Who's Who accolade for Norwich Christian
2007: Dean of the school of medicine at Norwich’s University of East Anglia
and active Christian, Professor Sam Leinster,
has joined model Kate Moss
and Only Fools and Horses
star Nicholas Lyndhurst
among 1,000 new names in the latest edition of Who's Who
, which hits the streets on Monday December 10.
Along with Laura McGillivray, chief executive of Norwich City Council, Prof Leinster is now listed in the world-famous reference book alongside 33,000 of the richest, most talented and most influential people in Britain.
Prof Leinster, 61, lists his recreations as “family, gardening, DIY, wood turning and active committed Christian”. This completes a family double for father-of-four Prof Leinster, as his younger brother, Dr Paul Leinster, 54, director of operations at the Environment Agency, is already in Who's Who.
Prof Leinster, who will have been dean of the school of medicine at the UEA seven years in January, said he was “very pleased” to be included in the book.
“It's nice to have your work acknowledged,” he said. “It's all based on work that I have done for the National Health Service and for the university, particularly the new medical school. I see it as being a mark of acknowledgment of the new medical school.”
As a man whose Christian faith is very important to him, Prof Leinster’s vision is: “to help to produce very patient-centred doctors, concerned about what the patient knows, needs and wants, who will look at the whole person and not just at the disease.”
The undergraduate course is very much Prof Leinster’s own baby, pioneered by him while he was director of medical education at Liverpool University. Its students come from different backgrounds - some already have degrees in other academic disciplines or Health Service experience. Its emphasis is to centre on the patient’s needs and wishes, to ensure an effective integration of science and patient care at all stages of a doctor’s training.
Prof Leinster’s own career has been extensive. He served as a medical officer in the Royal Air Force for five years, in the RAF hospital at Ely and also on a surgical team in Oman which he describes as a bit like cult TV series Mash.
After four years in Cardiff where he specialised in breast cancer surgery, he moved to Liverpool University, first as senior lecturer, then professor of surgery and, later, director of medical education.
Born in Belfast, Prof Leinster is the son of a scripture reader to the forces and is now a regular worshipper at Dereham Baptist Church, as well as preaching at various churches around the area. Although he has no recollection of when he became a Christian, he has no problem with that: “I don’t remember being born either, but I know I am alive.”
As a child and teenager he was thrilled by stories of missionary doctors and at school he remembers stating that as his career intention on his option form. Much later he told a friend that he thought he would become either a doctor in the Third World or a country GP. His friend laughed and said he would end up a professor.
Prof Leinster is married to Jennifer, who was a practice nurse in Liverpool and they have four children. He came to Norwich and to the UEA convinced that: “God gave me the gifts I have and I am aware that He has guided me throughout my life, preparing me for each step.”
The 2008 edition of Who's Who is published by A and C Black on Monday December 10 and costs £150.