Tributes paid to Dame Clare Marx, former Chair of the General Medical Council

The General Medical Council’s Chair and Chief Executive have paid tribute to former Chair Dame Clare Marx who passed away on Sunday.

Dame Clare was Council Chair from the start of 2019 and the first woman to hold the post since the GMC was established in 1858. She stepped down in July 2021 following a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

She studied medicine at University College London before specialising in Trauma and Orthopaedic surgery. She held consultant and leadership roles first at St Charles and St Mary’s Paddington, and then for 27 years at Ipswich Hospital.

Dame Carrie MacEwen, Chair of the GMC, said:

‘Clare was a true leader who carved a path for so many, and never lost sight of why we as doctors are called to medicine. I was fortunate to count her as a friend and privileged to follow her as Chair of the GMC.'

"As Chair of the GMC’s Council Clare set a clear direction for a model of compassionate professional regulation that I am committed to fulfilling. My thoughts are with all of her family and friends.’"

Dame Carrie MacEwen

Chair of the GMC

Charlie Massey, Chief Executive and Registrar of the GMC said:

‘Dame Clare Marx leaves a profound legacy right across the medical profession and wider health services. She was a tireless advocate for the leadership required to bring about change in the health service, and for all working in medicine to treat each other – and themselves – with kindness and compassion. 

‘Her own leadership, wisdom and kindness touched so many who work for the GMC, and her loss will be felt just as strongly.’

Prior to taking up her role with the GMC Dame Clare was the first woman President in the history of the British Orthopaedic Association (2008–09) and the Royal College of Surgeons of England (2014–17), and was Chair of the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management until the end of 2018 where she was instrumental in establishing the national clinical fellows initiative. From this year those fellows joining the GMC cohort are known as the Marx clinical fellows.