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Oxford School of Public Health



Adam Briggs

I am an ST5 registrar currently working at The Health Foundation and from May I will be spending half of my time with the Berkshire West Integrated Care System.  I am interested in integrated care reforms and the opportunities for them to improve population health.  I joined the training scheme in 2011 as an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) and have had placements at the Thames Valley Health Protection Unit (now PHE SE), Oxfordshire PCT, and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Work at OUHFT included helping to set up a new Trust public health function, called Here for Health.  As an ACF, one of my main focuses was on modelling the possible effects on health of soft drink taxes and I have continued this work as part of the team evaluating the impact of the UK Soft Drink Industry Levy.  After my ACF I did a DPhil here in Oxford exploring the cost-effectiveness of public health policies affecting diet and physical activity.  This was followed by a year in the US as a Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy and Practice where I was looking at how accountable care organisations work to address population health needs and improve preventative care services.  Finally, I have tried to continue teaching throughout training, including having a placement as a teaching fellow and through this, completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGDipLATHE).

Frances Butcher

I started public health training in August 2016.  Prior to this I studied medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, with an intercalated degree at King's College London in Medical Ethics and Law.  I completed the Academic Foundation Programme for junior doctors at North Bristol NHS Trust and the University of Bristol between 2013 and 2015, before taking a year out of clinical practice to pursue research interests.  In this year I undertook an MA in Bioethics and Society with a focus on the ethics of genomic research, and a job as a research worker in perinatal mental health, both at King's College London.  Since joining the public health training programme, I have completed an MSc in Global Health Science at the University of Oxford and had placements at the University of Oxford, Oxfordshire County Council and Public Health England South East.  As I progress through training I hope to pursue further training in health protection alongside developing my academic interest in public health ethics.


Emily Dobell

I joined the Public Health training programme in 2015 after finishing my second year as a Foundation Doctor in the Oxford deanery. I’ve always been interested in the wider determinants of health and previously spent an elective placement with Pathway – an integrated healthcare model for single homeless people in London. During that time I was invited to a Public Health conference exploring the health care needs of vulnerable groups and became increasingly inspired by the people I met, ultimately motivating me to apply for the PH training programme. I completed the Oxford MSc in Global Health Sciences with a final dissertation investigating the burden of hypertension in Cuba, based on data from a large prospective study, then worked with the Thames Valley Health Protection Team prior to my placement at Oxfordshire County Council.

Anya Gopfert

I joined the Public Health Training Programme in August 2019, having just completed the National Medical Director's Clinical Leadership Fellowship at the Health Foundation where I worked on projects on the health and wellbeing of the NHS workforce; the role of the NHS as an anchor institution and the role of the NHS in prevention. Previously I have worked in a variety of public health roles and completed academic foundation training in Bristol. I studied medicine at the University of Newcastle and intercalated in International Health at the University of Leeds. I am mainly concerned about the impact of climate change on health and am working to raise the profile of this issue.  

Isaac Ghinai

I am an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) in Public Health.  My main interest is in the control of infectious diseases that affect vulnerable populations around the world.  I currently  split my time between Oxfordshire County Council (where I am working on a health needs assessment of homeless adults) and the Big Data Institute (where I work with a research group utilising malaria genetics for epidemiological and public health decision making).  l completed my medical degree (2014), academic foundation training (2016) and a BSc in International Health (2011) at UCL, have held research positions at LSHTM and Imperial College Institute for Global Health. I have worked in clinical, research and public health roles in various countries in Southeast Asia, Europe and sub-Saharan Africa and interned with global policy making bodies including the  World Health Organisation and Chatham House.  In July 2019, at the end of my ST2, I will go out of programme for two years to train with the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Bethan McDonald

I joined the Oxford Public Health training scheme in 2014, coming from a science background in HIV and Hepatitis research.  During my specialty training I have worked on a diverse range of health protection, health improvement and health promotion projects at local, regional, national and international levels.  Placements have included:  NHS England; Public Health England; Buckinghamshire County Council; Oxford University Nuffield Department of Population Health; Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and The Commonwealth Secretariat.  I have had the opportunity to work in Sierra Leone as part of the Ebola outbreak response, and with an international team on the Zika Public Health Emergency of International Concern.  The training scheme has been an excellent opportunity for me to expand my skills and knowledge in new areas of Public Health, whilst allowing me to pursue my interests and develop these further.

Prior to joining the training scheme I undertook a PhD in Infectious Diseases (HIV molecular biology) at King’s College London. I did my post-doc at Harvard School of Public Health working between Boston and Botswana with the Harvard AIDS Initiative. I then gained my Masters in Public Health and worked at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on qualitative research looking at HCV testing among people who inject drugs in London.


Olaa Mohamed-Ahmed

I qualified as a medical doctor from Cardiff University in 2011, having intercalated with a BSc in Public Health during my undergraduate studies.  During my intercalated degree I had the opportunity to complete a dissertation on maternal mortality and health services in Sierra Leone, which, at the time (post-civil war, pre-Ebola) had the highest rate of maternal mortality in the world.  Since then, I have maintained an interest and passion for maternal health research.  After completing my foundation years in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, I joined the Oxford training scheme as an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF), linked to the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU).

As part of my training, I complete the MSc in Global Health Sciences at Oxford University (2013-2014), and completed a thesis on severe sepsis in pregnancy.  As part of my ACF, I have spent 25% of my training time on maternal health research with the NPEU, using data from established UK surveillance systems.

During the rest of my training, I have worked with the public health team at Oxfordshire County Council, the hospital management team at NHS England and the regional health protection team at the Thames Valley Public Health England Centre.

I am currently doing a placement with the Global Public Health Division of Public Health England and with the Centre for Global Health Security at Chatham House.  With both, I am working on projects related to global health security and the International Health Regulations, with a focus on data indicators, monitoring and evaluation.

Lizzie Moore

I started my public health training in 2014, after finishing foundation medical training in London and a further two years working in sexual and reproductive health research in South Africa.  My interest in  public health developed during medical school, through greater awareness of the wider determinants of health, and in particular the influence of politics on differential health outcomes between population groups.  An intercalated BSc in International  Health at UCL really helped to contextualise my clinical experiences and set me off towards a career in public health.  I am particularly interested in public mental health as well as issues around minority and underserved populations, such as ethnic minorities and migrants.  I completed my MSc in Global Health Sciences in 2015, and training placements so far have included Oxfordshire County Council, the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit and PHE's national maternity team.  I have also recently taken a few months out of training  to work as a junior doctor in clinical psychiatry, which gave me some really useful insights into the mental health system in the UK and how the wider public health system can impact health inequalities faced by people with mental illness.  I am now in ST3 and enjoying  combining less than full-time training with parenthood, which I feel fully supported to do.  I still cannot answer the question of where I want to be in 10 years, but the training programme is definitely the best way of helping me to get there!

Nileema Patel

I joined the Public Health Training Scheme in August 2019 and will be completing the Masters in Global Health Science and Epidemiology during the first year.  Prior to this, having finished my second year as a foundation doctor in 2018, I took a year out of training to explore my interests in research and healthcare management, which included working on a clinical trial for dementia prevention.  My previous experience in public health includes studying Global Health through an intercalated BSc, during medical school, for which my dissertation focused on a comparative study of the impact of participatory action versus community education on health outcomes. I have also undertaken research on the portrayal of health inequalities in the UK at the University of Pennsylvania Political Science Department, and interned at the World Trade Center Health Registry within the New York City Department of Health.


