Runner-up in PhDepiction Competition: Riya George, University of Leicester

Riya Elizabeth George – Runner Up Prize Winner in the ‘PhD Depiction’ Photography Competition at the Festival of Postgraduate Research, University of Leicester.

The competition requires applicants to create a photograph that communicates their research, their findings and their passion for their subject in a single photograph.

Seeing the person behind the patient

Riya Elizabeth George, Department of Neuroscience, Psychology & Behaviour

Supervisor: Professor Nisha Dogra


For me this image of my parents represents the complexity that is found behind every individual; it illustrates the unique experiences, heritage, culture and personal relationships that are meaningful to each person and are often not recognised or articulated at face value. The combination of these factors become the lenses through which we see and experience the world. Even these handful of photographs cannot fully depict the complexity of what makes them who they are.

Diversity NHS Training aims to demonstrate the differences in attitudes, values, experiences and behaviours towards health and illness by different patients and cultures. It is training that is fundamentally driven by the need to acknowledge, value and respond to patient differences and diversity. My PhD explores patient perspectives around how we can better teach and evaluate diversity training.

The findings of my PhD focus groups revealed that patients wanted practitioners to learn more about them as an individual. They wanted diversity training to be a platform through which to educate and encourage practitioners to see patients as people, to understand the unique way in which each person experiences a condition and its impact on their life and to form meaningful relationships with patients. The various quotes seen on the image are those voiced by patients which demonstrates their preference for patient-centered, holistic care. Patients wanted their perceived cultural, emotional, medical or physical needs not to be seen as separate dimensions but as one reality that they experienced; acknowledging that all factors play a role in their health and well-being. Ultimately patients wanted health professionals to remember that they are treating people not patients and that each individual will have different and unique healthcare needs.

FINAL_PhDepictions_Riya George