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Ai Lyn Tan

Doctor in Leeds, United Kingdom

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I got into rheumatology 'by accident'. The only reason I went to medical school was to become a psychiatrist. Not sure what happened there...

So I chose the next most difficult-to-spell medical specialty, Then I got into academic research 'by accident'. Nothing new there then...

I became obsessed with using high resolution imaging with MRI and ultrasound to study how arthritis occur. It's what's given me the opportunity to travel the world to talk about my research!

When I'm not looking for the answers in joints, muscles or ligaments, I run. A lot. I have run 6 marathons (PB 3:28:51), 19 half marathons (PB 1:40:09), many 10ks (PB 44:18), many more 5ks (PB 21:23). I have raised over £5000 from running, mainly for Alzheimer's Society, Arthritis Research UK and Jane Tomlinson Appeal for cancer and children's illnesses.

Cycle 500 miles in 6 days from Paris to Leeds? OK then!

I couldn't even cycle! Bought a bike, booked myself into adult cycling lessons. Six months later, I was cycling on the right side of the road on a 'reverse Tour de France' manner back to Leeds in time for le Tour Yorkshire! Only fell twice...

I was a Team Liaison Tour Maker with le Tour Yorkshire. I looked after Team Giant Shimano throughout Stages 1-3 in the UK. The experience was surreal! The highlight was convincing the police from the moving Team bus to get a police escort all the way from Harrogate to Leeds!

Don't be envious, it's really hard work.

...really, it was!

It was also when I got the volunteering bug, so I had since been busy as a TourMaker for Tour de Yorkshire, TriMaker for World Triathlon, Rugby World Cup and as a 'Runner' for London 2017 Para Athletics Championship and the IAAF World Championships! I am also a Leeds City Ambassador, and a volunteer champion for Leeds2023.

My other celebrity claims to fame? Been on telly with Gordon Ramsay and Sir Paul Smith!

When I'm not doing all the above, I'm constantly on twitter! I have lectured on social media locally, nationally and internationally to major organisations, and manage multiple organisation accounts. I'm also specialist social media volunteer for parkrun UK.

I believe exercise is the answer to most things. I strive to inspire others to get active: if I can run and cycle, so can you! I mean, I have even ran on a broken foot for 15km! I often encourage colleagues to take up physical activities, and regularly prescribe parkrun to my patients! I'm proud of my role as the parkrun UK Outreach Ambassador for Arthritis/MSK conditions.

  • Work
    • University of Leeds
  • Education
    • University College Cork, Ireland
    • Hwa Chong Junior College