Meet ‘Global Scalpels’



Riana Patel (Founder)




Hi, my name is Riana, and I am a core surgical trainee working in England. I graduated from Barts and The London School of Medicine & Dentistry in 2017, and subsequently worked as an Academic Foundation Doctor in the Oxford Global Surgery Group from 2017-2019.

I’ve been interested in global surgery for a while, but for me, one of the most poignant experiences that has inspired my work in global surgery was from working as part of a paediatric surgery partnership with a Tanzanian hospital. It was humbling to see such skilled clinicians in Tanzania dedicating their lives to managing children with surgically-treatable conditions. I was able to appreciate the commonality we all have as members of surgical teams worldwide – the same knowledge, the same values, and the same drive to do the best for our patients. At the time, I was, and still am, very aware that this partnership with our Tanzanian colleagues gave me more than I was able to contribute to the local team.

It made me reflect on what someone at a junior stage in their career could do to contribute to the global surgery cause. One such thing is advocacy and awareness. And this is why I got involved with creating this podcast. Hopefully, this podcast is something that is accessible to all and inspires others to think about how they too can get involved in an ethical manner.

Taylor Ottesen (Founder)




Hi! My name is Taylor and I am a current 4th-year medical student at Yale School of Medicine in the United States and am currently finishing an MBA at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Although I grew up in the US, I became interested in international work at a young age. During college, I moved to Southern India to study in a small village and eventually founded my own non-profit organization working with slum and village students which we ran for about 5 years. During that time, I lost two very close friends to very treatable diseases – this is when global health became extremely personal to me. I have since made it a career goal to never turn a blind eye to problems in global health.

I subsequently applied to medical school and was fortunate to be accepted. Since that time, I have worked with many organizations to expand healthcare access and understanding including the World Health Organization, National Health Service (UK), Ukrainian Institute on Public Health and Policy, Doctors Without Borders, and Siemens Healthineers. 

Through my experience in business school and other organizations, I found a whole host of people doing extraordinary things in global surgery that were often not recognized. We hope that by creating this podcast it will give a platform for those unsung heroes with incredible initiatives around the world!



Daniel Lowe (Intern)




Hi I’m Daniel I’m a third-year medical student from Bond University, Australia and I’m the ASSA InciSioN Australasia Co-Chair.

My passion for global health stems from annual visits to my family’s rural village Sri Lanka while growing up, where I saw the disparities in healthcare face-to-face. This subconscious passion snowballed and lead to me working for an international charity in Sri Lanka and co-organising an Australiasian Student Surgical Association’s ‘Global Surgery Journal Club’ and becoming Vice President of the Bond University Surgical Society.

The ‘Global Scalpels’ Podcast is close to my heart as medical schools consistently fail to educate students about global health disparities – particularly in surgery. I see Global Surgery as a strengthening vehicle to enable millions of people worldwide each year to live, go to school, play with friends and live a life controlled by them. At its core is Health Equity, decolonising global health, and giving back autonomy to healthcare providers in their local communities. Global Surgery is about allowing everyone to have safe and affordable healthcare, regardless of where one is born or what one can afford.

I have many passions in life including medicine, his guitar, global health, volunteering, sport, travel and adventure.