Lewisham junior doctor receives a British Empire Medal for work educating students during lockdown

By Alexandra Warren

A junior doctor has been awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to medical education and his work during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Azeem Alam is being honoured for his work at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust as part of the medical education team as well as his former role at Guys and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Azeem Alam

He is also nominated for his achievements as co-founder of BiteMedicine, an online medical education company.

Alam was surprised by the news, saying: “When I first received news of the award I thought it was a scam!

“It’s a huge honour to be recognised for my work during Covid, and I would like to share the accolade with my colleagues,” he added.

The 28-year-old founded BiteMedicine, which has provided free medical education for medical students, physician associates and aspiring doctors during the pandemic, teaching more than 10,000 students worldwide via online, live webinars.

Dr Alam, who has worked in the emergency department during the pandemic, said: “After receiving the initial email that I had been recommended by the Prime Minister for the honour of a British Empire Medal, I was in complete disbelief, and still am. I told my family as soon as I was able to and they were
equally shocked.

“I am earnestly grateful for the recognition that my work within medical education during COVID-19 has received, and I hope that BiteMedicine continues to grow beyond the pandemic. With the ongoing development of the BiteMedicine Foundation, I aspire for the platform to raise awareness of chronic medical conditions, as well as money to contribute to the care of patients with these conditions.

“I hope that this accolade, which I am so fortunate to receive, can inspire others to try and become the change that they aspire to see within their chosen field.”

BiteMedicine provided free education to 15,000 students worldwide while face to face teaching was suspended earlier this year.

The website offers interactive and innovative ways to engage with students, including quizzes and offering support during difficult times.

Once lockdown restrictions are eased Alam will be invited to attend a palace garden party to receive his honour.

Ben Travis, Chief Executive of Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, said: “We are very proud of Azeem and congratulate him on this well deserved award in the field of medical education.

“He has worked so hard on behalf of students and patients during Covid and is a great support to colleagues.”




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