Dr Aparajita Singh, Global Radiologist
Dr Aparajita Singh, Global Radiologist (Fellow) in the Department of Radiology at The Royal Oldham Hospital
As a radiologist, my duties include reporting CTs, MRI, x-rays etc. I also do ultrasound sessions. These imaging modalities also include reports/ultrasound procedures of Covid positive patients. Apart from my regular work commitments, I have been working on developing my subspecialty interests in chest and GI imaging. My interest in chest imaging led me to undertake a research project on chest x-rays in hospital-admitted Covid patients.
I have been interested in science since my childhood days. It was my favourite subject. I love how science is so practical and how its application affects our daily lives. My father is a doctor who served (and is still serving) his society and country. He was the first person who motivated to take up science as a subject and I looked up to him as a person and a professional. I had always wanted to become a doctor ever since I could remember.
I did my medical schooling and then my MD. Subsequently, I developed an interest in research. I did a thesis in neuroradiology while in India during my training program and I also did a research project on COVID here in the UK with the support of my team and seniors. It was an educational and extremely rewarding experience. I think research is one of the most important tools to better patient care and to make advancements in medicine.
This project was based on creating an experimental scoring system to grade chest x-rays and find if there is a correlation with mortality and effect of underlying risk factors for determining increased risk of in-hospital mortality. I was the principal investigator for this project along with a fantastic and supportive team which also included senior colleagues, registrar and consultants. I learnt about how to go about a research project and how to use this knowledge to observe relations between different parameters and come up with something that could help in better management of patient care. For example, during the peak of pandemic, in the majority of instances, chest x-rays were being done rather than CT scans, which were done for problem solving only. In countries where medical systems are stretched to the limits, chest x-ray can prove to be a helpful tool to triage patients in hospital with increased risk of mortality in combination with underlying risk factors.
Women in science
I think it’s essential to highlight women’s tremendous role in science and contribution to fighting this pandemic. Science and gender equality are both important for having a sound medical system. This pandemic has exposed the fallacies of our society, medical system and education. Though females equal half of the world’s population, there is a lesser percentage of women are in higher education and even lesser in STEM-related jobs. Let us not forget the path and the fight which led the current generation of women to have equal opportunities. From the era when one of the greatest women scientists, Marie Curie had to struggle to prove her worth, even after winning the Nobel prizes, to the time women had to fight for voting rights, women have constantly struggled. Even today, issues like the gender pay gap are a reality. To highlight important achievements made by women will not only empower them, but also contribute to betterment of society. Personally, I got tremendous support from my department and colleagues, but not everyone is that lucky. We need to create a system which welcomes women and recognises their achievements despite of personal and professional barriers.