Ask Dr Rachel Clarke!


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.

Comments (56)

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  • 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?

  • Hello Rachel
    How did you reach this development? How did you bear the pressures? Was your life difficult as a junior doctor? How was your experience during the Covid-19 pandemic?

  • Hello dr. Rachel Clark
    At this time, our societies have become rejecting women's work or education, and some societies allow them to work, but a specific work, and among the rejected jobs is the doctor; Because they consider that a woman should provide enough time for her home and her children, and they consider that the work of a doctor is a waste of effort and time, since you are a woman who entered the field of medicine, so do you think that the work of a doctor is very tiring, as they say? And what is your attitude towards them?
    There are many people who have fears of medicine, such as needles, surgery, etc., and therefore they are avoiding studying medicine at the present time, and we are in dire need of them because of the shortage of doctors, so what do you advise them?

    1. I agree because in India, most Indian women aren't allowed to have a job or even finish school, this mostly happens to married women from the middle class. It's either the in-laws that don't allow them or their own families. They think that if they have a job of go and do their studies, they'll forget their responsibilities. So what do you think can be done about that situation, yes they have children and family to take care of but there are thousands of smart women siting around doing chores. What do you think can bring change to that type of thinking?

  • Hi Dr. Rachel
    In our societies, they say and consider women only for the house and raising children, and it is not permissible for them to work, so women face many difficulties in obtaining work or participating in activities. Can you tell me what are the biggest challenges you faced in your career? What is the motivation that made you continue?

    1. I agree because many women have been forced to stay at home and do the household chores, they were not allowed to work, and it was not fair but thanks to courageous women like Dr. Racheal women have been able to also go and work.

  • Hello, Dr. Rachel, I want to ask you, is it better for you to work as a journalist or a doctor, and what made you become a doctor and leave the field of journalism?

  • What was the worst situation you went through during your career?

  • Dear Dr. Rachel,
    I see that you're a multi-task woman which is great. But I have a question, some societies reject women's work and make them marginalized. What do you think would change this limited mindset of a whole society?

  • Hi Rachel, why did you enter the field of medicine and you are a journalist? How did you develop? And what was your experience with the Covid-19 pandemic?

  • What encounters have you faced during the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Hello Dr. Rachel Clark

    During Covid-19 pandemic, people were very sick and needed to go to the doctor, but they were afraid that they would go to the hospital and become infected with another infection, or that the patients companion would get infected. In your opinion, what is the best advice you would like to give to these people?

  • In Covid 19, there were many patients, and despite that, doctors used to go on strike. What do you think of this, and do you think that this strike came at the right time?

  • In our society, women are not allowed to work as doctors, because doctors can be late at the hospital, long working hours at night, and they believe that she does not have enough time for her home, husband, and children, and they think that it is a waste of time and effort.
    Do you think it is stressful for the woman?
    One last question, how was life as a beginner doctor, and what do you think of doctor strikes?

  • Hello Dr. Rachel Clark. People in our society do not like to see a successful person like you, and you must have had some of them. What are the challenges you faced? How did you prove yourself to people?
    How did people view you when you were a junior doctor? How did you deal with people who saw you as unable to treat a patient when you were a junior doctor? How did you organize your time between journalism, medicine and writing? I wish you success in your life and continue to succeed and progress, but I hope that you will answer my questions, how to satisfy my curiosity a little. And also take lessons and strength from you.

  • Hello Dr. Rachel I would like to discuss with you an issue that most societies face. Some people say that a woman should not work and that she should pay attention and care, and also provide time for her home and her children. Because of this thinking, women face difficulty in employment or completing their university studies. So what do you think about this? Are women who work cannot be equal between her home, her children, and work

  • Welcome dear: What you did is a wonderful achievement and indicates that you are an ambitious person working on professional development. Questions come to my mind that arouse my curiosity: 1- (How did you reconcile your journalism work with your studies in the field of medicine and work as an author? Doesn't that require you a lot of effort and time?!)
    2- (How did you organize your time to complete these works?)
    3- (Has it affected your family and your social relationships with friends and neighbors?)
    Because the achievement you achieved requires a lot of study and research. You are truly the epitome of an ambitious and persistent woman. I hope to be like you someday.
    Greetings: polite_dinosure

  • Hi Hi Rachel, it was really nice to talk to a wonderful person like you. Can you tell me the story of your life and the situation in which you were most happy, the most fun and exciting, and I want you to give advice to someone who dreamed of becoming a doctor and sought to achieve his dream, but gave up at the last moment??

  • Hello, Dr. Rachel, how did your work develop from a journalist to a doctor to an author? How was your work as a journalist? Did you ever encounter contradictory ideas of followers and how did you become a doctor? Was it through the strike that took place that you supported, that the workers took away their rights???, It is nice to hear your answer.

