What has been the most challenging aspect?
By far time management. You can spend the day either on the ward, in clinic or in theatre. When do you study? This comes down to time management. It is important to manage your time so you find space for placement, study, and time with friends and family. This can be difficult.
And the most surprising?
The most surprising is seeing how much patients go through when they are unwell. You are let into peoples lives when they are at their lowest. Most of them have been through the trenches but still show a positive outlook on life. This is awe inspiring, and really puts life into perspective.
What advice would you give to new students joining us on placement at ELHT?
Be friendly and get to know all the staff. From my experience, the staff have been so friendly and accommodating. This does not just mean doctors, but nurses, midwifes, healthcare assistants, receptionists, cleaners, pharmacists, physiotherapists and the rest. I have developed so many strong working relationships as a medical student with so many ELHT staff. They will teach you, show you the ropes and look after you. In return, you just need to listen to them, be friendly and most importantly, a hard working team member.
Any tips on dealing with the stress and pressure?
It is really important to have a life outside of medicine, otherwise you will burn out. Whether it is the gym, sports, spending time with friends, reading or travelling to other cities. Make time in your week to have a well deserved break, recharging the batteries. For me, I go to the gym every morning and play football. This is my escape from the stress of medicine, and it works!
Who or what has been your inspiration?
My A-level biology teacher has been a big inspiration to me. When my sister passed, I felt like giving up, but he was the one that pushed me to not give up and continue to pursue a career. He was also the first one that believed I could one day be a doctor. He gave up so much time to help me achieve the grades I needed. The other inspiration are my parents. They have had such a tough life, but have come through stronger. They taught me the value of life, and how to remain positive in the face of adversity. They believed in me, despite all my setbacks.
What advice would you give others embarking on a career in health?
To work in healthcare, it has to be something you really want to do. I see so many inspirational ELHT staff members that dedicate their whole lives to helping others. It really is an incredible sight. So think, do I want to commit my life to helping others, if so, a career in healthcare might be for you. Be expected to see the very worst. Times will get tough, but you have incredible support around you. As a team, you go through those times together, and you will come out stronger. On the other hand, be expected to see the very best. The reward of making someone who is really sad, lonely or ill to happy and a healthy version of themself, is a feeling like no other.
Favourite quotes of all time
“remain positive in the face of adversity”
“Your limitation – it’s only your imagination”
“Great things never come from comfort zones”
“don’t stop when your tired, stop when your done”
“don’t wait for an opportunity, create it”
“sometimes we are tested not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths”