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Against All Odds



Join this enlightening and inspirational on-demand teaching session titled "Against All Odds". Listen to an enriching and informative talk by Dr. Julie Hamman, a dynamic GP from Kent who has navigated through numerous challenges to achieve significant milestones in her medical career. This interactive session provides you the opportunity to type in your questions and get them addressed during the Q&A segment. Hear Dr. Hamman's captivating journey that began in a deprived school in South London to becoming a successful doctor, an advocate for health equity, and a clinical entrepreneur. She'll reveal personal experiences with dyslexia, failure, and her unconventional path to medicine while giving you a sneak peek into her various roles and contributions to health equity, maternity care, and representation. Don't miss out on this inspiring and inclusive conversation. Learn from this empowering experience, as she says, "If I can do it, anyone on this call can do, can do it as well." Follow us on social media, @medschoolX, for more such remarkable sessions.
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Dr. Hammond is a GP, NHS Clinical Entrepreneur, UN Women UK delegate, NHS Core20 Ambassador, Charity Trustee, BMA EDI Advisory Group Member and a passionate advocate for health equity, with a special focus on mental health and women's well-being. Additionally, she actively advocates for policy changes to enhance representation in the medical field, particularly for black professionals, and has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and support the health of the Afro-Caribbean community and reduce the gap in health inequalities experienced by this community. Her advocacy efforts and strategic input are instrumental in driving systemic changes for the promotion of inclusive healthcare environments and access to equitable healthcare for all. She will be giving a talk about her medical career to date.

Learning objectives

1. Understand how socioeconomic backgrounds and personal barriers can affect an individual's medical career trajectory. 2. Recognize the importance of diversity, equality and inclusion within the medical profession and the ongoing efforts to increase representation. 3. Acquire knowledge about the support systems and pathways available for individuals from underprivileged backgrounds to pursue a career in medicine. 4. Develop strategies to handle academic challenges in medical school, such as coping with large volumes of information and dealing with failure. 5. Be inspired by the concept of a 'portfolio' medical career that incorporates varying roles and interests, and understand the importance of effective time management in successfully achieving this.
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The following transcript was generated automatically from the content and has not been checked or corrected manually.

When I forgot the words. Ok, so right now we are live. So hello, welcome to Ml if you tried before. Welcome back. If not, welcome and we hope you want driver license we're putting out. So if you not heard a medical school extra for it aims to support people through the medical education and aims to guide them in areas in which are not form in medical school. So please follow us on our social media. Keep up to date with our content as a more excited thing coming soon. Our handle is at med school X and we are on Instagram, Facebook, linkedin and X from Twitter. Today. Our live is titled Against All Odds in which we have us speak to doctor Julie Hamman who will be presenting this talk today. So please remember to be interactive for our entire life if you can. So type any questions you have for us live in the chat. I'm going to be signing them to the Q and A section and then we can go through them at the right end. So write up and go over to doctor Julie Hermon, join the Sory discussing her medical, her medical career today and I hope you will all enjoy handing over. So, thank you so much for that introduction and thank you to everyone that's joined the call today. Um So first of all, I'm just gonna, the reason why I titled my um talk Against All Odds is because if you go, well, we're gonna go through my history in terms of how I got into medicine, my career in medical school. Um But essentially, if you look at all the stats that were against me, I shouldn't be a doctor now. And nevertheless, doing all the things that I have managed to achieve as a, as a GP. So essentially, I call it against all odds because if I can do it, anyone on this call can do, can do it as well. I'll go even far beyond what I've achieved. So, um yeah, my name is I'm Doctor Julie Hammond. I am a GP. Um I work as a salary GP in Kent um part time. And also I lo across um the K Kent and London areas and also I have my own aesthetics clinic. And in addition to that, I'm a passionate advocate for health equity. So I've been doing a lot of work in that space. And most recently on Monday, we had the first ever um Black Health Inequality Summit which had over 300 attendees had all the healthcare leaders on board. So that was just an incredible achievement. And I'm so proud of that. And I just want to, I really just talk about my story and how I even got up to that point. Um So just a bit about me. So I call myself a Port Prolio GP. And that, I mean that I don't just do GP work. So I do GP work. I do aesthetics. I also do a lot of work