  • Indeed, you are a great, ambitious woman with a high determination who deserves appreciation, respect, and a role model to follow, as you struggled and excelled. I want to ask about
    1_ the reason that made you change your life path from the journalistic side to the medical one?
    2_ Is dealing with Covid-19 different from dealing with other epidemics (plague or cholera)?
    3_ Has the Corona pandemic and its dependencies ended, or does it still have negative effects yet?

  • Hi,

    What are some common misconceptions about doctors that you would like to dispel?

  • HI Dr Rachel Clarke, I really look forward in becoming a great, focused and serious-minded person like you,being a doctor, author and former television journalist is a great achievements. I would like to ask you, what piece of advice would you give to us as youths, because you achieving all these means you never gave up in attaining your goals. Seeing your success has given enough reason to pick you as my role model. So does who easily give up i can use myself as an example, most the time i try getting what i want and i fail first i just give up, so what piece of advice would you like to share with me/us in other for me/us to be a hardworking woman like you??

  • Hi Rachel, my questions for you are ...
    1) What obstacles did you face during your careers as a doctor and broadcast journalist? If you did have any problems, how would you try and overcome them so that you could learn from your mistakes and attempt to master them the next time?
    2) I searched up the name of 'Your Life in My Hands' and saw that many very popular newspapers have said that the book was a 'Sunday Times Bestseller'. Well Done! For young people who want to be an author while growing up, what types of advice would you give them so that the can create very interesting fiction/non-fiction books?

  • Hi Dr. Rachel

    Since you were a journalist, then a doctor, and then an author, how could you balance them?
    Has this affected your family?
    I congratulate you on this effort. Can you, since I am a student, want to get a high rate, tell me how you organized your time?

  • Hi Rachel
    I am glad to be one of those whose comments you admire
    Since you are a doctor, journalist and author, how did you manage to balance them? Isn't that a lot of effort?
    What motivated you to continue?
    What was the most joyful situation in your professional life?
    Do you say a word for the person who was persevering, striving and tiring to become a doctor, but he gave up?

  • Hi Rachel
    How did you reconcile being a journalist and studying medicine and writing?
    Didn't you have a lot of effort?
    What is the saddest situation you have been exposed to in your professional life? What is the most joyful situation that you have experienced in your life?
    You are truly a persistent and ambitious woman. You are truly an example of an ambitious woman. I hope to become like you one day

  • Hello dear Rachel
    I am really grateful that I can talk to someone as ambitious as you
    But I want to ask you, how did you manage to reconcile the field of medicine with your other fields??
    Also, I would like to ask why did you strike the junior doctor??
    Did the junior doctors strike have a significant impact??

  • Hi Dr. Rachel, it's great to talk to someone like you. I want to ask you some questions. Did you face problems being a doctor or a journalist, how did you deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, and what motivated you to change your profession? Were you pursuing your dream, or is it the dream of your family who want you in it?

  • It is wonderful to find a person who has many ambitions, yet I did not expect that you were able to organize your time between journalism, medicine and writing. I have a question 1- Was your dream of journalism, medicine, or something else? 2- After achieving your ambitions, do you have a dream that you want to achieve? 3- Planning for all these ambitions is difficult, but what was your experience in this business? I love people who etch their name through history with their achievements.

  • Hello, Dr. Rachel, did the strike that took place in 2016 benefit, and what change did the government make to doctors, and did you feel appreciated or not?

  • Hello, Dr. Rachel Clark. I was pleased to talk to you. You are an example of a hardworking and ambitious woman. I want to ask you how you reached this stage and what motivated you to become a doctor, writer and journalist?? I hope you answer a question and I hope to be like you when I grow up.

  • Hello, Dr. Rachel Clark, I would like to ask you a question, what was the motive that prompted you to be a pioneer in the conflict of young people that led to the first strike? And were you able to take what you wanted?

  • Hello Rachel,
    What advice do you have for people looking after chronically ill patients?

  • Hello Dr. Rachel,
    How are you? Well, I hope.
    I want to ask you a question, you've worked as jourmalsit before and now you're a doctor, right? Both professions have they're pros and cons and both are difficult careers cause as a doctor you're dealing with lives and as a journalsist, you've to report the reality as it is so it's all about being honest!
    Now, the question is: which of them is more risky?
    Consider answering this question an advice to someone who wants to choose his major at university.
    And if you go back in time, will you stick to being a doctor or return to be a journalist?

  • I do not know what to tell you, what you did is something that not everyone can do, but when I read this, many questions came to my mind.
    Is there a relationship between medicine and journalism?
    After your experience, which is better, medicine or journalism? And why
    How did you achieve this achievement?
    Do you have plans to do in the future?

