Dr Rachel Clarke answers your questions!

Dr Rachel Clarke is an NHS palliative care doctor, author and former television journalist. As a junior doctor in 2016, she was a leading voice in juniors’ dispute with the government that led to the first all-out junior doctor strikes in NHS history. She has written three Sunday Times bestselling non-fiction books about her medicine in the UK. Breathtaking (2021) describes her experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dear Life (2020), depicts her work in an NHS hospice. Your Life in My Hands (2017) documents life as a junior doctor on the NHS frontline.

Before going to medical school, Rachel was a broadcast journalist who produced and directed current affairs documentaries on subjects such as the Iraq War and the civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Thank you to those of you who submitted questions for Dr Rachel. There were lots to choose from, but here are the questions she answered:

eloquent_orchard: Who or what inspired you to become a doctor?

marvellous_fig: Hi Rachel, what do you think is the best way to get others to listen to your opinion if they don't agree with it?

honorable_city: Hello Dr. Rachel, how are you? You've worked as a journalist before and now you're a doctor, right? Both professions have their pros and cons but which of them is more risky? And if you went back in time, would you stick to being a doctor or return to being a journalist? Or something else?

adaptable_thought: What can the government do to truly combat strikes around the world and make it a thing of the past?

nice_goji: What are some common misconceptions about doctors that you would like to dispel? For example, around strikes?

Well done to eloquent_orchard from St. Andrew Kaggwa Gombe High school, honorable_city from New Khan-Younis Prep. Girls School A, adaptable_thought from Bomas Academy and nice_goji from Shouka Prep Girls School who have each been awarded 3 stars for their questions!

Comments (5)

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  • Beautiful!!, but I am sad that Rachel did not answer my question, but I will come again. Yes, Rachel made me think logically and positively about the strike. Strike is a weapon that all workers in the world hold on to. Rachel inspired me to always give our voice to the strikers and to support them in all cases, in my country we suffer. As students of teachers’ strikes to reduce unemployment and take away their right to a salary, my question is Mrs. Rachel: Will the strike in my country make the future generation less aware and not have the amount of information and science to benefit them, and is this a violation of students’ right to education???

  • Hello Dr. Rachel,
    I've been honored to ask such a cultivated person like you and now I have the honor to thank you for choosing my question and answering it ❤️
    I expected that journalism would be the most dangerous occupation because I was thinking of becoming a journalist when I grow up but my parents keep advising me that although you would have the privilege of revealing the truth to the world, you would be in great danger at any time, so I understand you because I feel you. 😊
    For strikes, I used to think that strikes would always reflect negatively on everything, however, Dr. Rachel taught me to stick to my rights and it's not a shame to claim one's rights and at the same time the worker himself is the biggest loser when he doesn't get paid enough because he works day and night with lower wages than ever were, so this affects the workers physical and mental health. So, why not strike to live a decent life with a decent wage?
    Last but not least, I would like to thank Dr. Rachel very much for encouraging me to love my future job and love what I do to do what I love. It's amazing that you wake up every day with a smile on your face and a heart full of optimism. This refelcts positively on you and then on your working environment leading to a great increase in productivity.

  • Hello Dr. Rachel, it was really interesting to listen to what you said, because I want to become a doctor in the future, and what you said now motivated me to persevere in achieving my dream. Feelings, you are right, embodying feelings, facial expressions, you can know the condition of the person in front of you, and this is what motivated me to complete what you are talking about. In fact, I liked that you are an understanding person, not like many doctors. When I was a child, I once went to the dentist, but he was not friendly, so I do not like doctors. Teeth Although there are nice people, I do not know the reason until I saw what you said about telling patients about their health. Sometimes gentle treatment and motivating words do not make you feel pain, because love is stronger than all of that.

  • Hi Dr rachel what do you think is the best way to negotiate or assert your rights on different aspects of life,are strikes really the best way?

  • I am superly astonished that how a junior doctor worked during Covid pandemic.Maybe you would think it's your duty but this duty is not performed by all doctors and you are in the few of them in this worlfd who performed their duty.I am superly inspired from you and now you are my role model.
    Being a journalist is my dream and your writings can change the mind of many people.As you know that pen is more powerful than sword.