Born and bred a Shropshire Lad, I grew up in the rural idyll of Cleobury Mortimer. Confronting my fear of crossing busy roads and using public transport I studied medicine (1993-1998) and Microbiology (1993-1996) at Nottingham University. Following ‘house jobs’ in Nottingham I moved to Stoke-on-Trent to undertake general practice training. I was secured funding to extend my general practice training, allowing me to study for a MMedSci degree in which I investigated the association between birth related events and chronic pain in young adults. I was the first GP to be awarded a Doctoral Training Fellowship from Arthritis Research UK and was fortunate to be further supported by the charity through Career Progression and Clinician Scientist Awards. I am currently an NIHR Research Professor in General Practice investigating missed opportunities to improve care for people with musculoskeletal problems and Head of the School of Medicine. I am a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Faculty of Public Health and am the only recipient of both the Yvonne Carter and John Fry Awards.
My research focuses on improving the primary care diagnosis and management of common musculoskeletal disorders (such as osteoarthritis and gout) and uses predominately quantitative methods. Musculoskeletal conditions are hugely disabling and are the leading causes of years lived disability yet research in this area in low- and middle-income countries continues to be neglected.