Our Mentors


The HLA Mentors

The purpose of The HLA mentoring scheme is to provide additional support and guidance in The HLA through a semi-formalised structure. Scholars frequently comment that one of the main benefits and appealing factors of The HLA programme is the opportunity to develop relationships with fellow healthcare professionals, at an early stage in a scholar’s career. For most healthcare students and professionals, this is relatively rare. The mentoring scheme connects scholars with faculty members with
a plethora of leadership experience and skills and across cohorts with peer mentoring encouraged.

The Mentors

Johann Malawana

Founder of the HLA
Johann has been in leadership roles for more than 15 years. He founded The HLA to address many of the issues he faced and witnessed in his career. Johann is best known as the former chair of the Junior Doctors Committee of the British Medical Association. Johann was a former President of Barts and The London Students’ Association, a former University of London Medical Students’ Officer at ULU and the founding Editor of The Medical Student.

George Miller

Director of the HLA
George is currently an Imperial Public Health Registrar and the director for The HLA this year. At university, he ran four societies totalling 2,500 student members as well as leading a team to publish 16 papers and win the Cochrane prize for best presentation of ground-breaking research.

Arrash Yassaee

ST3 academic paediatrics
Arrash is an academic paediatric doctor working in London and works for a medtech company specialising in digital biomarkers and remote patient monitoring. His research interests focus on healthcare system design and the effective deployment of technological solutions.His previous leadership experience includes posts with the Department of Health, NHS Improvement and several think tanks. He also advised UK government departments, parliamentary groups as well as multiple start-ups.He has been regularly heavily involved in high profile national policy, including the 7-day NHS programme, the junior doctor contract negotiations, and the national child obesity strategy. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded founding fellow status by the Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, the youngest recipient of the award at the time.

Kathryn French

ST3 ACF in Oral Surgery
Kathryn has a biological sciences degree from Oxford and a postgrad dental degree from Peninsula. She is currently an academic clinical fellow in oral surgery in Bristol focussing her research on inflammation, wound healing and the foreign body response. She has a nearly 2 year old little boy. She was a HLA scholar 2019-20 and part of the WIHL team. She focussed on inequalities in clinical academia and would love to continue to support and improve the situation for female clinical academics.

Devina Maru

GPST2
Devina is the first GP registrar in the history of the RCGP to be selected as National Clinical Champion. As National Clinical Champion for Deafness and Hearing Loss, she is leading on a project with NHS England/Improvement and Action on Hearing Loss Charity, creating resources for GPs, to support the implementation of latest NICE Guidelines and NHS Accessibility Quality Standard and Guidance across the UK. She was invited to 10 Downing Street to meet the Prime Minister and Health Secretary to celebrate NHS70 Years for her contribution to medical education, training and policy for Junior Doctors. She won the Royal College of GPs (RCGP) national award for Foundation Doctor of the Year 2019. She was selected to speak in HLA House of Lords event on Women in Leadership. She co-founded Pathways to Health, where she has been involved in widening participation work to help offer opportunities to lower socio-economic and ethnic minorities who are under-represented in Higher Education.

Alastair Coulson

Final Year Medical Student
Alastair is a final year medical student, studying at Newcastle University, he graduated with a BSc in Biomedical Science in 2014 and an MSc in Molecular Medicine in 2015. He has been involved in a variety of leadership roles throughout his time at university involving his academic interests within medicine and medical research as well as student support and representation roles. He is particularly interested in Ophthalmology, academic medicine and simulation in medical education and he is one of the founding members of the North East Simulation Teaching Student Interest Group and well as a co-chair of the National Medical Education in Simulation Society. He was a part of the 2019/20 cohort of HLA scholars and he is now involved in the development of the mentoring programme in the HLA as well as being an editor on the HLA live series.

Jessica Court

GPST1
Jessica is a GP trainee based in the East Midlands. She developed an interest in medical leadership and management early in medical school and she is an advocate for improving medical leadership and management training for students and junior clinicians. This included creating the FMLM medical student leadership elective scheme and supporting the development of the leadership intercalation at the University of Birmingham. She is also closely involved with the British Medical Association Junior Doctor Committee as a local and national representative, currently sitting on the executive committee as an elected member of the Terms & Conditions of Service committee.

