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03rd August 2021 Costi Levy (2019, Philosophy and Spanish)

Tabitha Thornton-Swan (2018, Medicine) wins national prize for her project on primary care

Every year the NIHR School for Primary Care Research awards an undergraduate medical student the George Lewith Prize for General Practice. The prize is open to medical undergraduates at any UK medical school, so for Tabitha to win this award is a great achievement.

The prize was awarded to Tabitha for her Final Honour Schools (FHS) research project, which all Oxford medical students embark on at the end of their second year. ‘I chose an FHS project with the primary care department because I wanted a research project with a clear clinical application,’ says Tabitha. Her project was a systematic review of whether random blood glucose testing can be used to identify undiagnosed diabetes in adults admitted to hospital. Undiagnosed type-2 diabetes affects one million adults in the UK, so research in this field is incredibly important.

Tabitha’s research consisted of systematically searching a wide range of databases and collating data about the correlation between blood glucose testing and diabetes. ‘The results were really interesting,’ she notes. ‘There was a massive amount of variation between studies, but enough to show that a well-designed large-scale study would be useful in the future.’ This was Tabitha’s first research experience, and an excellent opportunity for problem solving and working independently: ‘it’s definitely opened my eyes up to clinical research,’ she says.

Congratulating Tabitha on her success, Rector Rick Trainor applauded the ‘excellence of Tabitha’s project work and the splendid recognition that it has received.’

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