Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy

Dr Arabella Begin

Dr Arabella Begin

  • Lewis and Audrey Cannell Fellow and Director of Studies in Clinical Medicine


I was raised in London (St Paul's Girls' School) and studied Medicine at Lincoln College, Oxford. I completed the Academic Foundation Programme at the John Radcliffe (Oxford) before training as a paediatrician with Membership to the Royal College of Paediatrics & Child Health. I completed a Masters in Med Ed at Harvard Medical School and hold a DPhil in Pharmacology from Lincoln College, Oxford. Before returning to Oxford I was Assistant Professor in Medicine at Harvard and Associate Director for the Center for Educational Innovation & Scholarship (MGH Boston) and led the creation of a new curriculum at Imperial. I am happily married to a physician and mother of two beautiful young girls.


I am deeply invested in medical education research with a particular interest in the field of burnout and uncertainty. I am committed to designing and researching innovative approaches to the teaching of medicine especially with regard to diagnostic reasoning, resilience, and embracing uncertainty. Much of my research focuses on the field of uncertainty as it relates to medical decision-making, diagnostic error, patient-doctor relationships, and physician wellbeing. Looking to understand and optimise the attributes that allow physicians to thrive in a challenging environment is undoubtedly essential as we strive to mitigate burnout and depression in our healthcare providers.

Select publications

Simpkin A, Schwartzstein R. Tolerating Uncertainty – The Next Medical Revolution? NEJM 2016; 375(18): 1713-1715

Simpkin A, Vyas J, Armstrong K. Diagnostic reasoning: An endangered competency in internal medicine training. Annals of Internal Medicine 2017; 167(7):507-508

Simpkin AL, Chang Y, Yu L, Campbell EG, Armstrong K, Walensky RP. Assessment of job satisfaction and feeling valued in academic medicine. JAMA Int Med. 2019; 179(7):992-994

Gheihman G, Johnson M, Simpkin AL. Twelve tips for thriving in the face of clinical uncertainty. Medical Teacher 2019; 26:1-7

Simpkin Begin A, Hidrue M, Lehrhoff S, Del Carmen MG, Armstrong K, Wasfy JH. Factors associated with physician tolerance of uncertainty: an observational study. J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Apr 26:1-7 doi: 10.1007/s11606-021-06776-8