Hi, Guest!

Our approach to medical interview preparation success

We are SpR and IMT trainees that are enthusiastic about education and interview preparation.

We have all scored very highly in our National Interviews and have used the experience to put together online materials and a full medical interview course showing how to prepare for your IMT, ST3 and ST4 interviews.

Please do check out our faculty below. We use our experiences and previous Interview questions to keep our materials and the all-important mock interview course relevant and high yield. We’re always looking for new, enthusiastic faculty so please get in touch.

Meet the Clinical Leads

Dr Balrik Kailey

Cardiology Lead

I am a Cardiology ACF ST6 in North-West Thames and trained in Oxford and GKT. I’m very keen on MedEd and created CardioWebinar – a free online Cardiology education platform. I served on the BJCA Core Committee and have been heavily involved in SpR interview preparation courses over the past 5 years.

Dr Nikhil Ahluwalia

Cardiology Lead

I am a Cardiology SpR at Barts Heart Centre, North East North Central Thames. I am the Academic Lead for the British Junior Cardiologists Association (please use BJCA.tv if you want to learn all things Cardiology) and host the sOOPR podcast for medical trainees thinking about research. I enjoy Medical Education, working as Faculty on the PassPACES courses and a GMC PLAB examiner. I was co-founder of the Barts Interview Course which ran 2018-2019.

Dr Tom Mason

Respiratory Lead

I am an ST6 in Respiratory Medicine/GIM in the South London deanery. I’m currently doing a fellowship in COPD at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital and also have an interest in pulmonary hypertension. I have been helping the Respiratory trainees with mock interview preparation for many years. 

Dr Vivienne Ralph

Renal Lead

I am a Renal ST4 trainee in the South Thames Deanery. I am currently working at Guy’s Hospital. I have a keen interest in teaching and completed an MSc in Medical Education at the University College London. I have run various national teaching courses over the last 5 years and also developed a mentoring programme for SHOs applying to registrar training.

Dr Michael Colwill

Gastroenterology Lead

I am an ST5 Gastroenterology trainee in South London. I trained at Imperial and am currently working at St George’s Hospital in South London. I have always been interested in MedEd and, as well as helping to develop a Gastro SpR training app, have designed and implemented training programmes for medical students and junior doctors. I have also acted as an interviewer for medical school entrance interviews.

Dr Charles Wade

Neurology Lead

I am a Neurology ST4 in the North Central London deanery at Queen Square. I just started my PhD in Multiple Sclerosis at UCL. I trained down in Exeter, did my foundation training in Oxford and completed my core training in North West London. I’ve worked with Optimise Interviews over the past few years and think it offers candidates a real head start with interview preparation. 

Dr Layla Thurston 

Diabetes & Endocrinology Lead

I graduated from the University of Manchester in 2013 with dual honours in Medicine with European Studies. After undertaking my foundation and core training in South Thames, I moved to North West Thames for specialist registrar training in Endocrinology & Diabetes and General Internal Medicine. I recently completed my PhD in Neuroendocrinology at Imperial College London. I am also a PACES Ahead tutor and Young Diabetologists and Endocrinologists’ Forum (YDEF) committee member. 

Dr Narin Shareef 

Dermatology Lead

I am currently an ST5 dermatology registrar in the South West London deanery.  I have a passion for education and training, having completed an MSc in Medical Education at Royal College of Physicians and UCL. For the last two years, I’ve taught on a BMA Webinar helping trainees with their Dermatology ST3 applications and interviews. I’ve also been supporting trainees locally and through St George’s University DermSoc.

Dr Jeff Lam

Haematology Lead

Dr Jeff Lam is a senior haematology trainee in the Guy’s and St Thomas’ rotation. He recently completed a clinical fellowship in phase I trials focusing on drug development in haemato-oncology at University College London Hospital. He has published review article in the American Journal of Haematology and presented at American Society of Haematology conference. In April 2022 he completed the FRCPath examination.   

