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SAS/LED Advisory Group

The SAS Advisory Group represents SAS and LE doctors within the RCOG

Laura HippleDr Laura Hipple, RCOG National SAS & LED Lead/Chair

Appointed in April 2018, and representing SAS/Trust doctors on RCOG Council.

Laura graduated from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 1986, and did junior and senior house officer jobs in the North-East of England before starting the Northern Regional O&G Registrar Training scheme in 1988. Having gained MRCOG in 1992, she made a positive decision to step off the traditional consultant career pathway into a full time Staff Grade job in North Cumbria in 1993. This has allowed her to combine a full and satisfying career in the hospital specialty she loves with regular hours, geographical stability and living and working in a beautiful part of the country, and is a decision she has never regretted.

Laura has a Diploma in Advanced Obstetric Scanning and became an Associate Specialist in 2003 and FRCOG in 2004. She has special interests in early pregnancy, fertility, pregnancy loss and antenatal screening. In 2013 she was appointed SAS Tutor for North Cumbria University Hospitals and in this role has worked to raise the profile of SAS doctors within North Cumbria and helped organise a programme of generic development days for local SAS/Trust doctors of all specialties.

Laura is passionate about the valuable role SAS and Trust doctors have in our specialty, about promoting SAS Doctor posts as a viable, satisfying, alternative career pathway to a consultant one and supporting and encouraging SAS/Trust doctors to reach their full potential. Laura believes we should be defined by our abilities, not our job titles, and that SAS/Trust doctors can be excellent clinicians, leaders, and have research and teaching roles.


Hema GaneshDr Hema Ganesh MBBS, FRCOG, DFSRH, Medical student lead for Obs and Gynae

I graduated from Madras Medical College in 1996 and have worked in the NHS since 1998.I worked mainly in the South of England in SHO and registrar posts, prior to taking up my current job as a Speciality doctor in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. I gained my MRCOG in 2002 and obtained FRCOG in 2016.

My interest include labour ward, fertility and medical education. In my role as rota co-ordinator for junior doctors for several years have had first experience of the training system in Obs and Gynae and the thrills of being a SAS doctor. Professional development for SAS doctors is an area that I am keen to work on and I am interested to explore how this can be achieved in a more structured way.

I currently lead the Obs and Gynae programme for the medical students from University of Southampton in Guildford and this has given me an opportunity to promote our speciality as a career choice for our future doctors.


Shafia ShakoorDr Shafia Shakoor MRCOG

I graduated from Dow Medical College, Karachi, Pakistan in 2006 and started training in Obstetrics and gynaecology in 2008 at Aga Khan University Karachi; finished training program in 2012.

I joined as a research instructor in fetal medicine at the Aga Khan University after training where along with clinical duties, I Worked As a site manager for the Interbio 21st fetal growth project in collaboration with Oxford University. My work involved recruiting and arranging follow ups for trial participants and managing data. I also worked on other projects and have three full text publications in the field of fetal medicine.

I gained MRCOG in 2015. Always wanting to work in NHS, I decided to come to UK and explore prospects. I started working as clinical fellow at Brighton and Sussex hospitals in 2016.

I am currently working as urogynaecology fellow at Princess Royal Hospital and aiming towards completion of ATSM.

My other interests include Medical education and benign gynaecology.


Eman ToeimaDr Eman Toeima, MBBCh, MSc, MRCOG, BSCCP, DFSRH

Post CESR SAS Doctor, Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust
Assistant Secretary for British Society for the Study of Vulval Diseases (BSSVD)

I have graduated from Cairo University in 1993. I completed my Internship and four years of residency training in O&G in Egypt. I studied for three years for Master Degree in O&G, and completed MSc in 2000.

I worked as a Specialist in O&G in several Arabian countries before being selected by the RCOG for the Overseas Training Fellowship. I spent two years in recognised training posts, and I passed my MRCOG in 2007.

I took the Speciality Doctor post in 2008 as it was more convenient for the stability of my family life. I worked in several regions including London, South East, Yorkshire, Cumbria, and Devon.

Over the years, I maintained my enthusiasm for specialist registration, which was a huge incentive for learning and for continuous professional development.

I then studied for Colposcopy accreditation and became a member of BSCCP in 2011. I also studied for the DFSRH and became a Diplomate in 2013.

I have completed RCOG ATSMs in Advanced Labour Ward Practice, Vulval Diseases, Abortion Care, and the equivalence for ATSM in Early pregnancy and acute gynaecology.

I have developed RCOG Good Practice Document No 12 “Improving Patient Handover”. I have also participated in developing the national guidance: “Standards of care for women with vulval conditions”

I have several publications in peer reviewed journals, as well as two chapters in 2 published books. This is in addition to poster and oral presentations in national and international meetings.

I have been very passionate about teaching. I have participated in developing STRATOG module for vulval diseases. Also, I have worked for the FSRH as a member of the Editorial Group for e-learning modules related to eLFH website. I have acted as an assessor for the applications for RCOG grants and RCOG travel scholarships for two years

I am the Assistant Secretary for the British Society for the Study of Vulval Diseases (BSSVD), and I chair the Quality Assurance Committee for the society. I have been representing the society at the RCOG meetings and Annual Professional Development Conference for the last few years. I represent the society during the Annual Junior doctors’ career day and the Annual Medical students’ day. I am a member of the RCOG Abstract / Scientific committee for the 2019 Congress in London.

With over 25 years of training and experience in obstetrics & Gynaecology, I have applied for specialist registration through Article 14. My CESR application was approved by the GMC in 2014. Now, I am working as a substantive Post CESR  Speciality Doctor in obstetrics & gynaecology at Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust in London.


Julie Anne ForbesJulie Ann Forbes – Representative from Northern Ireland

Originally from Northern Ireland, I studied at the University of Dundee and graduated first with BSc Hons in Microbiology and microbial genetics then MBChB from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.  I worked in Tayside region before returning to Northern Ireland to train in Obstetrics & Gynaecology.

When I was offered a Staff Grade post in the Regional Gynae Oncology Centre in 2003 I saw this as a positive career opportunity which would enable me to develop my interest in Gynae Oncology in a permanent post in a forward thinking department whilst also helping me achieve a desirable work life balance.

I was appointed Associate Specialist in 2009. 

I have had an interest in SAS career development for some time. I spoke on Career progression for SAS at the RCOG annual professional development conference. I have represented SAS at the Northern Ireland committee of the RCOG since 2013.

I work in the largest integrated health and social care trust in the UK & in May 2019 I was appointed Belfast Trust SAS lead. I have established and participate in a Regional SAS Lead group and represent SAS on the Trust workforce group. I am committed to ensuring career development and progression for SAS and am delighted to work with Laura and the other regional representatives on the RCOG advisory group to raise the profile of our grade within the college and beyond.



If you’re an SAS or Trust doctor and have any questions, or want more information, you can contact Dr Laura Hipple at


Elsewhere on the site

SAS doctors at the RCOG
Information for SAS doctors working in obstetrics and gynaecology
Answers to frequently asked questions from SAS doctors