MPH Course Director, Professor Azeem Majeed from the School of Public Health, was interviewed for the Faculty of Medicine Postgraduate Newsletter.
Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
A: I am the Course Director of the Imperial College London Master of Public Health (MPH) programme. My other roles include being Professor of Primary Care and Head of the Department of Primary Care and Public Health at Imperial College London. I am also Associate Medical Director with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and an adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO) on primary care and public health. I remain active in clinical practice as a GP in the Clapham area of London.
Q: What were you doing before you joined Imperial?
A: I was formerly Professor of Primary Care & Public Health at University College London. I have also worked as a GP in the Clapham area of London since 1995.
Q: What (and who) inspired your research and teaching interests?
A: I undertook my GP training in the Pontypridd area of South Wales. I was struck by how many young patients I saw with problems such as heart disease and cancer. It was during this period I began to realise the importance of the wider non-medical determinants of health and the importance of topics such as health promotion, disease prevention and early diagnosis.
Q: What are the biggest challenges in your research field?
A: Health systems throughout the developed world are under increasing pressure to provide universal access to high quality services while at the same time trying to limit public spending on healthcare. This has led to an increased emphasis on ensuring that health services are of high quality, safe and cost effective; and that doctors and other health professionals base their clinical decisions on high quality evidence. There is also increased awareness of addressing risk factors for poor health such as smoking, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and obesity.
Q: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: I was formerly a qualified football referee but have had to give this up because of other commitments. In my spare time, I enjoy reading. I am also a member of the National Trust and enjoy visiting their parks and gardens.
Q: What advice would you give to new Masters students?
A: Attend your lectures, study hard, and practise academic writing. Read articles in relevant journals such as the BMJ and Lancet. Try to contribute to public and global health through membership of student societies and by writing for blogs.