Personal Views

From catamaran to Cantabrigia

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 18 January 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:234
  1. P Badrinath
  1. P Badrinath, is a trainee in epidemiology in Cambridge

    “Dear Dr Badrinath

    I am delighted to inform you that you have been awarded a scholarship to read for the MPhil degree in epidemiology in Cambridge.”

    It was the first week of August and I had just returned from the outreach clinic to the Indian coastal town of Manipal, where I was assistant professor. As I read the letter tears rolled: this was the culmination of my long battle to study epidemiology abroad. I was granted leave without pay for a year.

    I soon realised that this budding epidemiologist would never blossom without a doctorate–so I worked hard and completed my MPhil with high grades. My next task was to secure funding for a PhD. With the help and guidance of my supervisor, Professor Nick Day, a proposal for a case control study on acute leukaemia in East Anglia was drawn up and submitted to the local health authority. Our aim was to determine the aetiology of adult leukaemia by interviewing patients with the permission of the consultants and study age and sex matched controls with the general practitioners' approval. I became the self appointed data clerk, secretary, interviewer, project officer, and epidemiologist.

    When I began interviewing the patients in the …

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