I am a Respiratory Registrar working in the NHS in London. My job makes me think a lot – about people, life, death, inequality and how things could be better. If you’ve found your way here I hope you share some of these thoughts.

I am interested in:

  • respiratory medicine
  • social inequality and its effect on health and wellbeing
  • ageing
  • end of life care
  • public narratives of science and medicine
  • undergraduate and postgraduate medical education
  • concepts of risk, expertise and futility
  • the use of social media in health and education
  • the role of the arts in health and wellbeing
  • public and medical discourses on death and dying
  • staying well as a public sector worker
  • lots of other things

This is me:

Dr Laura-Jane Smith, ST6 Respiratory Medicine in NE Thames, London. I previously worked for a year as a Clinical Teaching Fellow at ACME, UCL. You can find more information on my interest in medical education and involvement in the RCP and BTS on the teacherlj page. After two years back in clinical training, I took a further year out as a Wellcome Clinical Training Research Fellow at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College London, looking at prognostication in advanced COPD, and ways in which palliative care principles may enhance the care of patients with chronic respiratory disease. I decided not to continue in academia, and returned to continue my clinical training in April 2017.

All opinions expressed here are entirely my own and do not necessarily represent the views of my employers.

I initially started this blog to share thoughts that felt too difficult and important for me to understand and navigate myself. My writing is mainly a way for me to think through ideas around medicine, ethics, and identity which I continue to grapple with. I have learned so much from everyone who has interacted (online and in person) and would love to hear from you too so please comment on the posts, email or get in touch via twitter. Thank you.

My interests have led to involvement in a number of projects. Particular highlights, which I encourage you to explore, are:

  • Death Cafe – I am an avid supporter, frequent attender, and occasional host of death cafe, a social movement creating time and space for open discussions about death and dying, over tea and cake.
  • London Arts in Health Forum – I am a trustee of this wonderful organisation which aims to develop the role of culture in wellbeing and to promote and support arts in health activity across London and nationally.

If I’ve forgotten anything it is probably linked to my about.me page. Thanks for visiting. x

4 responses to “drlj

  1. Dear Laura-Jane,
    I would like to send an invite to you to speak at a UCL-related event. Please can you forward your email address to: f.mcclement@ucl.ac.uk
    I’m afraid I’m not on Twitter and could not see your address on this blog.. Many thanks, Fiona

  2. Dear Laura-Jane,

    Your Blog impresses me and is really extraordinary .
    I’m an intensive care nurse in the Netherlands trying to improve patient/family centered intensive care with a group of very enthusiastic professionals and field experts. We need help in humanizing intensive care as a global message. Gabriel Heras La Calle does this in Spain with his blog; http://www.humanizingintensivecare.com. In the UK there’s we nurses and we chaplains trying to get compassionate care on the map .Patrik Hutzel does this in Australia on : Intensive Care Hotline. Why not join forces and unite ! Laura-Jane, Please look for the linkedin group : family centered intensive care , I’m trying to make this connection.

    Best regards and take care Lorette Gijsbers

  3. Hello Laura Jane,

    I have left a message for you on Facebook, but will repliacte it here as not sure if you’ve received it:

    I am Anna – you may have seen me asking for guest bloggers for the online magazine I am launching in April and your name was mentioned via Clementine Fletcher who is a friend of my sister-in-law Clementine Wallop. I am a nurse and illustrator and I am launching an online magazine in April which explores the connections between art, medicine, science, history, culture, nursing, and what lines between. I read your blog and really liked it, and wondered how you’d feel about either writing a guest blog for the magazine, or allowing me to publish one of your existing blogs?
    Here is a preview of the magazine so you can get a better idea of who is contributing and the what it’s about:
    I have a strange feeling I might have worked with you at UCLH on the oncology ward several years ago…I am now a palliative care CNS working back at UCLH after diversions to A&E for several years. Hope you’re well and hope to hear from you.


    My email is anna@prnmagazine.com

  4. Dear Dr Laura-Jane Smith,

    I hope you are well. I’d love to talk to you about a new film for the BBC, Open University and Wellcome Trust about people with a terminal illness. Rather than about death and dying it’s about life and living. Giving people a positive voice, it will explore what people do when facing death and how there can be happiness in the face of adversity. Please could you let me know the best email address for you or email wellparkproductions@gmail.com. For more information please see our website:
    Twitter: @Thisiswellpark, @BourneLiving

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