Helen Birkerstaff is the Senior Lecturer and Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at King's College London and Guys and St Thomas' Foundation Trust.
Her refreshing approach, incredible bedside manner and media training makes her an ideal candidate to be a 'talking head' or 'expert opinion' on women's reproductive health.
Helen is immensely well informed and passionate about her field. She believes that reproductive health is integral to the holistic wellbeing of women. Her dedication and empathy has resulted in her making a difference to every patient she treats. Over the years she has worked with people from all walks of life, from teens struggling with their menstrual cycle to women desperate to conceive.
Helen explains: 'I think all gynaecological and obstetric health experiences tend to be part of the feminine life journey. It is rare that there is a straightforward and practical medical problem or solution. Even something which could be viewed as very simple, let's say contraception, informs on a woman's lifestyle and self-image. A major part of my role is understanding my patients - not just their condition, but their emotional needs and wants. I wouldn't be doing my job properly if I didn't treat each of my patients as I would like to be treated - with care, kindness and compassion.'
After graduating in medicine from Cambridge University and Addenbrookes Foundation Trust Hospital in 1992, she decided to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology in London. She then went on to train in IVF at the Hammersmith Hospital and Guys and St Thomas' Foundation Trust and gained a sub speciality accreditation with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in Reproductive Medicine and Surgery. Helen also has a research MD from Cambridge in Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis for Huntington Disease and published the largest series of PGD cycles at that time in 2004.
As well as running a busy gynaecologist service at Guys and St Thomas', Helen also remains active in research and leads medical undergraduate teaching in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Kings Hospital where she helps young doctors to become informed and passionate gynaecologists.