Postdoc visit at St George´s University and Hospital, Ghassan Mourad









Between 10th and 14th of October 2016 I had the opportunity to visit Professor Tom Quinn, Associate Dean for Research and Education, and Director at the Centre for Health and Social Care Research at Kingston and St George´s Joint Faculty. The purpose of my visit was to exchange knowledge, build bridges and discuss possible future collaboration.



To start with, this has been one very inspirational and interesting week and I had the opportunity to meet with some very skilled researchers from different areas, who dedicated some of their time to discuss research plans. Professor Tom Quinn had arranged a very nice program for me to take part of. Some of these special meetings are described more in detail.

On Monday 10th October, I had a meeting with Kay Townsend, Cardiac Specialist Nurse who runs the Rapid Access Chest Pain Unit, and the ACS team consisting of Specialist Nurses Niamh Doyle, Monica Sanz, and Penny Mullord. We had a long and very interesting discussion about patients attending with chest pain with no evidence of cardiac disease. We found out that we had almost the same experiences regarding the difficulties in the encounter with these patients and although many times it is obvious that they have psychological distress, this is not dealt with and patients are getting discharged and not followed up. This is mainly due to how healthcare is structured and not least not having the resources to follow patients up. We also discussed possible joint projects that we could run.


Tuesday 11th October, I had the pleasure to meet with the Head of School of Nursing and Associate Dean, Julia Gale, and Research Coordinator, Associate Professor Ann Ooms. We discussed the Nursing programs at our faculties and how to make the Nursing education more research-based.



I also joined a meeting with the postdocs at the department and listened to their experiences. I then gave an invited talk about my research and had a nice discussion with the postdocs and some of the professors.


Wednesday 12th October, I attended the “Innovation and Excellence in Cardiac Services Conference” at the Royal College of General Practitioners, London. The conference was chaired by professor Tom Quinn and offered a nice variety of advanced and interesting clinical projects within cardiology.


Thursday 13th October, I had the opportunity to meet with Nurse Consultant and Clinical Director of Major Trauma Heather Jarman, who presented the work at the Accident & Emergency. We had a nice discussion and found out that we had similar experiences regarding frequent attendances by patients with non-cardiac chest pain. Heather confirmed that many patients are confused by the fact that the doctors ask them to seek hospital care in case of new chest pain events although they had presented with non-cardiac chest pain at several times. This apparently is because doctors don´t want to miss any acute cardiovascular event, but can lead to many unnecessary healthcare visits. My visit to the Accident & Emergency ended with a visit to the helipad at the top of the hospital, which offered a beautiful view of London.


I also participated in a couple of meetings with Professor Tom Quinn to learn more about how research projects including grant applications are planned in the UK and I had the opportunity to discuss similarities and differences compared to the Swedish system.

On Friday 14th October, my last day in London, I had a catch-up meeting with Professor Tom Quinn to sum up the week and discuss future plans. Tom and I had a nice sightseeing walk along the best parts of London that ended with a tasty lunch at the National Gallery. A perfect end of my visit.

To sum up, besides from all interesting scientific discussions and gained knowledge, the engagement and hospitality by Tom and his colleagues made this visit really nice. A big thank you to all of you who took care of me and made me feel welcome, especially Tom Quinn, Lucia Gavalova, Temitope Odubanjo, and the postdocs at Lucia´s office…no one mentioned, no one forgotten.