Anomalies in TV Doctor's Claimed Credentials

Written by: Miri
February 22, 2024
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(An open letter from my health resource, Informed Consent Matters)

Dear Sirs,

My letter to you today is inspired by the fervent national conversation that has been ignited this week by the ITV drama series, 'Breathtaking', based on the memoirs of NHS doctor, Rachel Clarke.

As you will be aware, this fictionalised series has sparked intense and polarised debate, with some viewing Dr. Clarke as "a hero", fighting on the frontlines against the government's mismanagement of a deadly disease, whilst many others see her as a revisionist and propagandist, who has - at best - exaggerated and distorted the realities of the "Covid" chapter, if not fabricated significant sections of it altogether.

As there is such a range of opinion on Dr. Clarke, her memoirs, and the very high-profile television serial inspired by what she has written, it is obviously imperative that Dr. Clarke herself is subject to scrutiny, and found to observe the highest ethical standards where it comes to her professional comportment - in short, that she reliably tells the truth, about her background, her qualifications, and her experiences. 

As the founder of an independent health resource focused on exposing and countering corruption and bad practice in medicine, my own investigations into Dr. Clarke's history have suggested this may not be the case, and this is what I wished to draw to your attention to today, in the hope that you will be able to directly address and resolve my concerns. 

In the first, and most pressing, instance, Dr. Clarke claims to have graduated from Oxford University in 2009 with a medical degree, a claim that is ratified by her entry on the General Medical Council's website.

However, in several recent press interviews, including with The Guardian, Clarke has mentioned that she began her medical training at University College London (UCL) in 2003, transferring after two years to Oxford.

Upon investigating this claim, I found that this cannot be accurate, given that Oxford University does not accept transfer students for any course. If a current student at another university wishes to study at Oxford, they must apply to begin the course from the start, and in these circumstances, they may be considered.

The only exception to this rule is students currently enrolled on a medical degree at another institution, who will not be considered to restart their studies at Oxford.

So, Clarke could neither have transferred to Oxford's medical programme midway through her studies, nor could she have dropped out of UCL and then restarted at Oxford - which her stated timelines do not fit anyway, as had she done this, she would have graduated in 2011, not 2009. 

Therefore, at least some of her stated biography and credentials are clearly being fabricated. 

If she began a medical degree at UCL, she could not have gone on to graduate from Oxford.

If however, she remained on the UCL course, then her claims (repeated on the GMC website) to have graduated from Oxford's medical school are false.

Or, a final option, is that she does not in fact have a medical degree at all. She may have undertaken some training at UCL and then dropped out, or she may never have attended any medical school at all. 

As universities will typically neither confirm nor deny to members of the general public what persons have studied at their institutions and for how long, it is impossible for laypeople to verify the claims Clarke is so widely and publicly making in her books and press interviews.

It is noteworthy, however, that Clarke has already been exposed in the press for fabricating some aspects of her official biography, such as the claim that she was "the first medical student to have a baby whilst studying", which was exposed as untrue by The Guardian. 

This begs the question of what else she may be fabricating, and whether these fabrications include some or all of her professional training, and some or all of her memoirs.

Memoir as a genre is riddled with examples of authors penning fiction and passing it off as fact, which is why it is so important rigorous fact-checking and cross-referencing take place before such high-profile tomes as Clarke's 'Breathtaking' - which may go on to influence public health policy in the face of future "pandemics" - are presented to the public as "fact".

Please note this letter is an open letter, published on our website, and has been directly sent to a wide range of recipients, including those in high-profile positions in the NHS, GMC, and media.

I look forward to your prompt and urgent response fully addressing these issues.

Yours sincerely,

Miriam Finch

Founder and Editor

Informed Consent Matters

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