Last week, Dr Satveer Mahil won the coveted Wesleyan RSM Trainee of the Year 2017 prize against stiff competition from many other talented young trainee doctors. Her research project was focused on assessing treatment options for psoriasis, the skin condition. Here, the specialist registrar in dermatology based at St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London says how she feels to have been picked by a board of eminent judges including Sir Simon Wessely, President of the Royal Society of Medicine.
How do you feel about winning the award? What difference will it make to you?
I am really thrilled to win the Wesleyan RSM Trainee of the Year 2017 prize! It was such a pleasure to meet registrars from other specialities who are at similar stages in their research/careers and very inspirational to hear about their work. I am incredibly grateful to the judges for awarding me the prize and for giving me the opportunity to showcase my work at this exciting, cross-disciplinary meeting.
Why did you decide to focus on psoriasis? Is it something that affects a lot of people and can damage quality of life?
Psoriasis is a common, debilitating, chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting >125 million people worldwide. It is currently incurable and is associated with reduced life expectancy and major health problems such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Since it is a very visible disease, it also has a substantial psychosocial impact and there are increased rates of depression and social exclusion in patients suffering with psoriasis.
Why did you pick dermatology as a specialism? Why is the specialism important?
As our largest and most visible organ, skin is considered a window into diseases affecting other parts of the body. Since skin is readily accessible, I found lab research into the disease mechanisms underlying skin diseases very exciting. I became interested in psoriasis after witnessing the major impact this common skin disease has on patients. I was fortunate to undertake both my clinical training and PhD at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, a leading translational skin research centre.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time? In clinical practice or pure research?
Ideally I would like to be integrating clinical practice with undertaking translational research that can impact upon the care of patients with chronic inflammatory skin diseases.
Read more here about Dr Satveer Mahil’s research project.