I’m a GP. I trained in the UK and worked for the UK’s National Health Service for many years before moving to Canada in 2020. I’ve tried to focus on people who are vulnerable or marginalised. Currently I’m working mainly as a GP and emergency medicine doctor with the Indigenous Heiltsuk people at the ƛ̓uxválásu̓ilas Heiltsuk Hospital in Bella Bella, on a remote island in the British Columbian Pacific Ocean, three hundred miles northwest of Vancouver. I’m also one of the hospital’s medical team leads.
(In the Heiltsuk — or Haíɫzaqvḷa — language, ƛ̓uxválásu̓ilas means ‘place for sick people’. Click on the link to hear it pronounced by Elizabeth Brown, a Heiltsuk Elder and Haíɫzaqvḷa speaker.)
My other jobs include teaching medical students at the University of British Columbia and work with an assisted dying program. I’m a medical advisor to the BC Ministry of Health’s MAiD (medical assistance in dying) Oversight Unit. I’m also a mentor/coach with UBC’s rural coaching and mentoring program: if you’re a rural doctor in BC and there’s something you’d like to chew over, email me, or contact the program. (It’s wrong that this isn’t open to nurse practitioners too — but that’s out of my hands.)
Alongside my medical career I worked for more than ten years as a barrister (lawyer) at Matrix Chambers in London, where I specialised in health-related human rights, public and administrative law. Acting mainly for people who were marginalised or vulnerable and for organisations representing them, I worked particularly in immigration and asylum law, police and prison law, equality law, information law, inquests, and professional regulation, usually in cases with a health or medical twist, appearing in courts up to and including the UK Supreme Court. I acted in a series of cases seeking, unsuccessfully, to liberalise the law restricting medical assistance in dying.
Teaching and training
I love teaching. I’ve taught and trained countless medical students and junior doctors (residents) on the job. I’ve taught medical students at three universities in the UK (Oxford, Newcastle and Lancaster) and now do a little teaching at the University of British Columbia’s medical school and oversee our residents and other medical learners in Bella Bella.
I’ve given seminars and lectures, often on medical ethics and medical law, in the UK and internationally. For Primary Care International, I’ve worked with organisations such as the World Health Organization and the UN Refugee Agency to develop primary care services and train doctors and other healthcare workers in Africa, India and the Middle East.
For the England’s National Health Service I carried out the independent appraisals that are required annually of fully-qualified GPs.
Organisations and leadership
I’ve provided consultancy ranging from improving student welfare services at a British university to developing nurse-led primary care services in Indian slums. I’ve sat on the boards of several national charities, been an elected councillor and chaired the majority political group of an English city council (local government), worked with various health and legal organisations, and run my own businesses.