Geeth Silva

FY2
Geeth is currently an academic foundation doctor at the Kettering General Hospital. He is interested in healthcare informatics and medical innovatio. His career has given him a lot of experience in both leadership, management and healthcare technology. He has degrees in both medicine and management and applied these skills when improving junior doctors fatigue facilities as part of his HLA project last year. Further to this, he also launched the Respect Empowers campaign and spoke on the HLA Live seminar. He has a keen interest in orthopaedic surgery and achieved the university prize in this speciality. He has also had the pleasure of working with Deepmind, Virtual Medics and Medical Realities during his time in university, and this year he will be studying Healthcare Informatics at Cambridge alongside his clinical work.

Carol Chan

FY1
Carol is currently an Academic Foundation Year doctor at the Ipswich Hospital. She is passionate about medical education. During medical school, she was elected to be the Education Lead Representative (Years 1-3) for the medical student union. She also worked with the medical school and the UCL Arena Centre for Research Based Education to develop and review medical curricula. In 2016, She also founded the Hong Kong Medical Society of the United Kingdom, which aims to connect all Hong Kong medical students and doctors in the UK. The society hosts regular academic and social events for 500+ members alongside with the Hospital Authority in Hong Kong and other asian societies.

Caroline Heuschen

Psychiatry Trainee Second Year
Caroline is a psychiatry trainee based in Amsterdam, focusing on global mental health and adolescent mental health. She undertakes research next to her clinical work. During her HLA year she started a collaboration with Medical Aid Films to create educational films for adolescents in low and middle income countries, with a focus on Sub Saharan Africa.

Katherine Maskell

FY2
Katherine graduated from Brighton and Sussex Medical School in 2019, where she also intercalated in MSc Public Health. She was in the 2nd cohort of HLA scholars and sat on the FMLM medical student group. She is currently an FY2 in Manchester and planning to apply for IMT.

Liam Carr

Specialty Trainee in Major Trauma
Liam is a junior doctor with interests in Emergency Medicine, Anaesthetics and Pre-Hospital Care. He is currently working as a Specialty Trainee in Major Trauma at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. He completed his UK Foundation Programme in Scotland and did his BSc Hons in Infectious Disease. He has a variety of leadership experience in a wide range of contexts including the ambulance service and international humanitarian work. He is particularly interested in leadership in acute and emergency situations and looking to pursue a career in Emergency Medicine. He is keen to mentor others who are enthusiastic about Emergency Medicine and humanitarian work.

Pedra Rabiee

Final Year Medical Student and Lead for HLA Live
Pedra is currently a final year medical student. She is currently the host of a global health themed podcast (the Guide to Global Health), the HLA Live Lead and the HLA Lead for Strategic Partnerships. She previously interned at WHO EMRO where she was working on UHC and is the Advocacy Lead for the Gender Equity for Global Surgery Team 20-21. During the coronavirus pandemic, she led the organization of the MEDCOVID conference.

Jade Okene

FY1
Jade is a newly qualified Doctor with an interest in healthcare management, palliative care and medical education. She is an EIT Health Alumni, HLA Alumnus and a Medics.Academy Fellow. Voluntarily, she is a Board Member and Director at Melanin Medics Non-Profit Organization where she is responsible for the overall strategic leadership and sustainability of the charity. Currently, she also serves as the Mind Us Project Lead within Melanin Medics which is a comprehensive year-long programme that is an innovative programme which consists of a blend of mentorship, clinically-led training and expertsupport to mitigate the long-term impacts of COVID-19 upon the current and future BAME workforce.As an undergraduate, she was heavily involved in leadership positions such as academic committees and the coordination of teaching programmes and campaigns through national organisations such as The International Federation of Medical Students Association. During medical school, she was also a Founding Member of Melanin Medics, which is a non-profit organization that specializes in widening participation and the support of socially-disadvantaged medical applicants. During her tenure, her expertise has played an integral role in leading the former social media platform into a renowned UK-based non-profit organization in under 2 years. As of 2020, Melanin Medics has supported over 3000 students and has facilitated a 90% success rate for medical applications with a socially disadvantaged background in the UK. Additionally the organization is supported and commended by The GMC and BMA.

