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Dr Saleyha Ahsan


About Saleyha Ahsan

I’m An Emergency Medicine Doctor And A Freelance Filmmaker.
I have a passion for current and foreign affairs. Currently I present for BBC Science in the returning series, Trust Me I’m A Doctor and the BBC’s One Show. My predominate and long term area of interest is focused on attacks against healthcare in conflict zones for which I am persistently covering and developing projects. I also cover NHS, MENA, human rights and social welfare related stories.
My first journalism job was with BBC Wiltshire Sound as a reporter. I got a work experience placement after which I was told I could stay. During this period, I passed the Regular Commissions Board for entry to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and decided to take my place on the officer commissioning course.
I served for three years as a medical support officer with the Royal Army Medical Corps, which included a tour of Bosnia in 1997 as part of the Nato Stabilisation Force (SFOR). I was massively inspired by the amazing work done by army doctors on Bosnian trauma survivors. So I applied to study medicine. I got a place in Dundee and have never looked back.
As a ‘civi’ again I got back to journalism and started to pitch ideas as a freelancer in between studying. I worked in Palestine and Kashmir for BBC 5 Live and also developed for Radio 4 Current Affairs. I started to make independent films whilst still at medical school and have continued ever since.
Most of my work is based on access-related stories from hospital units on front lines in Libya and Syria to A&E departments here in the UK. I have a strong interest in stories related to the military, civil liberties, conflict, global health, development and law. I got my LLM in International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law at Essex University in 2011. My area of academic and filmmaking interest is attacks against healthcare in conflict. My latest feature documentary in development is also about attacks against healthcare, which is also the subject of my coming PhD. The journey to make this film started in 1997 and the theme was covered in my first documentary, Article 17 – Doctors in Palestine.
I am passionate about storytelling as a means of raising awareness about issues that affect us all. I also write drama and have written afternoon plays for Radio 4 (Known Associates, The Road to Bani Walid, My Son the Doctor) and co-wrote a BBC Scotland BAFTA winning screenplay, Trouble Sleeping.

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