Professor Deborah McNamara

Professor Deborah McNamara

Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon and Vice President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)

Professor Deborah McNamara is a Consultant General & Colorectal Surgeon at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin; Clinical Professor in Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Co-Lead of the National Clinical Programme for Surgery and Vice President at RCSI.

A medical graduate of Trinity College Dublin, she completed basic and higher surgical training in General Surgery in Ireland and published her MD thesis on the subject of angiogenesis. Her Fellowship training in Coloproctology took place at Hôpital Saint-Antoine, Paris under Chef de Service Professor Rolland Parc where she specialised in the operative management of rectal cancer. During her training, she received a number of distinctions including the Patey Prize of the Surgical Research Society, the most prestigious annual award for surgical research in Great Britain and Ireland. She was the 28th Millin Lecturer.

Clinical and Research
She was appointed Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon in Beaumont Hospital Dublin in 2003 – the first female to be appointed a Consultant Colorectal Surgeon in Ireland. She was subsequently appointed Clinical Director for Surgery at Beaumont where she led the development of Beaumont’s colorectal cancer biobank and contributes to a highly effective colorectal research collaboration between Beaumont and RCSI. She remains an active researcher, collaborator and supervisor with more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and a h-index of 30.

Specialty Leadership
In addition to a busy clinical practice, she has held a number of prominent roles in national and international colorectal groups including Honorary Secretary of the Irish Association of Coloproctology (2005-2011), Council Member and Irish Chapter Representative of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland (2009 – 2014), author of the first Irish national guidelines for colorectal cancer (2010) and she represented RCSI on a number of national committees overseeing endoscopy training and service. She chairs the Irish National Cancer Control Programme Colon and Rectal Cancer Guidelines group and the Rectal Cancer Lead Clinician Group of the NCCP, culminating in the publication of national clinical guidelines for colon and rectal cancer endorsed by the Minister for Health in 2020.

Professional Leadership
Through her work with RCSI, she is involved in all areas of surgical training and practice. She was Secretary (2007-2010) and Chair (2010-2013) of the General Surgery Sub-Committee; Training Programme Director (TPD) in General Surgery (2010-2013); and represented RCSI at the SAC in General Surgery (2015-2020).

As chair of the RCSI Short Life Working Group on Gender Diversity in Surgery, she led the publication of the PROGRESS report (2017) (, which set out an ambitious vision of change for the profession of surgery. She was elected Vice President of RCSI in 2021.

National and International Leadership
Professor McNamara is on the Council of the Surgical Infection Society Europe (SIS-E), a mentor to the Early Years Consultant Network of the Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland and received the AWS Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award (2019) for outstanding mentorship. As National Clinical Programme in Surgery Co-Lead, she supports the health service in development and implementation of evidence-based policies and care pathways that aim to improve the delivery of surgical care in Ireland.