Rishi Patel

I joined the Public Health Training Scheme in 2018 and undertook the MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology in my first year.  I obtained my medical degree from Bristol University in 2012 and subsequently completed my Foundation Training in Kent and London.  I then moved to Australia for two years and worked primarily as an Emergency Medicine Doctor, which was a great experience of working in a different healthcare system.  On my return to the UK in 2016 I joined the Diabetes Trials Unit at Oxford University as a Clinical Research Fellow and gained valuable research experience by working on large scale multi-national clinical trials run by the Unit, and by contributing to other novel projects which included developing a cardiovascular disease risk prediction tool exclusively for use in people with type 2 diabetes.  From September 2019 I will be based at Public Health England, Chilton, as part of the Health Protection Team, and will then be spending a year in a local authority at Buckinghamshire Countyy Council. 

Sarah Rayfield

I joined the Public Health Training Scheme in Oxford in 2012, initially undertaking an academic placement and then starting the MSc in Global Health Science at the University of Oxford in 2013 after returning from maternity leave.  Prior to this, I graduated from Imperial College School of Medicine in 2005, first undertaking Foundation Training and then joining the Paediatric Training Scheme in Oxford in 2007, attaining membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2009.  I moved into Public Health training due to an interest in tackling child health from a wider perspective, in particular addressing health inequalities and childhood obesity.

While on the training scheme, I have been fortunate to undertake a number of interesting placements including health protection training and working in local authorities on projects including developing a healthy lifestyle programme for the under 5s to run in children's centres, a media campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of high blood pressure and a health needs assessment on young carers in Berkshire.  More recently, I spent a year with the Health and Wellbeing Team at Public Health England South East working with local authorities to evaluate their provision against Best Start in Life and developing a resource to help improve School Readiness. I am currently on placement at Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation trust working with Paediatrics and Oxfordshire County Council to promote healthy weight in childhood and develop a Whole Systems Approach to Obesity.


 Sarah Payne Riches

I joined the Public Health Specialty Training Programme after undertaking a Masters in Public Health at Imperial College London. Prior to this I had spent several years working as a business consultant in the health services and healthcare IT sectors, including projects with the Department of Health.  Earlier in my career I worked as a Physiotherapist, both in New Zealand and the UK.  I feel exceptionally lucky to have joined the training programme given the breadth and variety of interesting and challenging opportunities it offers for Registrars.

 As part of my training I have worked in a Primary Care Trust Public Health team on topics ranging from homeless healthcare services to maternity care and HIV; I have worked in research groups at Oxford University and more recently in the Behavioural Insights Team at Public Health England. I am currently finishing a DPhil in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford, funded through British Heart Foundation Fellowship.


Mark Pritchard

My first public health exerience came before medical school, when I worked in a cancer registry analysing breast cancer recurrence data.  After that, my career included studying graduate-entry medicine at the University of Birmingham, an academic foundation programme in Stoke-on-Trent, and trust grade junior doctor jobs including intensive care and infectious diseases.

I joined the public health training programme in 2017.  My first placement was with the Health Economics Research Centre, where I completed a systematic review of enhanced recovery following hip and knee replacements.  This was followed by the MSc in Global Health Science at the University of Oxford.  For my dissertation I developed a severity score for people admitted to hospital with acute respiratory infection.  I am working to get this score validated and published.

I have started the second year of the programme with a placement in the Thames Valley health protection team.  In addition to time in the 'duty room' responding to notifications of infectious disease, I am conducting an audit of tuberculosis in the region.  After this, I am looking forward to splitting my time between Milton Keynes Council and working on antimicrobial resistance at the University of Oxford. 


David Roberts

I studied medicine and completed postgraduate core medical training in Birmingham, before working as a clinical research fellow on a clinical trial in Cardiff.  I joined public health training in Oxford in 2013, where I completed the Masters in Global Health Science.  Since then I have worked with a variety of teams in an NHS Foundation Trust, Buckinghamshire County Council, Public Health England Health Protection Team (HPT) and Screening and Immunisations team, and with Cochrane UK. 

