Amanda Howe


  • 2.06A Medical School

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Medical education; the role of family medicine / general practice in strengthening health systems; primary care mental health; patient participation in care; national research and strategies for primary care; chronic health problems and their care; patient safety; public and patient involvement; quality of care.

Administrative Posts

  • Head of Primary & Community Care Group
  • International Director for Norwich Medical School
  • lead for all GP based clinical learning
  • honorary member MB/BS Executive Norwich Medical SChool
  • Previously Professionalism and fitness to practise lead, MB/BS, also Course Director 2005-2008


Key Responsibilities

  • NMS International Director
  • GP teaching overall lead
  • Electives lead till 2018 (other previous roles in MB BS as Course Director, professionalism lead, patient safety lead)


Teaching Interests


  • I oversee all GP teaching development, and led the course from its first year 4 to its accreditation year (2007). We have 80 practices, a full QA and CPD programme, and excellent feedback for an unusually intensive GP teaching requirement.
  • I also was on the founder team to develop and implement the medical humanities stream (‘Studies Outside Medicine’). the clinical mental health curriculum, and the MBBS approach to professionalism and reflective practice.
  • From 2009, having ended 3 years as Course Director, I was responsible for
  • Professional development and fitness to practice MB/BS lead
  • All learning delivered in primary care via GPs & their teams/ patients
  • Guidance on reflective practice / portfolio-based learning
  • GP academic clinical fellows in training (2 per year over 4 year program)

I have been involved in ongoing quality improvement activities, including

  • Review and consolidation of the taught curriculum into a comprehensive written syllabus defined by learning outcomes
  • Revision of the problem based patient cases to reflect the UK socio-demographic profile
  • Review of the primary care and professionalism curricular themes.
  • I also lead a 7 person research group within the Department of Public Health and Primary Care


Academic Background

Having done my training as a GP, I was a fulltime partner in a busy inner city practice in Sheffield from 1984 – 1996, also becoming a mother, GP trainer, CPD tutor, and undergraduate teacher. My passion to give young doctors contact with the real social and health problems of ordinary people led me to engage i with the university world, where I undertook both Masters and MD qualifications. After I took a full time academic appointment I became increasingly involved in medical education reform (‘Tomorrow’s Doctors’) and eventually moved in Norfolk to become the foundation Professor of Primary Care at the University of East Anglia  - and to be part of the core team setting up a new medical school. I still work at UEA,  and do 2 clinical sessions in practice. I have recently trained to be a GP appraiser and College speciality advisor for revalidation, also being revalidated in September 2013.

Apart from championing family medicine, medical education reform, and professionalism as a core attribute of good doctors, I have particular clinical and research interests in quality of care, the effective use of education as an intervention to improve care, mental health problems, and patient and public empowerment in health care settings. I am an elected RCGP Officer , enjoying the leadership challenges of both external change (the Health and Social Care Act) and policy development. One of the most influential pieces of work during my recent RCGP role has been the the RCGP’s “Commission on Generalism”, for which I was College lead and author of our report.  Based on my achievements as a leader in general practice I have also been elected to play an international role as President (Elect) of the World Organisation of Family Doctors.


Amanda Howe has been Professor of Primary Care since 2001, when she moved from Sheffield University to be part of the foundation team for the Norwich Medical School, which opened in 2002. She has worked as a GP since 1984, as a GP partner while in Sheffield, and now at Bowthorpe Surgery in Norwich on a part-time basis. Her main reason for entering academic practice was her passion to put patients in community settings at the centre of medical education, in order tomprove patient care. This led to a lifelong commitment to enhancing training opportunities for medical students and young doctors outside hospital settings; to encouraging the conditions for professionals to thrive, particularly in training settings and in general practice; and to the development and strengthening of general practice as an essential clinical speciality in all health systems. In addition to her academic leadership role, she has also taken up national and international roles with the Royal College of General Practitioners and in the World Organisation of Family Doctors (see career section).

