ambulance and spent her weekends administering first aid at public events.

She attended medical school in Southampton and started her psychiatric training there. She then moved to Leeds where she completed her training and was appointed as a Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist in 1990.

She became involved in the organisation and delivery of postgraduate training immediately after starting as a consultant. She has held many roles in education. She was a College Tutor, Chair of the Senior House Officer training programme in Leeds, Clinical Tutor, Associate Medical Director for Doctors in Training in Leeds, Programme Director for the Yorkshire Specialist Registrar Training Scheme in Old Age Psychiatry and Chairman of Yorkshire Psychiatry Speciality Training Committee. She set up the Yorkshire and the Humber School of Psychiatry and lead it as Head of School from 2007- 2011

She also undertook various roles within RCPsych. She was an RCPsych Membership examiner and then a senior organiser of the clinical examination. She was Deputy Convenor for Scotland, this involved inspecting the Scottish training schemes and ensuring that they met College standards. She was Deputy Lead for National Recruitment into Psychiatry when this was set up.

She was elected Dean of the College from 2011 to 2016. She became the Co-chair of the RCPsych Gatsby Wellcome Neuroscience Project in 2016, this project focused on modernising the neuroscience taught to psychiatric trainees.

In 2017 she was elected as President of the College. She was also appointed as Visiting Professor by the University of Chester.

In 2018 she was awarded Doctor of Medicine honoris causa, University of Leeds, and was made an Honorary Fellow of Academy of Medical Educators.

She lives in Ilkley within walking distance of the famous moor.

View Wendy's publications


Reflecting on the portrait of Professor Wendy Burn

As part of a project to try to better understand the RCPsych presidents’ portraits, we have interviewed past presidents and the artists who painted them. 

Read more about the portrait of Professor Wendy Burn

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry