Northern Ireland news

Chief medical officer awarded honorary Queen's University professor title

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride
Rebecca Black, PA

Northern Ireland’s chief medical officer has been awarded an honorary professor title by Queen’s University Belfast.

Sir Michael McBride, who is a Queen’s graduate, has received the title of Professor of Practice in Public Health Medicine in recognition of his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr McBride said he was deeply honoured by the move, adding he is indebted to many at Queen’s for providing him with the opportunity to contribute to healthcare and policy development in Northern Ireland.

“When I look back to my formative years in North Belfast, a place in medicine at Queen’s University seemed at times a very big ask and a stretch too far,” he said.

“However, my late father who left school at 13 years old encouraged me with the words: ‘Education, education, education’, I have never forgotten that and never will.

“Ultimately, the contribution and change we make is but the effort we are prepared to commit and the collective responsibility we consider ours.”

Dr McBride was appointed as chief medical officer in 2006 and has played a key role in guiding ministers during the pandemic.

His work was recognised earlier this year by Queen Elizabeth with a knighthood.

Queen’s pro-vice-chancellor Professor Stuart Elborn said Sir Michael has demonstrated “exceptional medical leadership”.

“We are delighted to appoint Professor Sir Michael McBride as Honorary Professor of Practice,” he said.

“He has demonstrated exceptional medical leadership in the field of public health and is an inspiring role model for a generation of students.

“Over many years, he has supported the university in a wide range of areas including teaching, mentoring, graduations, research and the strategic response to the Covid pandemic.”

Professor Pascal McKeown, head of the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s, added: “In this new role, as a key partner in all aspects of health and social care and through his ongoing excellent educational and research engagement with the university, Professor Sir Michael will provide invaluable support to our students and staff.”

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