Pritpal S Tamber

June 6, 2012

Why my first consultancy practice was called optimising clinical knowledge

It was on a date that a girl asked me, “So what’s the purpose of your life?”. I replied, “To improve health care through the appropriate use of knowledge. What’s yours?”. I didn’t get an immediate reply so I looked up from my pasta to see her looking shocked. “How do you know the purpose of your life?!” she asked. She’d expected me not to have an answer.I did have an answer. And I still have the same answer. And I believe it.

I believe it as much now as I did when I was the Student Editor at the BMJ. It was there that I realised so little of what is known ever makes it into clinical practice. It was there that I also realised I wouldn’t be a frontline doctor for long. There was way too much to do to get knowledge into practice.

It turns out there was more to do than I could ever have imagined.

I’ve now been in medical publishing for over a decade.

I’ve been involved with projects that I am deeply proud of. I’ve worked with people who have startled me with their talent, intellect and passion. And yet clinical practice hurtles on in almost scant disregard for established knowledge.


There is no simple answer. And there is no one group to blame. All of us involved in healthcare are as guilty as each other.

I’ve set up this consultancy to help organisations understand what medical knowledge is, how they can use it to improve their everyday operations, and how they can measure the value they’re creating. It is my belief that as consumers rightly understand more about their healthcare, organisations will have to respond to meet their demands. Quite rightly, too.

I’ve set up this blog to share my experiences along the way, reflect on the challenges organisations face, spread good practices and insights from other industries, and hopefully hear your experiences.

More soon.

This post was first published on my original blog, Optimising Clinical Knowledge. 

Pritpal S Tamber

I'm an independent writer, researcher and consultant focussing on community health and medical information. I'm a former physician, medical editor and medical publisher, and also the former Physician Editor of TEDMED. I began my career at The BMJ. For more information, see the About page.

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