Rachael Palmer

Newly Registered Nurse – Haematology
Rachael is a newly Registered Nurse working in Haematology at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. As well as oncology/haematology, her interests are in global health and health policy. Since starting her nursing career, Rachael has chaired the Plymouth branch of Students for Global Health for 2 consecutive years, setting up links with the refugee and asylum seeker community in Plymouth to facilitate students teaching English and running successful global health short-courses. For this work, Rachael was shortlisted for the Student’s Union Leadership Award and the branch for the contribution to the community award. An alumnus of both the Council of Deans of Health Student Leadership Programme and HLA, Rachael was shortlisted for the Council of Deans Top #150Leaders Nurse (Adult) for her work supporting students as a course rep and RCN student ambassador within University. Rachael’s HLA project is the curation of @BloggersNurse, a Twitter platform celebrating the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by creating monthly blogging challenges for Nurse Twitter, bringing people together through writing.

Joseph Battle

FY2
Joseph is currently a foundation doctor in the North East. He has lead the creation of the surgical strand to the non-profit teaching organisation Medisense. He is currently secretary for the National Committee for We Are Donors, a charity aiming to increase the number of organ and blood donors across the UK through student led education at schools and universities.

Melody Redman

Clinical Genetics ST3
Melody is currently a Clinical Genetics Registrar in Yorkshire, having previously completed a Leadership Fellow in Child Health Workforce Planning and an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in Paediatrics. She has held several roles within the British Medical Association as a medical student and as a junior doctor, including having chaired two subcommittees. Her roles in this capacity have involved working on education and training, medico-political issues, and matters of scientific interest. She is also a CQC Specialist Advisor, and sits on the Board of Directors of Integritas Healthcare, which provides offender healthcare to vulnerable populations. Melody has engaged with national, regional and local media, in addition to producing blogs, mainly around medical issues.

Timothy Chu

Final Year Medical Student
Timothy is a final year medical student and an incoming Academic Foundation Programme doctor (2021) at Newcastle. He’s an aspiring academic ENT surgeon who has been awarded multiple grants and prizes for his research, and is currently holding several leadership and academic positions with the British Foundation for International Reconstructive Surgery and Training (BFIRST), UCL Ear Institute, and the department of ENT at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Olamide Dada

Final Year Medical Student
Olamide Dada is a final year Medical Student and the founder of Melanin Medics, a charity that supports the present and future African and Caribbean doctor. Olamide is an advocate for racial equality in Medicine and has actively led the charity in promoting diversity in Medicine, widening aspirations and aiding career progression.Olamide is an alumnus of the Healthcare Leadership Academy and sits on the GMC Equality and Diversity advisory board as a member. Her interests lie in utilising opportunities to bring about change and put forward solutions to benefit the health sector. She is also passionate about widening participation and empowering young people. Olamide has been the recipient of multiple awards including the We are the City Rising Star in Healthcare 2020 award.Olamide is an alumnus of the Healthcare Leadership Academy and sits on the GMC Equality and Diversity advisory board as a member. Her interests lie in utilising opportunities to bring about change and put forward solutions to benefit the health sector. She is also passionate about widening participation and empowering young people. Olamide has been the recipient of multiple awards including the We are the City Rising Star in Healthcare 2020 award.

Hannah Gillespie

Junior Doctor
Hannah has recently completed the Academic Foundation Programme in Northern Ireland. As a medical student she led a national student body, founding an award winning widening participation society and organising charitable events. As a foundation trainee, she pursued her interests in medical education, leading the implementation of educational projects and winning ASMEs ‘Research Paper Award’. She is now embarking on a PhD in Medical Education, focusing on undergraduate education and students’ involvement in clinical placements.

Laurence Buckman

Retired GP, National Covid Assessor for NHS 111, Psychotherapist (both private and for NHS Professionals)
Laurence is a former Chairman of the BMA’s UK GP Committee 2007-2013. He has been a GP for 36 years, he is Medical Adviser to RCGP Practice Improvement (helping struggling practices). Laurence has also been a GP undergraduate tutor for UCLMS from 1985-2014 and a member of the Joint RCGP-BMA Education Committee 1990 – 2012.

