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Observations BMJ Confidential

Simon Gilbody: The importance of being active

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 29 November 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j5371
Duncan Smith


Simon Gilbody, 50, is professor of psychological medicine at the University of York and the Hull York Medical School, where his research focuses on improving care for people with mental ill health through evidence based policy and practice. A particular interest is smoking cessation in people with schizophrenia, driven by the observation that mental health services frequently admit non-smokers but discharge smokers. He led a trial that showed smoking cessation therapy to be effective, providing evidence to challenge a long established culture of smoking in NHS mental health services. His first degrees were in psychology and medicine at Leeds, and he trained as a psychiatrist. At the University of York he trained in health services research (DPhil 2001) and founded the Mental Health and Addictions Research Group.

What was your earliest ambition?

To play centre forward for Manchester City or guitar for The Damned. My career has been a series of disappointments thereafter.

What was your best career move?

Doing an intercalated degree sparked my interest in scientific inquiry and the psychological dimension of medicine. It taught me how to use …

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