  • Hi Rachel, my question for you is
    1]Was it always easy to speak up your opinion and to get other people to follow your opinion.
    2]How important was your role .

  • Do you think that printing press made your strike successful or the bestselling non fiction books were the cause of your successful strike. ?

  • Did your strike as doctors affect the public interest in a negative way ?

  • Hi rashil
    Do you think, as they say, that a woman’s place is at home and that she should not work, and that the man is the one who works, or do you think we must challenge the society and work?

  • As a doctor who exposed to danger during Govid 19 pandemic do your think that strike contrasts with humanity in some cases?

  • What a wonderful, ambitious personality you are. Out of my great love for your distinguished personality, I opened the internet page in order to get to know more and more because you aroused my curiosity and my interest in you. What a personality you have that raises many questions that stick in my mind: 1- How did you get to where you are now? 2- What are the difficulties? And the challenges that you faced during your study of the medical profession and your work as a journalist? 3- What are the reasons that prompted you to choose the medical profession specifically over other professions? You have moved from the profession of treating minds to the profession of treating the body. How beautiful it is to leave an impact and a role model. How wonderful you are.

  • Hello Dr Clarke, how did you feel during the strike? How did you feel during the months of the strike? Did it affect you positively or negatively,and how so?

  • What inspired you to become a palliative care doctor as a former journalist? Is the strike in journalism the same as the strike in medicine? Where is the distinction? What can the government do to truly combat strike around the world and make it a thing of the past?

  • I would like to ask you
    How is it possible to solve the political crises of states with the outbreak of strikes?

  • I want to be an ambassador in the future, so I want to be careful with my profession
    How can the ambassadors of countries be a reason for the outbreak of strikes? And how can I avoid that from happening?

  • Recently, flights were canceled in Germany due to strikes
    So since you are a journalist, I want to hear about people's different views on this matter?
    And do you, as a citizen, support the transportation strike?

  • Hello Dr
    I would like to ask you
    1.How do you live in the face of death?
    2.How do you muster the strength to go on?
    3.How Drs fundamentally heal?

  • Namasthe Dr. Rachel Clarke,
    My question is
    When I visit my pediatrician he always compares my weight with a standard weight chart. Since this is a global platform I would like to know whether this weight chart is globally used, if so how can children of various continents expected to have same standard weight to be healthy?

  • Hello Dr. Rachel Clarke , How did you manage to handle being a doctor at the same time you were an author , so didn't it give you a hard time at all ? Why did you not stay as a journalist what inspired you to become a doctor ? Was it a childhood dream or for any other reason ?

  • Hello Rachel. I wanted to ask.
    And also how did it feel being a junior doctor having a lot of people’s life in your hands, do you feel the Weight of responsibility of having another person’s life in your hands.
    Also did you believe that those book you wrote will actually become bestselling books.

  • Hello Dr. Rachel, how did you defend women, and did many people around the world respond to you or not?

  • Hi Rachel,I am very inspired by the hard work and effort you have put in writing books and being an inspiration for woman and girls of today.
    What challenges did you face as a woman in society doing different tasks and how did being a journalist give you self confidence to overcome challenges in your medical career to help people.

  • Hello Dr. Rachel Clarke!
    I do indeed have one question. What are some of the challenges or barriers you had or are facing now as an NHS palliative care doctor, author and former television journalist?

  • Hello, Rachel. In your belief that strikes are the only solution for workers to get what they want, and are strikes always designed to meet their needs? Finally, is it possible in the future for world governments to cancel or reject strikes and punish those who do not abide by these laws?

  • Dr.Rachel Clark I want to ask if it ever got to a point where you wanted to give up because it was getting to hard to keep going ?or if there was a time when u fell and didn’t know how to rise back up?

  • Dr. Rachel Clarke, I am really impressed with your amazing work and your interesting job. When I grow up, this is my dream of becoming a doctor, but I want to ask you some questions, please. When you were young, what were the obstacles you faced and how were you able to solve them? I will tell you about some of my problems, so that you may answer me and give me some tips to solve them. How can I overcome criticism and be so confident in myself, and how can I ignore all the negative criticism that causes me despair at times and overcome depression that harms my health a lot. I hope you will answer me and thank you very much for reading my comment ❤️

  • Hello.. Dr. Rachel Clarke.. I send you my regards.. My question is how did you manage to strike a balance between journalism and the doctor?
    Has this affected your social life?
    Which position made you happiest when you were studying journalism?
    You lead by example because you are an active member of the community. I wish you more success and to become like you in the future.

  • Hello, How are you Rachel? It's good to talk to someone special like you. Can you tell me about your life story and the situation that made you so happy, And you were feeling very excited. Can you give advice to someone who dreams of becoming a skilled doctor like everyone else? Who seeks to achieve his dream, but gave up in the last moments??