Decision making analysis modelling in health care

Elena is an Health Economist expert in economic evaluation and decision making. She is currently Senior Research Associate in the Department of Applied Health Research at UCL

My story

How I decided to become an health economist? Since I was a child I always wanted to be a clinical doctor, but I ended up doing Economics. No, don’t ask me why, it’s a long story!

It was only during the last year at University that I discovered Health Economics. I didn’t even know such a subject existed, but I immediately fell in love with it: economics applied to health care! I graduated with a thesis on avoidable mortality and few months after I started an MSc in Health Economics.

During my internship in a hospital I started doing research on variability of clinical practice. It was a fascinating subject for me, understanding why women living only few kilometres from each others are at different risk of having hysterectomy.

The following year I started my PhD in Economics and Management and I spent 10 months at the University of York to learn as much as I could from the main experts in Economic Evaluation. I went back to Italy to complete my PhD but I didn’t manage to stay long there, as I got a research post in London as Health Economist.

Being an health economist I have a strong and unique passion for medicine and I use my knowledge of economics by applying it to a variety of challenges in health. No, I never managed to become a clinical doctor, I don’t save people lives in a hospital, but I investigate how resources can be used, so that clinicians can treat their patients in the best possible way and save as many lives as possible.