Azara Janmohamed

Consultant in clinical pharmacology and therapeutics and general internal medicine at St George's University Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at St George's University of London

What do you do, and what is a typical week for you?

I work as a hospital doctor, primarily on the acute medical unit. Patients with an acute illness and needing admission come via the 'acute medical take'. My week involves managing diverse presentations on the acute medical take, treating unwell patients, ordering appropriate investigations and rationalising medications.  It also involves speaking to patients and their relatives about their ongoing care, either discharging the patient home or if they need further investigations and care they are transferred to a ward. I work closely with nursing and healthcare teams to ensure that a patient is discharged from hospital with all the necessary systems in place in the community.

I teach on the BSc in Clinical Pharmacology at St George’s University. My clinical background, enables me to integrate the skills which graduates will require during the course to become “work ready”.

I am a member of a number of committees within the hospital that review new drugs and prescriptions, ensuring evidence-based practice and patient safety. I also am involved in the implementation of pharmacogenomics into routine practice in the NHS nationwide, this is a new, challenging and exciting field of medicine.

What qualifications and experience do you have?

I have an MBBS from University College London, UK and am a member of the Royal College of Physicians, MRCP (UK). I completed a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from University College London, UK after which I worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the department of biochemistry and molecular biology at UCL. I worked on drug metabolising enzymes and on a disorder called trimethylaminuria. I have a BSc (Hons) in biochemistry and zoology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

What’s the most interesting aspect of your job?

No day is the same. The challenge of remaining alert and using my diagnostic skills to prioritise and solve each problem as it arises. At the end of each day assessing and reflecting on what has worked, what needs to be re-examined and what is proven valuable, to it carry forward and help improve patient care.

What are your research interests?

My research interests include the integration of my prior scientific understanding into everyday patient care. I am currently working on pharmacogenetics and drug metabolism, polypharmacy and de-prescribing and trimethylaminuria (patient experiences and engagement).

What one piece of advice would you give to someone seeking a career in clinical pharmacology? 

Clinical pharmacology is one of the few specialities that is preparing the pathway to personalised medicine and the future of therapeutics. It has the potential to fundamentally change the way medicine is practiced. If you want to be at one of the main junctions of innovation and progress in medicine then a career in clinical pharmacology is for you.