Dr Ghazala Aziz-Scott studied Medicine at Cambridge University and graduated with a Masters in Neuroscience, Medical Ethics and Law. She transferred to Oxford University for her clinical training where she also completed her specialist GP training scheme gaining her membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) in 1995. Well qualified in women’s health, she also holds the DRCOG (Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) and DFFP (Diploma of the Faculty of Family Planning). She has been an experienced senior GP in a large NHS partnership in West London for over two decades but is now dedicating her career to Functional Medicine and bioidentical hormone balancing to provide an expertise in integrative women’s health.
I was born and raised in London and my family are Indian in origin. My parents instilled in me a firm belief in the importance of education for women. I also had a visionary headteacher at my state school who supported me to apply to Oxbridge, empowering me to start my medical training with a Masters in Medical Ethics and Law with Neuroscience at Cambridge University. I completed my clinical training at New College, Oxford University where I also did my specialist GP training scheme. This led to a fulfilling career as a partner in General Practice for 23 years in a socially and ethnically diverse population in West London, where I was also active in education and teaching at Imperial and King’s.
I am now the Clinical Lead Doctor at The Marion Gluck Clinic, the largest bioidentical hormone clinic in the UK where I am also involved in education and training and I have recently introduced a Functional Medicine service to the clinic.
A few years ago, I could never have imagined I would be where I am today, and how my current role organically evolved from a conventional medical career. As a General Practitioner, I always gravitated towards women’s health and in my career span of over two decades, I traced the path of my female patients through the typical life phases from hormonal health, pregnancy, childbirth and towards midlife and menopause, often relating to these women through the mirror of my own life. I chose General Practice as I enjoyed the variety, the doctor-patient relationships and the principles of continuity of care, but also for the flexibility and work-life balance it afforded in raising my two daughters.
Conventional medical practice is becoming so focused on individual specialities that does not view the human body as a sum of complex biological systems and responds to treating symptoms rather than looking for unifying root causes of illness. I was always drawn to a more integrative, holistic approach and the mind-body connection, which sparked my interest in training with the Institute of Functional Medicine and I did the introductory course in Seattle, USA. I simultaneously did my courses with The Marion Gluck Training Academy, fortuitously discovered the overlap in these two fields and have been combining this approach since.
Life has dealt me my fair share of curveballs! However, I am blessed with a resilient nature, and a positive spirit, I have evolved and learnt from the experiences, and it has made me a more empathetic and compassionate clinician. For all working mothers, combining the responsibilities of family life with those of work is a universal challenge to find a consistent level of balance and I have been fortunate enough to always have unwavering support from family and work colleagues. You know who you are! Once my daughters entered primary school, I worked three full days per week which was perfect and there was only the headspace to invest time in a new career path as they were doing A-Levels. I capitalised on the ‘lockdown years’ and was able to livestream all my advanced functional medicine modules from the USA and complete my training.
My current role feels like the pinnacle of my career, combining a solid core of clinical experience with a different lens of a more integrative approach, treating the whole person rather than individual symptoms. I also enjoy the business side of running a practice and the principles of compassionate leadership which supports collaboration and teamwork. Valuing the contribution and growth of each individual in a multidisciplinary team maximises the growth of the business as a whole. I hope that I am rising to the responsibilities of the job and there continues to be so much opportunity for expansion and lifelong learning. I am presenting training courses for the Marion Gluck Training Academy in bioidentical hormones and ran a recent masterclass on thyroid health. The Marion Gluck Clinic has another business arm- the Specialist Pharmacy which is the UK’s number 1 compounding pharmacy – it’s such an inspirational experience to see how individual medicines are made and personalised for each patient and is an exponential area of development.
Hard work, focus and consistency!
‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ – the ancient wisdom of Lao Tzu.
I have always felt energised by mentoring others and sharing my accrued expertise and experience – in fact, it is a great way of embedding your own knowledge. At medical school, we were advised to ‘see one, do one and teach one’ for any procedure. As a GP partner, I have mentored GP registrars, medical students and other healthcare practitioners. Now, I am the Marion Gluck Training Academy support doctor and also train doctors to join our clinic team in bioidentical hormones and integrative women’s health.
Dr Marion Gluck, the founder of our clinic, is a pioneer of bioidentical hormone treatments and is a visionary who is decades ahead of her time in this field. She maintains a strong presence and continues to be a great inspiration. I am grateful for her mentorship and trust.
Empower girls from a young age to focus on education and developing a rewarding career that provides focus, freedom and financial security. They must challenge gender stereotypes and learn how to negotiate their own worth. Understanding their bodies and optimising health and wellbeing is also important as well as awareness around health issues impacting women – women comprise 50% of the workforce across the board and this is of huge benefit to society.
I think it is important to be true to yourself and your values and to trust your instincts about what is right for you. Try and find what floats your boat and a passion for what you are doing – this can take time, perseverance, and a dose of luck!
I have recently introduced a Functional Medicine service to the clinic and would like to see it grow and flourish. Functional Medicine is a developing movement in medicine and is an antidote to how depersonalised medicine with its ‘pill for every ill’ can be. I think that 4 P medicine is the medicine of the future- Personalised, Proactive, Precise and in Partnership with the patient and I hope to be part of this new vision.