Vinod Devalia

Vinod was born on 7 April 1957 and was one of three children. He came to the UK from Kenya in 1972, aged 15, when his family, along with many other Kenyan Asians, were made to leave the country. His father was a photographer and owned a photographic shop in Kenya. Vinod’s family settled in Leicester and he and his sister were registered to attend Soar Valley School. Vinod sat ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels, largely teaching himself the curriculum for science in the school library. He went on to study medicine at Glasgow University, and during his vacation periods, worked as a research student at the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research and also in the Laboratory of Medical Biology with Fred Sanger, the double Nobel Prize winner. After graduation, he worked in Glasgow as a houseman, and completed his Senior House Officer training. He worked as a Registrar on rotation in Peterborough and Leicester and then moved to London and worked as Registrar at the Middlesex Medical School and University College London. By now he had got married and felt that he would need a larger property for a family; he found a post as Senior Registrar in Haematology in Nottingham. He then took up a post as a Consultant Haemotologist in Wales where he continues to work.

Responding to racism

When I was in Peterborough, a South African man came in with chest pains. He’d had a heart attack or similar and he said, 'I don't want to see that doctor'. I was a Registrar and my Consultant said, 'This is not South Africa, you will see whoever is here. I would easily have him as my doctor at any time so you're going to have him, you don’t have a choice, he's going to be looking after you'.

Vinod Devalia

Kenya