In 2016 I temporarily left public health training to complete a two year Field Epidemiology Training Programme with Public Health England.  During this programme I was seconded to Environmental Epidemiology at PHE Chilton, and Thames Valley HPT alongside collaborative work with PHE Field Service South East and London.  My environmental epidemiology work focused on studying the health effects of water fluoridation and authoring the national report, as well as leading the implementation of a permanent surveillance system for lead poisoning in children.  In my HPT role, I investigated the factors associated with delays in starting TB treatment across the South East, and produced and rolled out training to all South East HPTs on detection and response to possible clusters of gastrointestinal infections.  I also investigated several outbreaks associated with a restaurant,  event catering, a school farm trip, and a TB cluster.  A highlight of the secondment was a short trip to Sierra Leone with the UK Public Health Rapid Support Team, where I helped to develop and deliver a short course on applied research in public health to students studying for their MPH at the University of Sierra Leone.

On my return to public health training in 2018 I joined the Environmental Hazards and Emergencies team at PHE Chilton, where I learnt about acute incident response and environmental public health. I also led a working group tasked to consider whether to lower the threshold for public health investigation of children with exposure to lead.  I was also placed with the PHE healthcare public health team, working on various projects and learning more about the NICE appraisal process.  I am now coming to the end of 6 months at PHE Colindale with the National Infection Service, where I have helped to develop a national strategy to tackle inequality in uptake of routine immunisations, and helped to put in place ad hoc surveillance to respond to a national incident with the HIV and STI department.

As OXSPH registrar chair in 2018/19 I have worked hard to improve the local training experience by organising a careers event, a one day revision session for the public health membership exam, and improving induction.  I also extol the benefits of flexible working: since returning to training in 2018 I have worked part time and enjoy taking my son to pre-school science club.  I'm looking forward to shared parental leave to care for my second child, before returning in 2020 to complete training and looking for a consultant role in health protection and epidemiology.


Ruramayi Rukuni

I joined the Oxford training scheme as an Academic Clinical Fellow in 2013 and started by completing the Masters in Global Health Sciences at Oxford University. I was awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Training Fellowship in 2017 and I am currently taking time out of training to complete my PhD with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  I am conducting a longitudinal study that is investigating HIV-associated musculoskeletal disease in children and adolescents in Harare, Zimbabwe.

I am a physician by background and graduated from Bristol University in 2009. Prior to joining the training scheme, I worked for the National Health Service (NHS) in Cambridgeshire for four years and attained Membership of the Royal College of Physicians.  

Whilst on the training scheme, I have had a variety of interesting placements.  For example, I have had the opportunity to work on projects addressing the prevention of iron deficiency anaemia in pregnancy in the UK at the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit.  I have conducted a health equity audit of the regional Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening programme with NHS England and written a quality assurance report for the Oxfordshire NHS Health Check programme.  I have also had the opportunity to regularly teach Oxford University medical students and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. After I complete my PhD, I hope to build on these experiences when I return to complete my final year of training.

Lizzie Blundell (nee Smith)

My background is in health service management, with a focus on healthcare improvement and implementing new models of care.  I started my career through the NHS Graduate Management Scheme and subsequently worked across cardiology, emergency medicine and services for children and young people in a number of busy teaching hospitals.

Prior to joining the Public Health Training Programme in 2018, I managed a programme of work to upscale testing and treatment for hepatitis C, in support of the World Health Organisation goals for elimination of viral hepatitis.  This gave me the opportunity to work across additional services, prisons and services for the homeless population.  I also undertook a research project, using primary care datasets to understand the burden of liver disease in an inner-city London borough.

I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and experience in a variety of public health settings through the training programme.  I hope to pursue interests in the wider determinants of health and improving health in vulnerable populations.

I am currently completing a research placement at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, prior to studying for the Masters in Global Health Science & Epidemiology at Oxford University during my first year of training.