Research Training Fellowships for Allied Health Professionals

Research Training Fellowships for Allied Health Professionals


The NIHR Biomedical Research Centre is committed to supporting an extended repertoire of allied health professionals. These include nurses and midwives, physiotherapists, dietitians and
pharmacists. These health professionals find it particularly challenging to take
time out of their busy schedules and undertake a period of dedicated research.
Joining me today is Doctor Jig Patel, Honorary Consultant Pharmacist and Clinical Senior Lecturer at King’s College College London Jig, tell me about your journey from clinical pharmacist to PhD student. So I qualified as a pharmacist in 1997, some time ago now, and I did the usual rotational work for a junior pharmacists would do in a
number of hospitals in south east London and the south coast and then I took a
position in anticoagulant therapy in Brighton. before moving back to London to do
some work in one of the London hospitals in anticoagulant therapy as well as doing
some work at King’s College London doing some teaching for undergraduate students and
it was during that time that I wanted to do some research really clinical
research that would have an impact on patient care so that’s when I spoke to my boss to see if there was an opportunity. I had a research idea in
mind but at that time I don’t know how to go about getting funding to do any research, particularly in a field where we don’t have a traditional sort of career path
which leads to a research career. It’s difficult for people like yourself to
actually find research opportunities and funding. Yes, it’s not as well defined I
would say as perhaps a medical career. So you undertook a three-year PhD? Yes. So what was the impact of that on your career and subsequent events? it’s been amazing actually I’ve absolutely loved it at the time when I was applying for the
funding I knew that’s what I wanted to do and because the research idea was
something that I came up with myself it was great to be given the opportunity to
do the research and and then see its impact on patient care. So the impact its
had on my own career has been great because following the completion of the
research I have taken up a clinical academic position between King’s College
London in the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science. And your area of interest and
expertise was what particularly at that point? It was anticoagulation therapy. I’m based at
KCL and I’m and also at the department of Haematology at King’s College Hospital. So how would you see that academic track differ from that if you
had not decided to take the research route? My full time research position? I think
I’ve always enjoyed patient care and I wouldn’t want to lose that, so half of my time
now I do still continue to provide a clinical service. I use that as a
foundation for my research activity so I get to do both which I think is great
because the slant of my research activity is very much with with that
patient focus in mind seeing that translated into those patients I think
it’s great to do both. Because of your own experience presumably you’ve had
opportunities to influence young clinical pharmacists coming through
who’ve expressed an interest in doing research? Yes because of the BRC funding schemes
which are now available I’ve supervised two MRes students, one Guy’s and St Thomas’ and one from King’s College Hospital over the last couple of
years and recently we applied for some funding from Bayer for a studentship and that was successful as well and that that’s seen a pharmacist from Guy’s and
St Thomas’ come up to take up a PhD position Finally let me ask you what
would you see as the biggest challenge in juggling clinical service and academic
research? I think the biggest challenge is just the time commitments because you end up doing two roles and sometimes this doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day but I think if you marry up the research
with the clinical service then that seems to work quite well and certainly
works for me and that’s I guess my philosophy. I try to do research in the
clinical area I work in and that works well. Thank you Jig for telling us
about your research career today. No worries. Compared to other clinical trainees
opportunities for allied health care professionals to undertake research are
far more limiting we believe that those schemes provided by the Biomedical
Research Centre provide great opportunities for trainees to use that
clinical expertise to undertake a period of research that will in the longer term
benefit patients

You May Also Like

About the Author: Oren Garnes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *