Joseph Pusey

Doctor @ National Health Service
Working (0-5 years experience)
116Joined Apr 2022josephpusey.com

Bio

Participation
2

I currently work as a doctor near Manchester, England. Right now, I'm working on completing my Foundation training and deciding what I want to do with the rest of my career. Possible candidates, outside of continuing in clinical medicine, are jobs in operations or research at EA-aligned Global Health and Wellbeing organisations, and I'm excited about opportunities in these fields.

I've been involved with EA through volunteering and working for One for the World, attending EAG 2022, the Cause Innovation Bootcamp, the Hi-Med fellowship, and (most importantly) my GWWC pledge to GiveDirectly. 

How others can help me

I'm looking for flexible, part-time opportunities to test my fit for research or operations roles in Global Health and Development. 

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I agree with this, and I think this might be a case where the largest donors, median donors, and beneficiaries might have very different intuitions.

Agreed that this seems very possible. Who should we listen to most closely if it is the case?

Hi Michael. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

You've highlighted an issue I agree with- that this is something of a grey area where one's personal position on complex moral issues can make a big difference to how effective you think this problem area might be.

I am not clear from your explanation on whether health impacts are talking about the effect on the mother or the effect on the stillborn child.

In the article, I'm defining the health impacts of a stillbirth as the years of health, or healthy life, lost to the child who is stillborn- this, as you point out, is very hard to define. Any health impacts on the mother (not related to economic or wellbeing impacts) were not described particularly fully in the readings I found, although there may be more research that I haven't seen; I suspect they would be hard to entangle from the health problems which may have contributed to, rather than caused, a stillbirth.

It seems to me that you have to accept one of these or the other.

If I was smarter, I'd have a better impression on where I fell on this issue. What I hope to point out in the article is that taking either position to an extreme results in a position that clashes with my, and I suspect many people's, moral intuition. Probably further thought on this is required by people who have more experience with time discounting/health economics/actuarial sciences than me.

If you are considering the effect on the stillborn child, it seems that you should consider increasing reproduction as approximately as good as decreasing stillbirths.

Presumably, some people do think this. I think for me to have a strong position on it I'd have to have strong positions on other, more fundamental moral questions that I haven't come to good answers for.

Hi, Liv- yes, it's pretty much my first time doing something like this. I do have some medical background but I haven't got any experience in policy/evaluation/whatever this is. 

Fortunately, I had some great help and direction from the Cause Innovation Bootcamp organisers (especially my mentor Leonie), who put together some great materials on how to approach writing like this. It's not where I'd like it to be in terms of completeness but I think we all reached a point where the return on further time invested didn't make much sense. 

Thankyou so much for your kind words- it's surprisingly nerve-wracking posting something on the Forum like this, especially for a first-timer. 

In addition to the $3.9M grant, there's also a more recent $15M grant to scale up.

Thankyou for this- I've updated the post. I think this particular narrow intervention (adding syphilis testing to routine HIV screening programmes) is super exciting.

I was surprised to read that GiveWell estimates the value of "averting stillbirth or miscarriage" at 21(where 1 is the value of doubling someone's income for 1 year) and the value of averting a stillbirth at 33based on a survey of "70 of our largest donors", sadly it seems that they didn't have beneficiaries survey data on the value of preventing stillbirths.

That's more than what I would have guessed (for reference, the value of "preventing one 5-and-over death from malaria" is 83).

Interesting. What would your guess have been? My instinct is that people will have a very wide range of intuitions on this, at least until we're able to be a bit more specific about what we're asking for- even then, I expect quite a high degree of variance in how much people value averting a stillbirth. I don't have a strong opinion myself on what the right number is. 

Answer by Joseph PuseyNov 25, 202214
❤️7

For me, the best part of finally having started work after 6-7 years in higher education is getting to donate 10% of my income (£200/month), which compared to some people here is a very small amount but still feels like a satisfyingly big step up from my effectively nominal student giving. 

At the moment it all goes to GiveDirectly, chosen because I have (I suspect) a much higher uncertainty-discount rate than the median EA and I think there are hard-t0-measure benefits from their intervention that make it less suboptimal than many might think. 

My work satisfaction gets a non-trivial boost from knowing that it enables this impact, especially because it's not a supremely impactful job in and of itself. 

Is there any scope for people to do this on an ad-hoc/crowdsourced basis? I used to a similar thing for medical AI papers (https://explainthispaper.com), where volunteers would summarise them and then the coordinators would vet, publish and distribute the summaries- is there a similar process that happens here?

Super interesting topic- I sent you a message Buck :)