Meet Neel Sharma


Neel Sharma has just finished his training in GI Medicine and is now arranging lab placements for students over the Summer.

What attracted you to a career in gastroenterology/hepatology?

It all began in medical school in Manchester. I undertook a rotation with Prof. Muntzer Mughal, now based at the Cleveland Clinic London. His calm manner and clinical skill was just mind blowing. GI offers such variety. I tend to get bored when I develop some understanding and GI offers so many pathologies that the learning is just continuous. I have dabbled in neurogastroenterology, upper GI, and IBD thus far.

What advancement in gastroenterology/hepatology are you most excited about and why?

Engineering advances in GI will continue to grow. As clinicians, we are utilising engineering platforms to diagnose and manage our patients constantly yet we somehow have not made the link. But if we think about it deeply it is there, the CT scan, the endoscope, capsule endoscopy, tissue engineering, the list is endless. Having launched the clinician engineer hub, we are seeing continued interest in the interplay between medicine and engineering. Why simply be adopters of engineering platforms, surely it makes more sense to gain engineering know how? Watch this space…

What do you enjoy most about your work?

I can tell you what I don’t enjoy; the politics. Why do we see such dross in the profession? We are doctors and our focus is our patient. I certainly don’t enjoy the political nonsense among
colleagues. Politicians in medicine belong elsewhere. I enjoy talking to patients either in the clinic, the ward, or within our GI charity communities. Patients are people just like anyone else and their life journey is fascinating. I sometimes feel as medics we complain too much. I tell them to look at our patients and how they manage things. It doesn’t make me popular but I have no interest in that.

What is the one thing you would change?

Supporting one another. It still doesn’t happen. I see too much finger pointing and under the bus throwing. We make decisions and there is so much unknown in what we do. When
something goes wrong, we point fingers without realising we know very little in fact. Drug interactions, endoscopy not going to plan, simple human error, we get tired too. There needs to be more compassion.

What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career?

Don’t undersell yourself and just be you.

What does being a BSG member mean to you?

Access to the latest information in the field of GI both within the UK and abroad. I like the fact that I can open up the guidelines and say to my patient this is how we make decisions. I then show the information for transparency. It really makes the consultation that much better. After finishing my training in GI Medicine I am arranging lab placements for students over the Summer, I fell behind during COVID working and hated that feeling as a student of just being a random person drifting. Mentorship is key, look at other fields including football, tennis, basketball etc. They all have coaches and medicine fails in that regard.

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