and as I mentioned before, in health equity and that sort of led me to do different or take on different roles such as being a charity trustee. Um Recently I joined the NHS Clinical Entrepreneurship program as well. So in that role, um I'm essentially just creating a medical tech within maternity care. Um I'm also a NHS co 20 ambassador again, just really focusing within the space of maternity cos that's something I'm really passionate about. Um I am or I was or I am a un woman UK delegate for the second year running as well. Um I'm an events director for Black female doctors. UK again, just trying to increase representation in that space or in the space of medicine and just also increased representation, not only are we getting into medicine, but also how far up we can get in terms of leadership? Um Again, within the space of maternity. Um I'm a member of the Kent and Medway Local Maternity and neonatal service, um Equity and Equalities Oversight Group. Um again, within that space of equity and this equality, diversity inclusion. I'm also a member of the EDI group for the BM. I and I advise them on their policies. Um Based on that, I've been also asked to join the BMA um network of elected women. Um So again, II got such a long thing, but even though it looks like I'm doing lots of things, you're like, how on earth do I do this? A lot of these things that I am doing, um they probably meet quarterly. So, although it looks like, OK, I've got a lot of roles that I'm doing. It's not, it's not actually taking that much more of my time. Um And I just have to like really manage my time effectively in order to be able to do all of these roles. So again, I'm a member of the Woman of wellbeing of Women Health Collective. I'm a mental. So I believe that it's very important to give back as well. Um I also recently joined the um North Kent Maternity and neonatal voices partnership. Again, just to have a more active voice in terms of patient care and maternity and neonatal care within the area. I'm also um joined or I'm working as part of the um Black Maternal Health Week working group. So we just formula formulating ideas for the Black Maternal Health Week that we happened in, in April. And then we um also are launching um Health Equity Day which will be occurring on October. The 12th of this year. Um So again, see more information about that posted on my socials. Um I've also been because of all the things I've done. I've also been invited to be on a wall judge and I've been invited to be a key not speaker as well. So just in terms of about a bit about me and my background. So I grew up in South London, I attended Nords girl secondary school, which was a school in a very deprived area. And at the time when I graduated, um there was well, 33% of the student population were expected to achieve just five ATC. So that was almost virtually unheard of. Well, that was the school I grew up in. Um, but based on that, I still was able to get the grades that I needed and I went to S FEX, everything was looking great. I had this dream of becoming a doctor and it looked like I could do anything and everything was on my horizons. However, when I got to um college, um I found that transition from G CSE to a S level, really challenging. And for my A S levels, I actually got, I did quite poorly if I'm just completely honest. So I got ac in maths ad in physics, ad in biology and AE in chemistry. So when I saw those grades, I II believed at that point in time, my career or my dreams of medicine was completely over. And I remember when I went to the careers officer, um, at, at the college they were like, no, yes, it's not possible. You can't do medicine. However, um, I had a stroke of LA where I was sitting next to one of my friends or colleagues, um, at the time and she was applying for this program. Me, I thought it was like she was applying for medicine and then I knew that she didn't quite get all the a that you would expect to be able to get into medicine. She probably had like three CS. So I was like, oh if you're applying for medicine, like how on earth are you able to do this? So she mentioned that there was an extended medical degree program and essentially at the time when I was applying, there was this program at Kings College University where they give you a foundation year. But this course is aimed at getting people from deprived um or underprivileged backgrounds into medicine. And um in order to get into medicine, all you needed to get at all. But what you needed to get was free CS at a level. Um So I applied and was able to get a place. However, because I did so poorly for my A S levels, I basically had to retake everything and some of them I was allowed to take within my college. I had to do some of it externally. But again, I was navigating this mindful all on my own. I didn't really have much guidance and where I slipped was that, although I did the, we did all the retakes and got the grades is that I didn't do something called cash it in. And because I didn't cash it in on New CS, not all of my grades were accurately reflect, reflected. So this meant that I lost my place in medicine initially. So I remember when on the day of results, I saw that I wasn't expecting medicine and that was absolutely devastating. But um I managed to figure out what had happened, contacted the university. By the time I was able to cash in all of my grades, essentially, it's gone past the start date of the course. So they said that you can still do medicine, but you just need to take a gap year, we can accept you next year. And at the time, um I did a as level in chemistry and they told me uh a part of the requirement would be that I needed to do a level in chemistry instead. So I had to take an unintentional gap here. Um If I'm being completely honest, I didn't do anything particularly spectacular in that year, I sort of felt spent that year, feeling really sorry for myself and uh did a bit of um working in retail bit a bit, did a bit of work in administration and then, but I do fight for like that year for, for me anyways was essential because I don't think like mentally, I was ready for medicine. And I don't think given the challenges that I did to um I did occur when I did start medicine. I don't think I would have been able to successfully conquer it if I started it at that point. So I finally arrived in med medical school. So first of all things were going quite well. So I was elected year one representative representative for the Student Medical Education Committee. I was also made president in my second year of um the extended medical degree program. Um So this is the course that II was able to enter medicine via. Um However, I did have some challenges. So I found that obtaining or really just trying to digest all the information because again, there's so much information you need to learn in that 1st, 2nd and 3rd year for me. Um I just found out it was overwhelming and I really struggled with it. And then that led to me failing my um year two neuro neuroanatomy examination. So I had to do a retake. Um So again, that was something I really struggled with. It really knocked my confidence. But um I also found out that I was um dyslexic at that point in time as well. So again, all of this was, wasn't what I expected. I knew that I struggled with like obtaining information and it took me a lot, a lot longer, but I've never really understood what this lecture was and how it had impacted me up until that point. And probably being diagnosed with dyslexia was the best thing that's ever happened to me. Because since then I've actually been able to thrive in all of my examination just by G being given that extra time, even when I was doing my GP examination. This is something I still utilize to this point um in my career. And I didn't feel like I would have been able to pass all those, all of those examiners as well as I did. Um if I passed them at all without this diagnosis of dyslexia. So I was diagnose with this lecture um at year two. But I also went on to do er inter psychology degree cos at the point when I was in medical school, I really wanted to be a psychiatrist before deciding to do GP. Um So I did a lot of work in um psychiatry um up until that point. So I did a psychology BSE um was able to get a 21 in it. Um But again, that was, that was definitely a challenge, especially with all the essay based um work um as well. But then I entered my clinical year. So this is where I really feel like I thrived. Um I was cos again, I was doing a lot of work within um Psychiatry for my all my projects that you had to do whilst you were in Univ university. Um I was really scoring highly in it and then I was able to attend the Royal's College of Psychiatrists conferences and was awarded prizes and um for essays and also supposed to present patients. I was also able to get um an elective 11 week elective placement in the World Health Organization in Geneva Switzerland um within the mental health and policy development department, um which was called at that time because they've actually restructured it. So that department no longer exists. But I think my supervisor is still working with an organization. And even when getting this placement, I actually will tell people that to get certain opportunities, it's not just about just applying via the standard group. Why I actually did get this um opportunity was that I found out who was the head of the department in the World Health Organization. And I just sent them an email, I sent them a cover letter and my CV. And, and because I actually took that step, she actually thought that I was referred by someone else. And that was the reason why I was actually successful cos a lot of people who try to go the traditional route via the website, they don't really um progress. But because I was able to navigate it via this script by emailing the person directly in charge, then that was how I was able to get my letter replacement. So some, one of the things I would just say is that just take chances because even up to this point in my career, if I see someone who's doing something incredible, um Like doctor Pare, I um I just messaged her on linkedin. I was like, oh, you're doing incredible work, you know, I would love to link up. So this is things that you just need to start doing, start networking from now. Um And it can just lead to all sorts of opportunities for you. So um in terms of how I ended medical school, II did really well at OSK, I was awarded um 92% was the second best osk result in a class of 400 students. And I think I graduated um within the top 5% of, of that cohort. So again, I went from being in the bottom of the year, phoning my examinations barely scraping by to excelling in my osk and passing my um examinations with flying colors just based on the support I was given because I was just, I was diagnosed with dyslexia. So in terms of my foundation doctor journey, um I worked as af one doctor in Saint