Intended for healthcare professionals

Observations BMJ Confidential

Luisa Pettigrew: Curious, persistent, and lucky

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 11 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h5705


Luisa Pettigrew, 36, is a GP in north London—by way of a medical degree in Edinburgh, a diploma in international health in Madrid, and a masters dissertation in health policy in Sri Lanka. Championing the integration of global health into medical training and the role of primary care worldwide, she is the World Health Organization contact at WONCA, the world organisation of family doctors. She is also an in-practice research fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, focusing on the role of incentives for clinicians and models of primary care.

What was your earliest ambition?

I fancied studying international relations; psychometric tests at school indicated that I should study psychology; and I toyed with becoming a hairdresser. However, deep down, I always knew that I’d be a doctor. Becoming a GP with an interest in global health seems to have surreptitiously brought dimensions of my previous ambitions together.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

A friend from school who showed me the value of combining travel with work and study, and who gave me my itchy feet.

What was the worst mistake in your career?

Hopefully not this BMJ Confidential interview: it’s an honour to have been asked, but I fear that I’ve been invited to punch …

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