The internationalist case for leaving the EU

This article was originally published in the Independent and can be found here. — When Barack Obama made his pro-EU plea to UK voters last month, he appealed to our internationalist tendencies. If the UK was to remain “open” and “outward-looking” he said, the choice to remain in the EU was unquestionable. It’s a narrative which…

The quiet doctor

Are medical schools doing enough to support their introverted students, and can a quiet doctor excel in medicine?

Oxbridge’s failure on diversity: so severe it’s time to ask if it’s wilful

This article was originally published in the New Statesman. It can be found on their website here.  — “We’re not the best”. It’s the open secret that every Oxbridge student eventually comes to accept. Some realise it during their first term, informed by the mundanity of their year group’s Received Pronunciation-dominated conversations. Others learn the…

Electives, voluntourism and the ethics of selling poverty

This article was originally published in Student BMJ, a magazine produced by the British Medical Journal for medical students. An online version can be found here. — Big Business With an estimated annual worth of $1.7-2.6 billion (£1.1-1.7 billion), overseas volunteering has become big business, with the term ‘voluntourism’ having been coined to describe the trend. Medical…

The approval of ‘female Viagra’ is nothing short of a disaster

This article was originally published in the Spectator, and can be found here. Last week, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first ever drug targeted to enhance libido in women. Media outlets churned out adoring articles; the licensing of flibanserin, or ‘female Viagra’ as it rapidly became known, was hailed as…

Why it’s dishonest to claim that the NHS isn’t being privatised

To hold ideological support for the privatisation is one thing, but to pretend it isn’t happening is a far more insidious lie. Last week on BBC’s Question Time, the panellists were met with yet another question about NHS privatisation. The Times columnist Camilla Cavendish attacked the “misleading” use of the word “privatisation” and immediately asserted…

What determines sexual orientation?

Earlier this year, a project backed by the Wellcome Trust set out to find “the most important question about life that science needs to answer”. After much consultation with scientists and the public, the panel selected the question: “is sexuality genetic?” Indeed, the puzzle of what causes homosexuality is one which scientists are used to…

NHS drugs, Aristotle and health economics: the problem of quantifying life

This article was originally published in the New Statesman, and can be found here. On Friday it was announced that abiraterone, a new prostate cancer drug, will not be made routinely available to NHS patients before receiving chemotherapy. The decision has been criticised by patient groups and scientists alike – a statement from the Institute of…

Being gay might not be “natural” – let’s stop arguing otherwise

This article was originally published on the New Statesman website, and can be found here. Anyone who respects personal freedom and equality will surely be impressed by the gay rights movement. Recent years have brought much to celebrate; the introduction of same-sex marriage legislation, improvements in public attitudes towards homosexuality within the UK, and gay pride…

Alternative medicine could work – but that’s not reason to embrace it

This article was originally published in New Statesman, and can be found here. David Tredinnick MP, a member of both the science and technology select committee and the health select committee, made headlines last week for suggesting that astrology should be incorporated into medicine. This isn’t the first time the member for Bosworth has caused…

We need to talk about homophobia in the police

This article was originally published in the Independent. Last week marked a year’s anniversary since Royal Assent was granted to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act, the final stage of achieving equal marriage in the UK. Yet whilst the Act, a result of over twenty years of campaigning efforts, may mark an end to homophobic…

Disadvantaged students less likely to receive firsts

This article was originally published as a front-page exclusive in Oxford University’s student newspaper, Cherwell. It can be found here. — Students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to be awarded first class degrees than their peers, Oxford University data has revealed. The statistics show just 22.9 per cent of undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds…

An update: junior doctor contract dispute

This briefing article was originally published in Student BMJ, a magazine produced by the British Medical Journal for medical students. It was co-written with the editor of Student BMJ, Matthew Billingsley. An online version can be found here. — The outcome of the junior doctor contract negotiations could have a major impact on current medical students’ pay and…

Interview: Sarah Wollaston MP, Chair of the Health Select Committee

This article was originally published in Student BMJ magazine. An online version can be found on their website here. — Sarah Wollaston is a GP who wanted to make a difference. After graduating from King’s College London in 1986, she spent 23 years working in clinical medicine, first in paediatrics and then in general practice….