To celebrate the past 16 years, we want to inspire you through some of our Stars – people who have taken our MasterClasses and poured passion and enthusiasm into their work. Many of them now teach on our courses, sharing their knowledge and experience, and mentoring the next generation of Parkinson’s specialists.

From a geriatrician who has built up a cross-departmental, multi-disciplinary Parkinson’s service from scratch, to a neurologist who has been awarded honorary psychiatrist status to more holistically treat his patients with psychosis symptoms, this range of MasterClass alumni are inspiring in their determination to deliver the best possible care to their patients.

This 16th birthday, we would like to share some of their stories with you. Each of our Stars have different strengths, focuses and experiences and every week we’ll be focusing on someone new. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating by reading their stories, and finding your own inspiration.

Read more in our news articles:

→ Looking back, looking forwards: celebrating 16 years of the Parkinson’s MasterClass

→ The Founding Four

This week’s star showcase: Dr Lara Teare

Lara Teare

It wasn’t until half way through neurologist Lara Teare’s training that she really considered a special interest in movement disorders. It was working alongside Dr Andrea Lindahl that changed that. ‘I was inspired by her enthusiasm’, Lara says, explaining that from that point, she worked hard to experience as many different forms of Parkinson’s clinic as possible.

When she qualified, Lara landed in a team of Parkinson’s specialists led by fellow Faculty member Andrea and MasterClass graduate Dr Lucy Strens, who had already begun work transforming local services. However, the challenge to get the best possible care to the people who needed it was far from over. ‘I was fortunate to join a growing team of different people all trying to improve care; our key aim now is to achieve service parity.’ […]

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Previous showcases

Dr Graham Hughes: Supporting patients’ self-empowerment

For Dr Graham Hughes, becoming a geriatrician was an instant connection, and specialising in Parkinson’s seemed to be the obvious next step – ‘for me, Parkinson’s is the quintessential older person’s condition, impacting not just them but their family and the way they interact with their world.’ Graham explains that, with geriatric medicine, care and support is less […] 

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Professor Iracema Leroi: Seeking to instill hope and dignity in the field of dementia

Prof Iracema Leroi

Initially interested in tropical medicine, Professor Iracema Leroi was intrigued by the unusual neurological syndromes which can be caused by tropical infections. This intrigue led to further study, and Iracema trained in neuropsychiatry at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, USA. A core focus of the programme was neurodegeneration, including dementia, and from then on, she was […] 

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Tools for change: creating practical ways to improve quality, care and support

Dr Richard Genever

There are some incredible individuals whose passion for people, and belief that change starts with them, have revolutionised the way care looks on a daily basis. We have been interviewing some of them for our Star Showcase and hope you have been enjoying hearing about their journeys and their practices as Parkinson’s specialists. Sometimes, the difference between basic and […] 

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Dr Richard Genever: Delivering optimal care through mutual trust

Dr Richard Genever

Whilst training, Dr Richard Genever had not really considered Parkinson’s as a specialism until he was invited to do so by a senior colleague. When he first began to explore the condition, he felt he would never master it, it was so complex and individual to each patient. ‘What made it daunting in the beginning is actually what keeps it interesting in the long term,’ he notes. Now the […] 

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Dr Peter Fletcher: Proud to have spearheaded a new way of learning

Dr Peter Fletcher

In 2001, a young geriatrician with a background in Medical Education helped to deliver a meeting called ‘I want to be a consultant’. A far cry from keynote speakers addressing a theatre of silent recipients, the informal, interactive day was a breath of fresh air to the final year registrars who attended. ‘The feedback was brilliant and the content […] 

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Dr Doug MacMahon: Proud to have enabled better outcomes for people with Parkinson’s

Dr Doug MacMahon

For Dr Doug MacMahon, the driver to seeing change has always been to see better outcomes for people with Parkinson’s. As a geriatrician in Cornwall, he saw problems within his own service and set about improving them. ‘I’d worked in diabetes and they had specialist nurses. Parkinson’s is just as complex and yet there was nowhere near the same support available.’ Doug set about creating a […]

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Dr David Stewart: Proud to be part of the revolution in care