Omar Risk

FY2
Outside of clinical medicine Omar is interested in closing the gap on health inequalities. He is an Honorary Research Fellow with UCL and Research Associate with Aceso Global Health Consultants. These roles overlap; He is a member of the Childhood Infections and Pollution (CHIP) Consortium that takes a One Health approach to reducing the burden of infections and AMR in urban slums worldwide. He successfully sought funding to lead a feasibility study in Sierra Leone focusing on perinatal infections in Kroo Bay. He has experience in Sierra Leone as a research assistant with Welbodi Partnership where he supported implementation of the CRADLE device for management of maternal sepsis and preeclampsia. As an elective student with King’s Sierra Leone Partnership he contributed to Quality Improvement in surgery & anaesthesia in the post-conflict post-Ebola Health Systems Strengthening setting. He represents junior doctors as a BMA rep locally in his trust and as a temporary step-in on JDC, building on experience in representation as a student association president.

Chiara Cattra

ST2 Psychiatry (ACF CAMHS)
Chiara has a diverse background, having entered medicine via English Literature and MSc Anthropology with long-standing work in well-being & carers’ support. She completed postgraduate qualifications in Medical Education & Leadership and is now on national RCPsych committees. She is LGBTQ+. She is a ceramicist and a cat owner.

Ahmed Kerwan

F1
Ahmed is currently doing an AFP (MedEd) in Lister and has an interest in surgery. He is one of the founding HLA scholars and graduated from King’s College London. He is also Assistant Commissioning Editor for the International Journey of Surgery. He is a very impressive person and you should definitely ask him about how he always spent his summers (always doing something inspirational or exciting!). He has had experience with leading roles in a MedSoc, organising summer programmes centred around healthcare innovation and research report writing.

Jim Determeijer

Final Year Medical Student (NL)
Jim is a medical student based in Amsterdam and he was part of the second HLA cohort in London. Together with Ilse Blomberg and Emma Oostenbroek, he started and now runs the HLA Amsterdam cohort. Together with Onik Chowdhury he is working on the international expansion strategy of the HLA. Besides the HLA he has done different things. He likes to create opportunities for others, empower people and create inclusive communities. He is always open for a chat, so feel free to send him a message!

Ilse Blomberg

Final Year Medical Student (NL)
Ilse is currently in her final year of medicine and based in Amsterdam, aiming for a career in geriatrics or general practice. Highlights of her career have been improving the educational system of my university by spending a year full time as a student representative. I have studied in New Zealand after finishing my bachelors, where I have discovered how much more there is to health and our Dutch healthcare system. This made me apply for the HLA where I took the opportunity to set up my own cohort in Amsterdam. I hope to help the HLA and its philosophy grow within The Netherlands and beyond.

Riddhi Shenoy

FY1
I am going to be doing an AFP public health and primary care next year. I completed a Management BSc from Imperial College. Interested in ophthalmology and have been involved in research and presentation within this. I’m really interested in teaching and have got AFHEA status and planning on progressing further this year with teaching.

Eva Boomstra

Junior physiotherapist (2 years experience) + Junior researcher
Eva is working in a hospital with neurological en oncology patients as a physiotherapist. Eva really enjoys the day-to-day job, but she is also very interested in setting up projects and connecting research to practice. (For example: coordinating a rehabprogram for geriatric oncology patients, participating in value-based health care groups).

Claudi Bockting

Professor in Clinical Psychology
Claudi is a former WHO fellow and has interests in global mental health studies. Claudi is director of Centre of Urban Mental Health (University of Amsterdam). Find out more at www.claudibockting.com.

Yousef Eltuhamy

FY2
Yousef is an FY2 interested in emergency medicine and public health, He is a co-founder of the Razi Jenner Project – a community basd public health initiative and he is the COVID-19 Liaison Officer at Newham University – facilitating communication and feedback between frontline junior doctors. He is the co-founder of Newham Welfare Ambassador Program – a proactive well-being programme designed to offset burnout and improve resilience

Matthew Prior

Consultant Reproductive Medicine (Gynaecology)
Matt is a subspecialty trainee in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery. Matt was Chair of RCOG Trainees’ Committee during the junior doctors’ contract dispute and co-founded the national trainee research collaborative UK-ARCOG.

