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Dr Riaz Agha

House Officer, Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

Founder, Managing and Executive Editor, International Journal of Surgery

After being awarded 4 A's at A-level in 1998, he went to work for Harrods in Knightsbridge, London, for 1 year, following which he entered medical school. During his first two years he was awarded the Pre-Clinical Scholarship, the Distinction in Basic Medical Sciences and the Pickering Prize.  Riaz also worked as a Student Ambassador for King's College London, as a Medical Secretary and as the PA for the Manager of the Surgical Directorate over the summer months of 2000, 2001 and 2002, in a number of departments and hospitals throughout London.

In September 2001, Riaz did an intercalated BSc(Hons) in Anatomy, in which he gained a 1st and a PPP Foundation Scholarship (on academic merit). In the 4 months following his BSc, Riaz worked on gene cloning and protein analysis at the Randall Centre for Biomolecular Sciences at King's College London, for which he was awarded a Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship.

In November 2002, Riaz became the National Coordinator for the CPR in Schools Project, which aims to teach school children basic life support skills to improve myocardial infarction survival rates. In January 2003, Riaz became a Student Advisor for the Student BMJ and a member of the local BMA Committee.  In March, Riaz became the President of the Guy's, King's and

St. Thomas ' Surgical Society, which under his leadership became the largest surgical society in the UK . For his work with the Surgical Society, as President of the King's College London Chess Team and Vice-President of the Salsa Society, Riaz was acknowledged with a Gold Medal and a Student Activities Award by the King's College London Student's Union in May.

In June, Riaz became an Associate for Medical Futures and also completed the Simfonec Entrepreneurship and Innovation Course. In July, he founded Surgical Associates Ltd and became its sole Director. In October, he launched the International Journal of Surgery (IJS) with Surgical Associates Ltd as the Publisher.

Riaz published his first scientific paper in October 2003* and this was followed up by another in February 2004. He has also published a number of articles and letters in the popular medical media as well as in the journal Medical Education, where his letter published in September 2003** proposed an original hypothesis which received a full Editorial** in the journal. A full list of Riaz's publications are shown here.

In 2003, Riaz also presented his research at International Scientific meetings held in April at the British Association of Rheumatology ( Manchester) , in June at the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (Helsinki) and in November at the 5th International Congress on Surgery for Students (Santiago de Compostela). In addition, he has also presented at a number of other national, regional and local meetings.  In October, Riaz was a speaker at the surgical debate on medical education held by the Section of Surgery at the Royal Society of Medicine (Riaz argued against the motion that day and his team won!). 

In January 2004, Riaz became a Member of Council for the Section of Plastic Surgery at the Royal Society of Medicine in London . Riaz was awarded 13 prizes for his elective in July 2004, spending three months at the Tissue Engineering and Wound Healing Laboratory at Harvard University . Whilst at Harvard, Riaz conducted research on the use of micromechanical forces in wound healing and also worked on a number of other projects involving stem cells and work which was outsourced to his lab by Biotechnology Companies. Riaz was known as the 'Grantmaster' whilst at Harvard (in light of his own grant applications) and was also responsible for seeking out new grants and for building grant proposals including one to NASA.

In September 2004, Riaz reviewed the 39th Edition of Gray's Anatomy at the editor'-in-Chief Professor Susan Standring's invitation, prior to its release in November 2004 (published by Elsevier).  In November 2004, Riaz signed a deal with Elsevier, who are now the publishers of the International Journal of Surgery

Riaz has always been interested in medical education, he has not only published research in the field but was also a member of the King's College London Intercalated BSc rolling review committee on 14th April 2005.

In June 2005, Riaz graduated from Guy's, King's and St. Thomas' School of Medicine - MBBS with distinctions. In total, Riaz was awarded over 20 prizes and awards whilst at medical school. In August 2005, he took up a post as a House Officer at Guy's and St. Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

Riaz is now a member of the Council of Science Editors (by invitation) and a member of the World Association of Medical Editors. A recent article published in the International Journal of Surgery led to coverage in the following media:

- The Wall Street Journal (written by a 2005 Pulitzer Prize winning journalist)

- Forbes, Reuters, ABC News, Fox News, USA Today, Voice of America, Boston Globe, Australian Doctor, WebMD and over 50 other print and online publications.

Riaz has now been included in the 23rd edition (2006) of the Marquis Who's Who in the World .

* The author would like to thank the JRSM for making this paper available 

** This is an electronic version of an article published in Medical Education: complete citation information for the final version of the paper, as published in the print edition of Medical Education, is available on the Blackwell Synergy online delivery service, accessible via the journal's website at or

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