UCL Medical School


Current Students

Funding for our current and previous doctoral students has come from UCL Impact Studentships, NIHR, Arthritis Research Council, and Cancer Research UK.

Student testimonial: Dr Emily Unwin, PhD candidate

"The UCL Doctoral School provides a large selection of high-quality courses to support the graduate student. My PhD supervisors have been particularly supportive in providing me with networking opportunities and I have met some very interesting people.“


Magdalen Baker

Thesis title: Evaluating the outcomes and impact of less than full-time training on the medical workforce

Supervisors:  Ann Griffin, Jane Dacre and Shah-Jalal Sarker

Maggie’s research interests relate to doctors’ experiences of postgraduate training and the factors which influence their career choices and pathways.

Her PhD research uses a mixed methods approach to investigate how doctors training part-time impacts the medical workforce by examining their progression through, and completion of training compared to doctors training full-time. She has previously used qualtative methods to research topics such as how doctors learn from real and simulated clinical enviroments, and doctors’ perceptions and experiences of careers guidance. 

Maggie has extensive teaching experience and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

She teaches on the MBBS programme at UCL and has taught medical students at St Barts Medical school. She has also taught postgraduates on the MA in Clinical Education and on the Training to Teach course, both at UCL.  

Maggie is a qualified medical doctor, specialising in Gastroenterology and is also an honorary Clinical Teaching Fellow at UCL Medical School.

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Gianpaolo Manalastas

Thesis title: Bridging the gap between patient agency and doctor authority: how structure interacts with power in the consultation 

Supervisors: Lorraine Noble and Ann Griffin

Gianpaolo’s main interests are in applied linguistics and in communication in healthcare – in particular, looking at the doctor-patient interaction and exploring how doctors use language to assert and maintain a position of authority.

His research project studies data collected from the Practical Assessment of Clinical Examination Skills (PACES) for Membership to the Royal College of Physicians (MRCPUK). He is investigating the power dynamics of the medical consultation by using a Foucauldian lens to study the language doctors use to give the conversation structure, and how they share this with patient. He also uses Conversation Analysis (CA) as a research tool.

Gianpaolo is a widening participation tutor to 14-18 year old students from gifted and talented but disadvantaged backgrounds, and is also a tutor for The Brilliant Club.

Prior to starting his PhD, Gianpaolo completed his MA in English Linguistics in the department of English Language and Literature at UCL, and worked in widening participation at UCL, the University of Cambridge and the University of St Andrews. He completed his undergraduate studies in modern languages at the University of St Andrews.

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Tosin Ososami

Thesis title: tbc

Supervisors: Lorraine Noble and Rowena Viney

Tosin’s interests lie in the communication between doctors and their patients in the post-graduate PACES clinical exam; looking at the explanation and planning section of these consultations looking for differences between the UK and non-UK doctors.  He is experienced in many different forms of quantitative analysis such as multiple regression, ANOVAs and factor analysis.

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Ahmed Rashid

Thesis title: Global approaches to medical school regulation

Supervisors: Ann Griffin and Deborah Gill

Ahmed is a doctor and medical educator, with a research interest in the regulation of medical education. He is a Senior Clinical Teaching Fellow in the medical school, where he leads the Medical School Education Consultancy unit, and a practising general practitioner in the UK National Health Service.

His part-time PhD in medical education is supervised by Professors Ann Griffin and Deborah Gill. In it, he is seeking to explore the development of accreditation processes for undergraduate medical programmes around the world.

Prior to joining UCL in 2016, Ahmed was an NIHR-sponsored Academic Clinical Fellow at the University of Cambridge. He holds an MSc from Imperial College London, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

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Eliot Rees

Thesis title: tbc

Supervisors:  Katherine Woolf and Karen Mattick

Eliot’s doctoral research is exploring how applicants from different social backgrounds chose which medical schools to apply to, addressed by undertaking a national qualitative interview study of applicants to medicine and first year medical students followed by a discrete choice experiment, drawing on the themes identified in the interview study.  He has also led a Best Evidence in Medical Education (BEME) systematic review of multiple mini interviews.

Eliot’s other previous research areas have included teaching and learning in general practice and developing students as educators, with experience in evidence synthesis, qualitative data collection and analysis and quantitative analysis of routinely collected data. 

Eliot teaches on the MA in Medical Education at Keele University and supervises several Masters dissertation students.  This is in addition to the delivery of the evidence-based medicine component of the new MBChB curriculum, and workplace based teaching and supervision to medical students placed within emergency admissions portals.

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Halima Shah

Thesis title: Do ethnic differences in performance and selection across medical education persist when controlling for prior educational attainment?

Supervisors: Katherine Woolf and Henry Potts

Halima’s main interests are equity, disadvantage and fairness within education.

Her current projects include analysing survey data on experiences of identity, and prejudice and discrimination at UCLMS. Additionally, she has successfully, with the support of her supervisors Dr Katherine Woolf and Dr Henry WW Potts, obtained access to UKMED data on her first application attempt (UKMED Project 87). This project entails examining the ethnic attainment gap, and ethnic differences in selection, at each stage of the medical education continuum. She plans on using a de-colonial lens within her PhD. 

Halima is a volunteer with Henna Asian Women’s group, based in Kilburn supporting vulnerable older women, and is currently positioned as a befriender.

She has also recently joined the UCLFMS Equality Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) committee, attended Diversity In Medicine And Health (DIMAH) meetings and has presented her proposed research to the General Medical Council’s equality and diversity advisory panel (November 30th 2018).

Prior to starting her PhD, she completed her M.Ed in Psychology of Education at the University of Manchester, and worked with special educational needs children at a school local to her, and within a nursery setting. She completed her undergraduate degree in Childhood Studies at Aberystwyth University.

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Jemima Thompson

Thesis title: Doctors’ responses to patients’ concerns: form and function. What are doctors really saying?

Supervisors: Lorraine Noble and Rowena Viney

Jemima is currently undertaking her PhD in doctor-patient communication exploring the way in which doctors and patients deal with health concerns.

Jemima completed her MSc in Health Psychology at London Metropolitan University in 2014 and began working in health research for the NHS in 2016. Her research interests are doctor-patient relationships as Jemima feels that the relationships we have with healthcare professionals are just as important as the technicalities.

Jemima also has an interest mental health and worked in mental health research for over 2 years and prior to her studentship, Jemima was working as a Research Assistant for the NHS on a large scale RCT called Research into Antipsychotic Discontinuation And Reduction (RADAR).

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Judith Tweedie

Thesis title: tbc

Supervisors: Jane Dacre and Ann Griffin

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Dr Emily Unwin

Thesis title: Gender differences in the professional performance of doctors practising in the UK

Supervisors: Jane Dacre, Katherine Woolf and Henry Potts

Emily’s doctoral research aims to describe and understand the gender difference in doctors’ professional performance through exploring two measures of professional performance: action against medical registration and performance at postgraduate medical examinations.

Her research uses quantitative methodological approaches, including multivariate statistical analysis of secondary data and meta-analyses to systematically assess earlier research studies.

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