Kiran Patel: Eyes on the front lineBMJ 2017; 357 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j1786 (Published 19 April 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;357:j1786
Kiran Patel, 47, is a medical director for NHS England covering the West Midlands and consultant cardiologist at the Heart of England NHS Trust in Birmingham. He also holds an honorary readership at the University of Warwick. A Cambridge graduate, he is cofounder and chair of the South Asian Health Foundation, a health inequalities charity. In 2015 the foundation won the BMJ Award for diabetes care for a project that took diabetes education into deprived communities, aiming to dispel myths. “There’s a belief that, if you start taking insulin to control diabetes, you’re going to die within 12 months,” he says. “We explained that you’re not.”
What was your earliest ambition?
To be an astronaut.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
E J Dickens, my physics teacher at an inner city comprehensive, who told me that I was capable of reading medicine at Oxbridge and encouraged me to apply. I got into King’s College, Cambridge, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Charlie Loke, my director of studies at King’s, told me 25 years later that the college selected people capable of shining, so I spent …