Onik Chowdhury

FY2
Onik is an academic doctor in Medical Education, with interests in Paediatrics and Public Health. He is a co-founder of The Razi-Jenner Project, a community impact project that empowers communities to take an active role in their health. Onik has managed multiple election campaigns and awareness campaigns during university.

Mala Hawkin

Market development manager Cellen Health
Mala is featured on Forbes 30 Under 30, Vogue 10 Rising Female Stars and UK Women of the Future Awards Finalist. Mala currently hosts the Digital Health Podcast for The Royal Society of Medicine Digital Health Council.

Bo van den Berg

Final Year Medical Student
Bo became a student committee board member after obtaining her bachelors degree. She worked dedicatedly to get the new masters curriculum started as smoothly as possible by collaborating with education directors. After that, she founded a working group of students to make the faculty more inclusive, which is now an integral part of the faculty.

Jess Leighton

FY2
Jess has undertaken research in hepatology and has obtained a PGcert in palliative care this year. Jess’s extracurricular interests include medical education and she is the undergraduate lead for Medisense.

Tom Dolphin

Consultant Anaesthetist
Tom is a Consultant Anaesthetist based in London and was formerly Chair of the BMA’s UK Junior Doctors Committee and contract negotiator for the BMA.

Sjoerd Repping

Professor of Healthcare at Amsterdam UMC
Sjoerd is the Chair of Healthcare Evaluation and Appropriate Use at the Dutch National Healthcare Institute (Zorginstituut), and a professor of healthcare at Amsterdam UMC. His interests are around policy making, innovation, research and quality improvement.

Riddhi Shenoy

FY1
Riddhi is an academic foundation doctor in public health and primary care.. She completed a Management BSc from Imperial College. She is iterested in ophthalmology and has been involved in research and presentation within this. Riddhi is really interested in teaching and is an associate fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Dina Saleh

IMT1 and Lead for the Mentoring Scheme at the HLA
Dina is a current internal medicine trainee doctor in London wanting to pursue a career in oncology. She graduated from Imperial College London in 2018 with a first class honours in the Management BSc at the business school. She has taken on various leadership roles including Students’ Union Deputy President, FMLM University Represenative, Vice President of the Personalised Medicine & Genomics sub-committee for the Youth Health Parliament and is currently one of the regional representatives for internal medical trainees. She has conducted research in end-of-life care, a topic close to her heart, and has an interest in this. She was an AFP trainee during her foundation year training and ranked third nationally for internal medical training. She set up and is the Lead for the Mentoring Scheme at The HLA.

Adam Williams

Consultant Neurosurgeon
Adam is a Consultant skullbase neurosurgeon and the Past-President and Director of ASiT.

Jingy Alom

London Cohort Direction
Jahangir is the lead for the HLA London cohort. He is currently a council member on the BMA and is undertaking the LSTHM Public Health Masters this year. He graduated with the Deans’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Medical School at the University of Southampton in 2018. Whilst at university, he was the MedSoc President and a co-founder of an award winning widening participation initiative. Outside of his clinical career, Jahangir lobbies widening participation policy to key stakeholders such as Health Education England and the Medical Schools Council.

Derek Galen

Emeritus Professor and Postgraduate Dean in England and Wales
Derek is an Emeritus Professor who is the Postgraduate Dean in England and Wales. His main role is to facilitate the research interests of the deanery team around educational standards and introduce medical education to the generic curriculum of all trainees. He is President and a founding member of the Academy of Medical Educators (ASME), helping to raise the profile and standards of medical education across the UK.

Kitty Mohan

Consultant in Communicable Disease Control
Kitty is a consultant in Communicable Disease Control since 2018 and has a PhD in Epidemiology. She was previously a hospital medical registrar (MRCP etc). She has been President of the European Junior Doctors Association 2018-20 and Co-chair of the BMA Junior Doctors Committee and lead negotiator 2013-15. She is a Trustee for Medact.

