Alumni Profile: Chibuike Okpara

Chibuike Okpara (MSc Epidemiology, 2020) works as a Staff Clinician Scientist in The Medical Research Council Unit at The MRC Unit The Gambia at LSHTM. In this blog post, he shares what LSHTM taught him, where his career has taken him since graduating, and what he hopes for the future.
Chibuike Okpara

I decided to study at LSHTM as it is one of, if not the best, university appropriate for acquiring knowledge and skills in public health at postgraduate level. Previously, I was trained to focus on individual persons as a specialist Family Physician. However, during my Epidemiology course, it taught me not only to consider my served population but also to analyse data on various research questions, improving the quality of care. I made good friends at LSHTM with the other students and also with my tutors. I am still supported by some of the tutors, especially with my career progression.

I currently run a bustling clinic, offering both clinical and occupational care to staff members of the Medical Research Unit The Gambia at LSHTM. The clinic runs Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. I am also busy with my new postgraduate study, the Master of Family Medicine Programme with the University of Edinburgh, where I am also a student representative.

“My most significant achievement is that I designed, implemented, and coordinated a longitudinal survey (over four years) within my practice population. I hope to continue to work in further relevant primary care research and move onto the next academic level (PhD).

“COVID-19 has changed how we work. At the unit, we responded with innovation and change, reflecting on each aspect of our services and making necessary changes to improve patient safety and quality of care.

“My advice for current students is to hang in there! Sometimes the studies may be overwhelming but do not give up, push a little harder and seek help when needed.”

Want to share your story? Email