Ann John is a clinical academic which means she is both a medical doctor and a university academic. Due to family commitments she works part time as an honorary consultant in public health medicine for Public Health Wales and an associate professor of public mental health in the college of medicine
Ann’s parents arrived in London as newlyweds from Kerala, India in 1966 on the day England won the World Cup. Ann grew up in London, and then moved to Swansea almost 20 years ago. Her introduction to the city she loves was as a junior doctor in Morriston Hospital A&E- almost as strange an introduction to a city as the World Cup victory celebrations. She lives in Swansea with her three Welsh children, the youngest of whom is six.
Ann has had a ‘portfolio career’ within medicine from GP to medical advisor to the DVLA then Clinical assistant in Psychiatry to SpR in Public Health and now academia. All these experiences inform her current research and she would encourage women to seize opportunities when they present, to continue to learn at those times family commitments take precedence, and not to worry if their career does not follow a standard formula.
In the middle of her medical degree Ann undertook a degree in Sociology which informs her strong interest in addressing inequities, be they in health, pay or opportunities. She brings this perspective to her role as a Director of the Graduate Entry Medicine course co-leading the strand that incorporates public health, behavioural sciences, ethics, law and evidence based practice - important themes for the doctors of tomorrow.
Ann’s research focus is suicide and self harm prevention, epidemiology and informatics. For Public Health Wales Ann is national lead for suicide prevention and chairs the national advisory group to Welsh Government on suicide and self harm prevention. She recently led on the development of the new suicide and self harm strategy for Wales.
Ann says ‘Since having children there have been times I’ve been at home, times I have worked 21 hours a week and others when I’ve been full time with an 84 hour week. Each has its own rewards and tensions in achieving the elusive work-life balance. I feel strongly that women are given the support and opportunities in work, whether working is a choice or a necessity, to achieve their personal ambitions’.