Alumni Profile: Dr Shalmali Radha Karnad18 January 2023 London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine https://lshtm.ac.uk/themes/custom/lshtm/images/lshtm-logo-black.png
Current job title and organisation
Chief Medical Officer, HealthX Africa.
Can you please tell us a bit about your current work/research?
I am Chief Medical Officer at a primary health care service provider in Nairobi, Kenya. We are one of the first in the country and the region to be exploring how primary health care access can be extended through the use of digital technologies and telemedicine.
What course and year did you study at LSHTM?
Masters in Public Health (Health Services Management) 2011-2013.
Why did you choose to study with LSHTM?
LSHTM has always been the pinnacle of public health research and education for me, and the MPH from LSTHM is recognized and respected globally.
Did you have to overcome any challenges to study with us?
I had to take a year out of my medical training program to study at LSHTM and save funds to attend as an international student living in the UK.
What were your favourite memories from your studies with us?
Inspiring engagements with leaders – particularly women leaders - at the top of their field (eg Dr Priya Agarwal, Dr Carine Ronsmans); long lasting friendships with other health professionals; the gorgeous campus.
How has your LSHTM degree helped you in your career?
My LSHTM degree not only prepared me for a move from clinical medicine to health management and leadership in a very different context (East Africa) – I use tools that we learnt in the HSM program regularly in my work – but also opened doors for me in all my jobs as a highly reputed educational and research institution.
What would you like to achieve in future?
I aim to continue to do important and impactful work that truly drives some level of health systems change for Kenya, and East Africa. For myself personally, I aim to continue to grow as a leader in this field, and use my experience, networks, and leadership to promote other local talent – especially women – in development and health work in Kenya/ East Africa.
Do you have any advice for students/recent graduates? Take every opportunity that comes your way, especially ones that feel like a stretch. I had several years that I committed to myself that I would not say “no” to opportunities that came my way, and those experiences are what have most impacted my career and my ability to influence the health landscape through my work.
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