Consultant anaesthetist Dr Mark Porter has been elected the new Chair of the British Medical Association's (BMA) UK Council.
He replaces Dr Hamish Meldrum, who leaves the post after five years at the helm.
Dr Porter was elected yesterday (28 June) by the 34 voting members of the voting council at the BMA's annual representatives meeting in Bournemouth.
He fought off tough competition from the likes of Dr George Rae, a GP in Whitley Bay, and Professor Michael Rees, a professor of vascular medicine at the University of Bangor.
"I'm excited and privileged to be taking on this role at what is clearly a particularly challenging time for the NHS and the medical profession," said Dr Porter.
"The BMA will continue to work to help its members do the best for its patients during a time of huge change, and often huge financial difficulty, for the NHS."
The newly elected chair has been a consultant in obstetric anaesthesia at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust since 1998, where he was also a clinical director from 2000 to 2003.
He has been Chairman of the BMA's Consultants Committee since 2009 and chaired its Junior Doctors Committee between 1997 and 1998.