What are your long-term ambitions for your clinical academic career?
I hope to use my PhD to explore the pathogenesis of solar urticaria and provide insights that benefit patient care, as the currently available treatments are not particularly effective.
Thereafter, I will complete my clinical training and hope to build a post-doctoral research career exploring aspects of cutaneous allergy, including solar urticaria, other forms of physical urticaria, and contact allergy.
Ultimately, I aspire to work as both a clinician and an academic with my time divided between both aspects of medicine.
What tips would you give to a health professional who is starting an out-of-programme research project, e.g. a PhD or MD(Res)?
Perhaps I am being somewhat glib in saying this, but I think being organized is critical as you are master of your own time, while if I were to pick a second piece of advice, I would suggest that being resilient—even to the point of stubbornness—is so important. Everyone will inevitably experience setbacks and it is one’s response and persistence in the face of adversity that is most important.
What support has been most helpful to you in terms of navigating your clinical academic career to date?
Speaking to people who have blazed the trail before you: their experiences are invaluable, and you realise that research is accessible to all and that people will follow varied pathways into and through research.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a health professional researcher?
I think the complementarity of clinical practice and academic research is the most rewarding aspect of being a Health Professional Researcher. Clinical practice inevitably raises unanswered questions, while academia provides you with the skills and tools to answer those questions.
Published on 10 February 2021.