Dr Joe Hetherington

Geriatrics Lead

I am an ST7 trainee in Geriatric and General (Internal) Medicine, currently based in the South West London deanery. After graduating from King’s College, London, I undertook foundation training in North West Thames followed by Core Medical Training in South London. I was RCP Chief Registrar for Medicine and Elderly Care at Croydon University Hospital. I’m keen to work with and encourage any future geriatricians, and look forward to helping trainees with their applications. 

Dr Robert Gray 

Infectious Diseases Lead

I am a Higher Specialty Trainee in Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology in the London Deanery. I completed core Infection Training in the East of England deanery alongside a Masters degree in clinical microbiology. Based at the Francis Crick Institute, London, I am currently writing my PhD thesis on the metabolism of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As an undergraduate, I worked on malaria vaccines at the Jenner Institute, Oxford University. 

Dr Samir Patel 

Rheumatology Lead

I am a Rheumatology registrar in South London and have recently come out of programme for a PhD regarding systemic lupus erythematosus. I have been involved in the organisation and teaching of undergraduates, foundation, core and registrars over the last few years and look forward to working with Optimise Interviews. 

Dr Tamara Searle

IMT Co-lead

My name is Tamara Searle and I am currently an IMT1 at St Mary’s Hospital. I studied at the University of Birmingham and am hoping to pursue a career in dermatology. 

Dr Sashi Ganesananthan

Currently and IMT at Imperial College Trust, Dr Ganesananthan completed his Academic Foundation Training in 2022 with high-impact first author publications in the European Heart Journal and presenting his research work often at International Conferences. His organisational and technical skills have allowed him to develop his passion for teaching and leadership through large scale teaching events for medicall students at a global scale.

Dr. Justin Chiong

IMT Co-lead

I am an IMT1 based in Liverpool and the Mersey region. I trained at Edinburgh and completed my foundation training in Scotland. I’m interested in Cardiology and medical education, particularly near-peer teaching and simulation. I am currently completing an MSc looking at ways we can use this to improve Cardiology teaching for medical students and junior doctors.

Dr Yasmin Nikookam

IMT Co-lead

Yasmin Nikookam is an IMT Year 1 trainee currently working at St George’s Hospital in London with rotations in Neurology, Acute Medicine and Dermatology. She also has an interest in medical education and research, whereby she was co-opted as the Royal College of Physicians Edinburgh Social Media committee member and the Skin Health and Disease Journal Associate Editor. 

Meet the Faculty

Dr Rahul Ghelani 

Cardiology Sub-lead

I am an ST4 Cardiology trainee in the North East and Central Thames London Deanery. Having trained at UCL, I am due to start a PhD in electrophysiology and cardiac imaging under Imperial College. I enjoy and am committed to medical education with experiences including organizing and delivering undergraduate teaching programmes to acting as a lecturer on the PACES Ahead course.

Dr David Gamble

Cardiology Sub-lead

David is one of the Academic Cardiology Registrars in the North East of Scotland. He is also a SCREDs Clinical Lecturer in Cardiology at the University of Aberdeen. David holds both an MBBS degree and an MPharm degree. He graduated from University College London (UCL) medical school and prior to this he graduated with a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Nottingham. David’s interests include electrophysiology, cardiovascular disease in women and cardiac pharmacology.

Dr Krithivasan Raman

Gastroenterology Sub-lead

I am a Gastroenterology ST5 in the North Central London deanery. I trained at Glasgow and completed my internal medicine training in Cambridge. I am passionate about medical education and have taught and mentored medical students and trainees throughout my postgraduate years. I am also an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I benefited greatly from the Optimise Interview course and am excited to share my experiences to help trainees benefit with their interview preparation. 

