TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR ROLE
I am a final year DPhil candidate at the Botnar, researching hand osteoarthritis. I decided to pursue a DPhil early in my career. As a medical student, I became interested in research and academia, as I found it gave more insight into clinical conditions and treatment pathways for patients. I was able to maintain some academic work during medical school and in my first few years as Doctor. This is when I worked towards putting together a DPhil proposal.
My role as a medical doctor and an academic gives me a good balance of working with patients whilst being able to research important medical conditions. I think that as the world becomes more data driven, these mixed clinical-academic roles will become more important.
WHAT IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL ASPECT OF YOUR WORK?
Being able to contextualise research in the clinical environment. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to make my academic work clinically relevant, and important to current healthcare needed.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT SOMETHING YOU'VE DONE, CONTRIBUTED TO THAT YOU'RE MOST PROUD OF?
At medical school, we had to undertake placements are care homes. My colleagues and I noticed that the residents seemed to enjoy our company- even if just to chat over a cup of tea! We decided to run a weekly activity at care homes and community centres, to engage the wider public.
After many hours of planning, and negotiating support of the university and the local council, we were able to develop a volunteering society which ran baking activities in local centres. We had to think about advertising and recruitment, and (with no experience in these!) my colleagues and I were able to enrol the largest number of student volunteers ever at our university. We then organised health and safety checks, sourced our material, and successfully ran the society.
One of my most poignant moments was meeting a local resident at one of our baking days. Over a slice of cake and a cup of coffee, she shared with me that she had moved to the UK from a non-English speaking country, away from her extended family. She was so touched by the time and energy we had put into bringing together our local community, that she broke into tears, before giving us all big hugs! This moment just represents to me the importance of building relationships, and reaching out to those around us.
WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO SEE IN THE MEDICAL SCIENCES IN THE NEXT 100 YEARS?
I think there needs to be more flexibility to the working regime- more options to work from home, flexible hours, balancing portfolio careers, and opportunities for larger collaborations... These are important for both men and women. It looks like the world is heading in the direction of more flexible work patterns, and I think we could capitalise on this by the use of technology- working across time zones, with multiple projects on the go, has never been easier!