Date: 13 September 2019
A North West London clinician has received an award for his outstanding contribution to research.
Dr Jonathan Segal, a Gastroenterology Registrar at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, was delighted to find out his work has been recognised by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network (CRN).
“It was actually my colleagues who suggested I went for this,” Dr Segal said. “I went for it and I was pleasantly surprised to win it.”
Applicants were required to outline their contribution to the leadership of several NIHR CRN Portfolio studies, with a particular focus on patient engagement, increasing organisation participation and successful delivery of clinical research studies.
There are five awards each for NHS consultants and trainees worth £500. Dr Segal won in the trainee category.
“It all started when I set up the London Gastroenterology Research Group, which I chair,” he said. “I'm involved with hospitals around the regions to do some research projects from a trainee level.”
He believes his patient engagement activity gave him a good chance of winning, recognising the value of involving patients in all steps of research. “A lot of research that I've done on my own level was involving patients in the study design,” he said. “I've always felt that it's really important.”
Dr Segal regularly shares information with patient groups, engages with charities and attends events to promote research opportunities. He also regularly uses Twitter to host debates relating to his research area.
“For me, it's really about getting as many people into research as possible at whatever level. I really think if everyone buys into the idea of doing research, the outcomes are better.”
Dr Segal is keen to encourage research as a career path for others. “When I first started off three years ago, I almost had no research experience. I've managed to collaborate on a really big level with lots of people in multicentre studies.”
“I really enjoyed asking questions and thinking about why we do things. And then I found out what research means to patients. By getting patients involved in research, I found they want to find new treatments and really want to advance things.”
He also recognises the value in supporting trainees with award schemes and opportunities to get involved. “I want to really thank the NIHR for everything. For allowing trainees to be involved is really important.”
He also recognises the role of mentors in helping with career progression. “I'd like to thank Professor Matthew Brooks, who has been really inspirational and helped me in my career through encouraging me to get involved in more research and always putting the focus on trainees. I think without his help, perhaps I would not be here receiving an award.”
Trainee award winners will be invited to attend the Royal College of Physicians’ new members ceremony on 24 September 2019.
Read more about the awards and other winners here.