King’s consultant becomes first woman professor in her field

Ms. Kathy Fan has been appointed Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at King’s College London

Kathy Fan

A King’s College Hospital’s consultant, Ms. Kathy Fan, has become the first woman to be made professor of oral and maxillofacial surgery (OMFS).

To become a professor in oral and maxillofacial surgery requires many years of clinical, academic and teaching activity.

On the appointment, Professor Fan, who is a dually-qualified medical and dental surgeon, said: “The award of my Chair is important recognition for my specialty, my work in the NHS, and the university, both nationally and internationally.

“But the most significant aspect of my appointment as the first female in this position is to show younger oral and maxillofacial surgeons that everything is possible.”

Explaining the importance of diversity in surgery and academia, she said, “Female surgeons, surgeons of different ethnic and orientation: You can do it! Do not to let your ambitions be limited by perceptions or prejudice. I believe the principle of ‘if you can see it, you can be it.'"

Professor Fan’s role as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at King’s College Hospital covers a wide range of hard and soft tissue surgery in the head and the neck. She is an academic and research lead, and she encourages members of her team to get involved in surgical projects that will improve patient outcomes. Professor Fan is also dedicated to supporting doctors undertaking their KCL three-year Dentistry Programme of Medical Graduates and the dentists studying medicine, guiding them into specialty training.

Professor Fan will combine her new role at King’s College London, with her current role at King’s College Hospital, as well as being a Council Member of the British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (BOAMS). Previously, she acted as a mentor to a student at a school in Camberwell.

OMFS training in the UK requires dental and medical degrees, completing core surgical training, and passing the Royal Colleges of Surgeons’ membership exam. This is followed by at least five years’ specialty training that culminates in the Fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons (FRCS OMFS) for entry onto the OMFS specialist list. Academic OMFS surgeons do all of this and complete a higher degree, such as a PhD, which requires at least three years of research.