Dr Peter Tun to receive posthumous RCP fellowship

Published
15 Sep 2020

15 Sep 2020

Dr Tun was a graduate from the University of Medicine, Yangon, Myanmar in 1981. He started his career as a research medical officer for the World Health Organization-sponsored ‘Risk approach in the delivery of maternal and child healthcare project’.

From 1985 to 1994 Dr Tun then worked as a GP across the villages of the Ayeyarwady Delta and was an advocate for providing education as a tool to transform the lives of the community he served.

He moved to the UK in 1994, initially living in west Yorkshire before moving to London and eventually settling in Reading in 1998. Dr Tun became a member of the RCP in 1997.

‘As physicians we have two jobs: to provide good care today and better care tomorrow. This is exactly what Dr Tun did, day in and day out as his career took him into research, postgraduate medical education and delivering a neuro-rehabilitation service. Sadly, he died of COVID-19 in April – may he rest in peace. As far as we can ascertain, Dr Tun is the first person to have died actively in service and be posthumously nominated for the award of fellowship. One might argue that election to fellowship should’ve come earlier,’ said RCP Registrar, Professor Donal O’Donoghue OBE.

Fellowship is an accolade held by some of the most inspiring and innovative physicians in the world. It is a mark of achievement and skill as a doctor and recognises the fellow’s ongoing contribution to the profession.

Dr Tun’s passion was education and he put that love into practice. He was a fervent advocate for staff and associate specialist (SAS) doctors and persevered in his pursuit for putting a spotlight on this professional group, strengthening their education and fairness of working conditions.

Dr Tun made a significant contribution as a member of the RCP SAS Steering Group from 2014–16 and was an invited speaker on quality improvement of healthcare at the Royal College of Psychiatrists SAS Conference in October 2017. He was Royal Berkshire Hospital’s SAS doctors' tutor, 2009–12, and associate postgraduate dean for SAS doctors (Oxford Deanery, Health Education England Thames Valley) 2012–16. Dr Tun had also been an NHS appraiser for consultants and SAS doctors from 2009.

‘He was a very special, humble doctor and a family man who loved all things education. He was continually striving to improve conditions for others, especially SAS doctors who held a distinct place in his heart. Peter loved the RCP and was a very proud member. We would always pause for a catch-up when passing in the hospital corridor, his smile lighting up his face. He would love drawing others into heartfelt education conversation,’ said Dr Emma Vaux, RCP past vice president for education and training.

Dr Tun’s family have been invited to accept the accolade of RCP fellowship on his behalf at one of our fellowship ceremonies, at a time when they resume.

RCP fellows can nominate others for fellowship

The RCP is its fellowship; this needs continual renewal and having seen such outstanding dedication to the values of the RCP during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, RCP Council believes all physicians who have contributed above and beyond during the crisis should be considered.

Existing RCP fellows have the right to nominate colleagues for fellowship and the quickest way is through the online proposal form (you will need to login using your MyRCP details). This can be done at any point throughout the year by looking around your departments, hospitals and specialties and nominating colleagues deserving of this accolade. There is undeniable evidence that diversity improves decision-making, impact and outcomes. Consider physicians from all backgrounds and walks of life when you look around to see who you might nominate and don’t forget our SAS colleagues, who are also physicians.