Professor Michael Goldacre

Department: Population Health


Educated Bec School, London; Magdalen College, Oxford; University College Medical School, London. After qualifying in medicine, and working in several hospital posts, I undertook an MSc in social medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and started a career in public health. As an Oxford academic, I was a clinical lecturer in social and community medicine, reader in public health, and then a professor of public health in the university Department of Public Health. Like most UK clinical academics, I had joint appointments with the NHS, and was an NHS Consultant in Public Health. I became a Fellow of Magdalen in 1985; was Tutor for Graduates, 1993-95; Dean of Degrees, 1993-2011.
In the Oxford medical school, I taught public health, epidemiology and health services management to clinical medical students throughout my career. For several years, I organised and taught on a Health and Disease module for the FHS Human Sciences. I taught, and supervised, students on the University’s MSc in Global Health; and I supervised doctoral students. I work currently as an emeritus professor in the Big Data Institute, Nuffield Department of Population Health. I have published over 400 research papers, listed in PubMed at One broad area of my research has been the use of anonymised electronic hospital records in epidemiological and health services studies. I directed the Unit of Health-Care Epidemiology which built and researched ‘Big Data’ hospital databases covering records from the 1960s to the present.

Selected recent publications:

Another main area of work has been the study of doctors’ careers. The rationale for this is that, in any health system, the most important asset is its skilled workforce, and workforce planning is fundamental to health-care planning. At best, this needs to be guided by knowledge about doctors’ career intentions, career trajectories, and their views about working in medicine. I directed the UK Medical Careers Research Group, a UK-wide series of cohort studies that has tracked the careers of about 80,000 doctors in qualification years ranging from 1974-2015. The studies of careers, though specifically about doctors, also provide insights into work-related aspects of modern professional life more generally.

Selected publications: