Dr Rachael Milligan
Clinical Research Fellow
Rachael Milligan is a medical doctor who joined the CIDG editorial base in August 2016. She completed her initial medical training in Edinburgh and moved to Liverpool to study the MSc Tropical and Infectious disease in 2012. After completing her MSc she trained as a general practitioner in Merseyside. She continues to refuse to bring visiting friends and family to any Beatles museums/tours as she insists there is much more culture in Liverpool than just this claim to fame.
Rachael was part of an author team for a CIDG review update on vaccines for typhoid fever that was used by the World Health Organization (WHO) in their recent updated guidance in this area. She is also working on a review on radical cure of P. vivax malaria and is part of a small team looking into evidence-based guidelines in refugee camps.
Rachael is also involved in co-ordinating the post-graduate teaching that CIDG is involved in, both on the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the MSc module Systematic Reviews for Policy and Practice.
She continues to work clinically part-time both as a GP in Liverpool and also as a medical advisor at the Well Travelled Clinic at LSTM.
1. What drew you to CIDG originally?
After finishing my training to be a GP, I was excited at having the chance to be involved in research in tropical medicine at CIDG, after having my interest piqued after completing a MSc at LSTM a few years earlier. As I work part-time at CIDG, I have been able to combine this with my clinical work as a GP – meaning an interesting and varied working week. Coming from a primary care background, a lot of our reviews are very relevant to clinicians practicing in family medicine.
2. How would you describe your job at CIDG to a child?
We pile together lots of work that lots of different people have done so as to try and answer important questions, and help people have healthy lives all over the world.
3. What gets you out of bed on a workday?
The lure of a flat white on the way to work – although the novelty of being able to wear my jeans to work has not yet worn off!
4. What has been your most exciting achievement with CIDG?
Being part of the team compiling evidence for the WHO for the new typhoid fever vaccine guidelines was rewarding, especially as there were quite a few challenges along the way – completing the review definitely felt like a victory!
5. What has your experience with CIDG added to your CV?
During my time at CIDG I have learnt a lot about appraising evidence in medicine and the importance of using high-quality systematic reviews to develop policy. Having the opportunity to be an author on reviews and attend training sessions on grading evidence has been invaluable experience. It’s also been great to get to meet a variety of people working both at LSTM and Cochrane in the UK and around the world. I’ve also enjoyed getting to teach a wide range of people from all over the world and pass on some of the skills that I have learnt.
6. If you were stranded on a desert island with only one Cochrane review to read, which would you choose and why?
Well I definitely wouldn’t pick one that I’ve been an author on, as I’ve read them so many times during writing that that would finish me off!
7. How do you recharge after a hard day's work at CIDG?
Hot yoga or baking (preferably not at the same time). I haven’t yet managed to persuade anyone else at CIDG of the benefits of hot yoga but have yet to meet any resistance to the cakes…
8. Which type of animal do you think would make a good Cochrane Editor?
Probably a dolphin as I hear that they are good multi-taskers and also don’t require much sleep (and lore says that they sometimes rescue lost humans – much like an editor with author teams!)
The CIDG editorial base is located at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, UK. The CIDG is led by Professor Paul Garner (Co-ordinating Editor) and Deirdre Walshe (Managing Editor). Over 600 authors from some 52 countries contribute to the preparation of the Cochrane Reviews. They are supported by an international team of Editors, each with topic or methodological expertise.
The CIDG’s main areas of work are on determination of the effects of interventions on the prevention or treatment infectious diseases of relevance to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. The aims of the CIDG are to impact on policy and research in tropical diseases through the production of high quality and relevant systematic reviews, and to lead developments in review quality improvement and effective dissemination of findings.