Dr David Stewart

In the mid-nineties, Parkinson’s was a niche area of care. It wasn’t a core disease area for either geriatricians or neurologists, and the services and management offered to people with Parkinson’s reflected that. Dr David Stewart, a consultant physician in Medicine for the Elderly in Glasgow, saw the need for something to support people living with Parkinson’s and, although he realised […]

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Sue Thomas: Proud to have shaped service change nationwide

Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas has been involved in Parkinson’s care since the first specialist nurse post was established in 1989. She was part of the national steering group that evaluated the five ‘flagship’ Parkinson’s nurse posts and was later instrumental in their rollout. Her nursing background both clinically and nationally at the Royal College of Nursing, as well as her experience in […]

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Dr Robin Fackrell: Committed to improving patient experience from the first day

Dr Robin Fackrell

As a student, it was his mentor’s passion for Parkinson’s that started Dr Robin Fackrell on his own journey. Dorothy Robertson was also a geriatrician who was a specialist in the complex condition, and Robin set about developing his expertise, of which the MasterClass attendance was a part, so that as his mentor retired he could take up the mantle. He did just that, and now […]

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Louise Ebenezer: Empowering patients and professionals through education

Louise Ebenezer

Louise Ebenezer, a ward sister by background, ‘fell’ into caring for people with Parkinson’s, though looking back, she has particularly strong memories of the few patients with the condition that she encountered in her earlier career. After a stint teaching nurses overseas, she missed clinical work and applied for an available nursing post, which happened to be that […]

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Dr Ed Richfield: Rethinking palliative care for people with Parkinson’s

Ed Richfield

Dr Ed Richfield had been interested in palliative care from his early days training as a geriatrician. He had also found himself supporting people with movement disorders from very early on, training alongside consultants who inspired him in their management of conditions like Parkinson’s. When Ed was offered the chance to do a PhD in palliative care in Parkinson’s […]

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Dr Andrea Lindahl: Versatility and shared learning

Andrea Lindahl

Consultant neurologist Dr Andrea Lindahl found herself among people living with Parkinson’s more than any other condition during her training. She carried out her medical degree research in movement disorders and tremors and found she enjoyed the clinical complexities and challenges of Parkinson’s as well as working alongside the people with the condition. In 2005 she […]

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Dr Neil Archibald: Lateral thinking, and new ways of doing things

Neil Archibald

It was seeing his father’s difficult journey with Parkinson’s that started Neil Archibald on his own journey with the condition. Initially starting our in geriatrics, he switched to neurology after finding it wasn’t the right fit for him. However, the hallmark geriatrician approach to care – holistic and person-centred – stayed with him. It is that, and […]

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Dr Sarah Marrinan: Person-centred care relies on relationships at every level

Sarah Marrinan

As a registrar, Dr Sarah Marrinan was intrigued by Parkinson’s. With so many ‘hidden’ non-motor symptoms, from sleep disturbance to speech difficulties, Sarah felt that so much could be done to support people with Parkinson’s and their non-motor symptoms. She kept this interest throughout her training, and developed it further in her first role in […]

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Dr Conor Maguire: An ongoing journey of creating services from scratch

Conor Maguire

Dr Conor Maguire, a consultant in Medicine for Older Adults, did his thesis in dementia, but this progressed naturally to a special interest in Parkinson’s during his time at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol thanks to the hospital’s leadership in neurological treatments like deep-brain stimulation. On moving to Edinburgh 17 years ago, he found a real need for a dedicated Parkinson’s service and took a lead in […]

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Dr Emily Henderson: Using research to revolutionise practice

Emily Henderson

Academic geriatrician Dr Emily Henderson first became drawn to Parkinson’s care early on as a registrar. Working under a consultant geriatrician with a special interest in Parkinson’s, she was struck by the unique way each person experiences the condition, and enjoyed the challenge of giving care tailored to each individual. The weekly Parkinson’s clinic soon became the highlight of […]

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Dr James Fisher: Enabling good Parkinson’s care and medication in the right way, at the right time

James Fisher

As a junior doctor working in geriatric medicine, Dr James Fisher was struck by the positive working relationships in the Parkinson’s team at his hospital, and soon realised that this team-working was essential for delivering good care to people with Parkinson’s. As well as professional relationships though, James could see that care looked different for Parkinson’s patients. ‘It was clear that […]

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