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University of Oxford celebrates contribution of researcher and physiotherapist Jackie Walumbe

Photo Credit: University of Oxford


Physiotherapist Jackie Walumbe features in a list of 100 women based at the University of Oxford’s prestigious medical sciences division.

Jackie – a clinical doctoral research fellow and part-time DPhil candidate at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences – has 17 years’ clinical experience under her belt, much of it the pain field.

The list was unveiled earlier this month by the university, which celebrated the fact that, in 2020, women had been gaining degrees there for 100 years.  

Complex pain team member

A key move in Jackie's career development came in 2016, when she joined a hospital-based complex pain team that helped patients manage their own conditions, she says in a Q&A on the division’s website.

‘In this, my current role, I work with patients with diverse clinical presentations and complex physical and psychological symptoms who experience significant negative impact on their quality of life.

‘My move into the pain management field gave me professional freedom to “zoom out” beyond existing normative approaches to conceptualising pain,' Jackie continues.

‘Working with different professionals and completing an MSc in global public health and policy, in which I learned about the wider determinants of health, I began to draw on other approaches that take account of contextual issues contributing to complex pain.’

Research focus

Jackie’s qualitative research study focuses on issues relating to the policy, practice and experience of people living with chronic pain. She hopes her involvement in the Interdisciplinary Research in Health Sciences group will help to ensure her project findings ‘make a difference to clinical practice’.

I would like to see … more allied health professionals leading and contributing to research and recognised as an important voice in medical sciences [Jackie Walumbe]

In the past year, Jackie says she – like many others – has become more sensitised to social injustice and how this contributes to health inequalities.

‘I have participated in a number of podcasts discussing race and ethnicity, encouraging my peers in allied health roles to rethink our attitudes towards race, equality, diversity and inclusion.'

The next 100 years: a greater prominence for AHPs in medical sciences

Asked what changes she would like to see in the next 100 years, Jackie adds: ‘I would like to see an increased presence of non-medical clinical academics in medical sciences … more allied health professionals [AHPs] leading and contributing to research and recognised as an important voice in medical sciences.’

The University of Oxford was ranked number one in the last world university rankings published by Times Higher Education. This was the fourth year in a row that the university won this accolade.

For more information, see: https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/100-women-of-oxford-medical-sciences/meet-our-100-women/jackie-walumbe

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