I am a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Writer and Early Career Researcher in Medical Humanities. On 31st March 2022, I was honoured to be named as a New Generation Thinker by the BBC.
I am a doctoral researcher in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia. My work is funded through the the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s CHASE consortium. My interests are in the interdisciplinary medical humanities. I use research methods from disciplines such as art, literature, drama and creative writing to help develop nuanced understanding of experiences of illness and healthcare, and to critically examine systems of care.
As part of my doctoral research, I am writing a memoir, Flesh and Blood, about my experience of recurrent miscarriage while working as a medical expert witness in the family court, (Mslexia Memoir Awards Longlist, 2021) and a critical essay, Products of Conception, Imaging and Imagining the Maternal Foetal Relationship. The latter investigates how accounts of obstetric ultrasound in contemporary fiction and creative non-fiction can illuminate understanding of women’s relationships with their unborn babies. I am particularly interested in how the language women use differs radically from the language of obstetrics.
Before embarking on an academic career, I read medicine at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and worked as a consultant child psychiatrist in England and in New Zealand, developing clinical interests in neurodiversities and in medicolegal work. While working as a Junior Doctor, I had a parallel career in medical journalism, working both freelance for national newspapers and as an editor at the British Medical Journal (BMJ). I have masters degrees in Mental Health Studies and in Medical Humanities (with distinction), both from King’s College, London.
My clinical interests are in paediatric neuropsychiatry and in medicolegal work, especially in asylum cases involving minors. In 2013, I was appointed by the Lord Chancellor as a Medical Member of the First Tier Tribunal (Mental Health).
My academic interests are in illness narratives, clinical narrative medicine, and the humanities in medical education .