Dr Marcus Martineau  

Endocrinology & Diabetes Sub-lead

I graduated at Imperial College London (MBBS with Merit) in 2000. In 2014 I completed specialist training in General & Obstetric Medicine as well as Diabetes & Endocrinology (Imperial College London & Brown University, Rhode Island). Since 2014 I have been appointed as a Consultant at Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Ronak Shah

Infectious Diseases Sub-lead

I’m an IMT1 in North West London. I trained in Cambridge and did my Foundation training in North West London. I’ve always been interested in MedEd and was an undergraduate clinical teaching fellow for my FY3 year, which gave me the opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects and complete a PGCert in MedEd alongside. I’m excited to help trainees prepare for their medical interview as part of the Optimise Interview Faculty.

Dr Yezen Sammaraiee

Neurology Faculty

I am a Neurology Registrar in South London. I attended the 2021 course and ranked first for Neurology National recruitment 2022 after scoring full marks at interview. 

Meet the Team

Harroop Bola

Head of Strategy 

I am Fifth-year Medical Student at Imperial College London with a First-class Honours in iBSc Cardiovascular Sciences (Awarded the National Heart and Lung Institute Prize for my scholarship). I’m currently the Founding Chair of the British Indian Medical Association (BIMA), a leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to fostering a nationwide student-doctor network across the UK, since 2020. Outside of BIMA, I am involved with MedEd initiatives, currently sitting as the Clinical Assessment Editor at Elsevier, and am the primary author on the 400 SBAs in Preclinical Medicine book with WorldScientific.

Chelsea Stubbs

Content Manager

I am a 5th year medical student at Imperial College London currently through specialties. Cardiology has been my main specialty of interest since I started working on a MedED project looking at Health Coaching in post-MI patients. I have recently founded the Lifestyle Medicine Society which focuses on primary prevention of disease and am the current President of the Imperial College Model United Nations Society.

Manas Soni

Head of Marketing and PR

I am a fifth-year medical student at University College London with First-class Honours in iBSc Cardiovascular Sciences. I am thoroughly involved in medical education as the Treasurer of the British Indian Medical Association and a Clinical Assessment Contributor at Elsevier. I also work as part of the Children Acute Transport Service at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Tanvi Mungale

Website development

I am a fifth year medical student at the University of Nottingham. I completed my BMedSci (Hons.) in 2022, and I am part of the administrations team at Optimise. I have 2 years of leadership experience with the British Indian Medical Association, as well as an interest in MedEd. As part of the Nottingham cardiology society’s committee, I organise  teaching sessions, and I also have an interest in national medical education management. I look forward to helping trainees who choose to work with Optimise! 

Meet your predecessors!

Just a few of the successful candidates that we had the pleasure of working with over the years. Please get in touch if you have any specific questions or want to learn more.

Just to let you know I got full marks in my interview and ranked third nationally.

[…] is my top choice and […] so I’ll get a number there.

I wanted to thank you both again for the interview course […]. It made a huge difference and I greatly appreciate it

2021 Course Attendee

Many thanks for the comprehensive interview course and has gone a long way in helping me secure a NTN. It is much appreciated

2021 Course Attendee

I am pleased to share with you that I have been successful in securing an NTN in South East Midlands , which was my first preference region.

I must say that the interview mock course you guys organised was very helpful for preparation and better understanding of the structure of the interview.

2021 Course Attendee

I am so incredibly thankful for all the invaluable help. I didn’t get a London job last year and after applying the tips you guys told us, especially for the clinical station I got full marks across all stations and ranked 2nd in the country! Coming to NW Thames!

Optimise Cardio 21

You guys are doing a fantastic job in polishing interview skills and giving the framework of how to answer each section, I would definitely recommend this interview course to my colleagues and it is worth every penny. Keep up the impressive work.

Optimise Cardio 22

I am extremely thankful to all of you for the guidance on approach to ST4 interviews.
I am happy to let you know I managed to secure both renal and rheumatology number and I have opted for Rheumatology:)

Thank you so much again.

Optimise Rheum and Renal 22