James Hong

james hong

Community Bursary Scholar 

Joining us from: London, UK

MSc(Res) Psychiatry (2020) 

After graduating from UCL Medical School in 2018, I recently completed the NHS Foundation Programme at Oxford University Hospitals. Through applied clinical practice, I have seen the importance of evidence in guiding clinical decision-making and providing high quality care. This has driven me to expand my understanding of healthcare through different perspectives, by embarking on a Master's in my clinical area of interest, psychiatry, as well as engaging in leadership projects directly addressing organisational aspects of healthcare delivery.  

At the Oxford Precision Psychiatry Lab, I am leading a project exploring the rationale for gabapentinoids in psychiatric disorders. Gabapentinoids are commonly prescribed medications in the UK and US but are often off-label with anecdotal reports of benefit; they can also have harmful side effects. Through analysis of available evidence, I hope to guide the appropriate prescription of these medications. Moreover, my team and I are working to produce a wide range of evidence-based documents for healthcare professionals on topics ranging from self-harm and suicide to vaccination prioritisation in patients with mental health conditions, in response to COVID-related uncertainty in clinical decision-making. By combining research in evidence synthesis with a clinical perspective, I am developing a more holistic and effective approach to medicine and truly getting an understanding of what delivering best clinical practice entails.  

But research can’t be put into practice without good organisational and medical leadership. Through my role as a Student Consultant for the Oxford Strategy Group, I learned how a hospital could strategically assess existing and future partnerships. This experience has provided useful balance to my role as a clinician. Practical and cost effective provision of service, with careful, strategic planning of resource allocation and revenue generation, is as important as high quality research to aid evidence-based practice. This has also complemented my role as a faculty member of the Oxford Emerging Leaders Programme, where I worked with a dynamic team of healthcare leaders and educators to refine and restructure the leadership curriculum. My different roles, as an academic, leader, and clinician, have helped me to develop insight into the importance of effective leadership and management in facilitating excellent evidence-based clinical practice.  

The Community Bursary will help me to continue my efforts, specifically in a transformative project in predictive analytics to improve treatment selection and response. The development and application of precision medicine tools is challenging but tremendously exciting in its potential to benefit patients in all areas of medicine, ranging from oncology to psychiatry. I am grateful for this generous bursary, and feel incredibly privileged to be a student at St Cross College; a highly international, inclusive, and vibrant community of present and future leaders in their fields.