Rachael Palmer

Registered Nurse
Rachael is a newly Registered Nurse working in Haematology at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. As well as oncology/haematology, her interests are in global health and health policy. Since starting her nursing career, Rachael has chaired the Plymouth branch of Students for Global Health for 2 consecutive years, setting up links with the refugee and asylum seeker community in Plymouth to facilitate students teaching English and running successful global health short-courses. For this work, Rachael was shortlisted for the Student’s Union Leadership Award and the branch for the contribution to the community award.An alumnus of both the Council of Deans of Health Student Leadership Programme and HLA, Rachael was shortlisted for the Council of Deans Top #150Leaders Nurse (Adult) for her work supporting students as a course rep and RCN student ambassador within University.Rachael’s HLA project is the curation of @BloggersNurse, a Twitter platform celebrating the Year of the Nurse and Midwife by creating monthly blogging challenges for Nurse Twitter, bringing people together through writing.

Harriet Leyland

Healthcare Consultant
Harriet is a doctor and healthcare consultant working in both commercial and regulatory domains. She combines twelve years’ experience as a physician with more than nine years in healthcare advisory positions including strategy development, health system redesign and governance, and development of policy and practice in international healthcare. Harriet maintains a portfolio career providing strategic input to a variety of health and social care organisations, and sits as a panel member on the Medical Practitioner Tribunal Service. She worked for over 2 years as a Specialist focussed on Clinical areas, and the China market for the Department for International Trade. She holds a Fellowship in Medical Leadership and Management, and completed a MSc in Global Health Policy in 2016.

Simon Pleydell

Retired GP (North East of England)
Simon has worked in the Health service as a senior leader for almost 30 years. He was a provider Trust chief executive in four different Trusts delivering acute, mental health, community and integrated services. His main role was as chief executive of South Tees Hospitals Trust where over 9 years he led its performance and financial turnaround and achievement of foundation trust status in 2009. This was delivered whilst the organisation gained major recognition for the development of service safety and quality. As a Trust CEO his major achievements have been based on service improvement and turnaround through clinical engagement both in acute and integrated care sectors. His first senior role was as a Director of Planning at South Tees Hospitals, where he developed his knowledge of the planning of clinical services, clinical efficiency and performance management. This included delivering the clinical planning processes for the establishment of heart, cancer and major trauma service on Teesside.Simon has had major roles in developing Academic Health Sciences Network in the North East, Innovation and change leadership at the NHS Confederation and was Chair of the NHS Employers Policy Board between 2008 and 2012. He has a considerable track record in working on the development of information systems and data to stimulate improvement in patient safety and efficiency in service delivery.

Sida Mao

JCF in Critical Care
Sida is currently a Junior Clinical Fellow in Critical Care Medicine in Nottingham. He graduated from St Georges University of London and prior to that completed a Masters of Chemistry at the University of Southampton. He is a HLA alumni from the first 2018/19 Newcastle Cohort. Since then, he has been continuously involved in various projects and events for both the HLA and Medics Academy. During his foundation training, he has a held a variety of leadership roles ranging from being the Deputy Chair of the Yorkshire Regional Junior Doctors Committee to being Chair of the sell-out International HLA Conference in 2019. During his time at medical school, he was the Team Leader of the South West London team for Streetdoctors as well as enjoying being actively involved in teaching and research.

Tom Foley

CAMH Psychiatrist and Senior Clinical Lead for Data at NHS Digital
Tom specialises as a child and adolescent psychiatrist and has degrees in software engineering, economics and public policy. He is also a Senior Clinical Lead for Data at NHS Digital. Since working as a full-time management consultant with PwC and BDO, Tom has spent time in clinical practice, academia and consultancy. Tom conducts reviews on healthcare policy issues and has held operational positions with the Care Quality Commission and Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management. He has also held a range of committee and associate positions with Monitor, British Medical Association, Royal College of Psychiatrists and General Medical Council. Tom was Principal Investigator on the Newcastle University Learning Healthcare Project and was also a special advisor to the Wachter Review, writing the chapter on the computerisation of General Practice. Tom currently advises on a number of national and international Learning Health System panels.

Roshana Mehdian

Trauma and Orthopaedic Registrar
Roshana is an Orthopaedic Registrar in south London, who champions less than full time working. She has worked in the USA for two years as an international trade advisor in the USA for the department of international trade, advising large multinational companies to small startups on strategy in health and life science business. She has previous experience in grassroots leadership for the junior doctors contract campaign, substantial lobbying, writing for newspapers and national media experience.