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Biographical entry James, Karenza (1971 - 2015)

BSc Aston 1993; PhD Surrey 1996; MB BS London 2001; MRCS 2004; FRCS 2009.

8 July 1971
15 October 2015
General surgeon


Karenza James was a consultant surgeon for the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in Birmingham. She was born on 8 July 1971 and brought up in the small Cornish village of St Stephen-in-Brannel.

A gifted student, she studied applied and human biology (with industrial training) at the University of Aston in Birmingham, and in 1993 gained a first class degree. She went on to the University of Surrey with a scholarship and completed a PhD on melatonin and its receptors in the eye, work which was undertaken in association with the Institute of Ophthalmology in London. She then decided to become a doctor and funded herself through Guy's, King's and St Thomas' Medical School in London, qualifying with an MB BS in 2001. She gained distinctions and was awarded the University of London silver medal for her academic achievements.

She carried out her basic surgical training at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital from 2002 to 2005, and then undertook specialist registrar training in general surgery with the South West Deanery. From December 2011, she worked in a post-training fellowship position at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh. In 2013 she was appointed as a consultant surgeon in Birmingham.

In 2004 she became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, and gained her FRCS in 2009.

Sadly, she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in April 2015, and died in Birmingham Heartlands Hospital on 15 October 2015. She was just 44. She was dedicated to her work, and is greatly missed by her family, friends, colleagues and patients.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2015 351 6690 - accessed 9 April 2016].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England