Professor Amanda Howe holds a Masters in Medical Education, has a substantive track record in educational innovation and pedagogical research, and has led the GP teaching for the Norwich based MB BS since its inception. She was the MB BS Course Director 2005-2008, and the Chair of the School’s Professionalism Committee from 2009-2014. She is head of the Primary Care Group, and a lead within the MED Department of Primary Care and Public Health. She is a social scientist, and much of her involvement with clinical research and evaluation of interventions is through leading on the application of qualitative research methods to specific studies – she has also supported the other academic social scientists within the medical school programme. Her research interests include mental health, professionalism and resilience, and effective empowerment of patients and professionals in care, education and research. She also has an interest in health policy and its relevance to family medicine developments worldwide. Outside the School she has had major elected appointments at national (RCGP) and international (WONCA) level.



  • Qualified as MB ChB University of London (provisional registration) and MA Cantab 1979
  • MRCGP and exit Sheffield Vocational training scheme 1983
  • Partner Foxhill Medical Centre Sheffield 1984-2001
  • Also GP trainer and undergraduate tutor
  • MD and MEd qualifications, also DCH and DRCOG
  • Clinical lecturer University of Sheffield 1991-1995
  • Senior lecturer University of Sheffield 1996-2001
  • Curriculum reform and GP teaching leadership at Sheffield during 1990s
  • Chair of Research RCGP 2000-2005
  • Chair World Organisation Family Doctors Working Party Women & Family Medicine 2007-10
  • Chair Society for academic Primary Care 2007-2010
  • Honorary Secretary RCGP 2009-2013
  • Vice Chair Council, Royal College of GPs 2013-2015
    Current posts:
  • Professor of Primary Care, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia
  • GP at Bowthorpe Surgery , Norwich
  • President World Organisation Family Doctors 2016 - 2018

Key Research Interests

Research Keywords: Medical education, Public engagement, General Practice, Health inequalities, Primary Health Care, Professionalism, Primary care workforce, Health systems strengthening

Research Topics for PGR Supervision: Medical education, Public engagement, General Practice, Health inequalities, Primary Health Care, Professionalism, Primary care workforce, Health systems strengthening

Current Research Grants


Co-applicant – SCOOP – ‘A pragmatic RCT of the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of screening for osteoporosis in older women for the prevention of fracture’, £3,754,703

NIHR Programme Grant

Co-applicant – ‘Delivering a Realistic Diabetes Prevention Programme in a UK Community: Norfolk DPS’, National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) programme grant (E2029M), £2,290,000

Research for Patient Benefit

Co-applicant - PB-PG-0110-21051 ‘Are NICE clinical guidelines for primary care based on evidence from primary care?’ (NIHR), £194,7431

NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Competition

18 Ref-PG-0212-27059

Can a practice based approach using Significant Event Audit identify key factors that might reduce avoidable non-elective hospital admissions? A feasibility study. £198,803

Diabetes UK

Co-applicant - Overcoming barriers to good diabetes care and supported self management. £142,930

Research for Patient Benefit

Principal Investigator – NIHR-RfPB PB-PG-0807-14068 ‘What makes older women want to use preventive medications for osteoporosis? A qualitative study of adherence to osteoporosis medication in the 70–85 agegroup’, £168,159

Research for Patient Benefit

Co-applicant – application PB-PG-0807-14102 (CCBT) Support for computerised therapy for patients with depression/anxiety: a factorial randomized controlled comparison of brief vs enhanced support given by clinicians vs assistants (Human support as an adjunct to computerised therapy for patients with depression/anxiety), £146,217

Research for Patient Benefit

Co-applicant – PB-PG-0909-19198 ‘Supervised pharmacy student led medication review in primary care’, £69,573


Co-applicant – ‘Public involvement in research: a realist evaluation of approaches, processes and outcomes’ (in collaboration with CRIPACC, Univ. Herts.)            £92,664


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or