Pauline Leonard, MD, FRCP, is Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Whittington Hospital NHS Trust in London, UK. Dr Leonard graduated from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, in 1992 and obtained her MRCP in 1995. After completing her medical training she commenced specialist training as a medical oncologist later that year. Dr Leonard completed this training on the University College London Hospital rotation, obtaining her CCST in 2002 and later completing an MD in gene expression profiling in osteosarcoma. She was appointed as Consultant Medical Oncologist at Southend University NHS Foundation Trust, UK, in 2002, subspecialising in gastrointestinal (GI), hepato-biliary, neuroendocrine, and lung malignancies.
After 7 years of working in a cancer centre and providing visiting oncology support to a cancer unit she took up her current post in April 2009. She continues to manage patients with lung and GI malignancies and also set up the first truly comprehensive acute oncology service in London.
Dr Leonard believes teams can work more effectively by incorporating the specialist skills of an oncologist to help manage patients who are suspected of having cancer and by tailoring more appropriate investigations. This approach ensures rapid diagnosis in those fit for an intervention and timely referral for those who may never benefit from, or be fit for, treatment because of poor performance status or comorbidity. She also has a very keen interest in the importance of excellent communication skills and their influence on the quality and outcomes of patient–healthcare professional consultations.