George's Hospital in Tutton, which is based in South London. Um I'm not sure how it works now or how it's different from before. But at the time when I was training, I had to do one year in London and one year outside of London. So my year outside of London was in Medway NHS Foundation Trust. I don't know if anyone's worked in that trust, um, who's on the call but, um, definitely a challenging trust to work with. But I, I've learned so much information there and, um, but what I did find is that because again, not paid well as foundation doctors. I, um, at the time I was planning a wedding, I was trying to buy a home and I was doing a lot of overtime. So I was doing a lot of um lo work. So picking up a lot of extra shifts and I found that that was just causing me mental fatigue. Um When I got home, I wasn't the nicest person cos I was so drained. I probably wasn't the nicest doctor because again, I just had compassion and deci decision and fatigue and I decided there must be something else I could do to earn some extra money that doesn't really um impact patient care. And um that's when I began to explore medical aesthetics, cos medical aesthetics, skin care is something I've always been interested in. And then um I heard about this has spilled something that was growing still quite to be, was to be at that time. But I thought, let me just go and explore and see where it can go. Um So I wanna talk to you a bit more about how I got into medical aesthetics. Now, So um in 2018, I established my clinic um DH a clinic or do aesthetics. Um To be honest, I did a two day um training course. I know it's quite um shameful to say. But essentially you go for this training course where they, well, the first day they give you give you the skills to do foundation um training and then they teach you a few more advanced techniques on the second day. And a lot of that, you'll just set off and be like, OK, yes, now you can go and inject people. Um But I found that that was a lot because you've given all this information you're told to go off. But again, I've been someone who's been in medical school or been told almost what I'm going to be doing at every stage in my career. And to now all of a sudden, I start to think about how I'm gonna manage a business, how I'm gonna get clients. I found that really difficult. So, um what I initially did was I messaged some local um beauty salons and dental surgeries in the area that I was living at that point in time just to see if I could possibly collaborate with them and hire some space and also just to get some exposure. So that's what I did when I first started. But even when I was starting, it was doing difficult to get models again because I didn't have any portfolio or any images to use. So I then went on to um actually hire like a mentor who gave me 1 to 1 training where essentially I had a few days where they booked in a full day of clinic and essentially just watched me injecting people the entire day and gave me some tips. And I think that really boosted my confidence cos I think alone just doing that two day training course was not enough and to be, it's not really safe. But um but it's, it's something that they do at the moment. So in terms of what I'm trained in, I'm trained in um Botox injections. I also do dermal filler procedures. Um I do skin care, fat dissolving. Um Those are the other things that come to the top of my head, but I'm sure and I do a few other things, um weight loss management, et cetera as well within the space of this clinic. And um I currently work across three clinics in the Kent area, including blue water. And up till since I started in 2018, I only mentioned that I actually only do this one day or maybe two days a week. Um I've seen over 400 clients and I have re uh regular um clients who I see every 3 to 6 months and I performed thousands of aesthetic treatments and procedures. So I found that doing medical aesthetics, it can be lucrative. I probably haven't maximized. Um how much mo or money I can earn doing medical aesthetics. But for me, I don't want to go into it full time. I do like the flexibility of being able to do a bit of clinical work and also um doing a bit of aesthetics variety. So, um again, the potential is endless, but it all depends on how much effort you want to put into that aspect of your career. So um up until about 2020 I was actually quite content with my, what I was doing in my career. So I was in, I was at the time I was still doing GP training. I was content doing a bit of aesthetics on the side. However, um with the 2020 COVID pandemic, I was working at AU at the time and um I just found it really traumatizing just seeing how black and brown people were negatively affected by COVID. Um Also hearing that all the statistics in terms of black women are fighters more likely to um have a best outcomes or die in childbirth. I just found this all a bit traumatic and I started to think that I just wasn't fulfilled in what I was doing. Even in terms of my clinical practice, I thought I can definitely begin to do more. So I didn't really know how I was going to go about it at that point in time. But again, as a medical um student or training doctor, one of the first things you do, if you don't know what to do next, you go and get an additional qualification. So that's what I went to go and do. I went to go and do the doctor cog examination, um which I pass and I got that additional qualification. To be honest, that hasn't really particularly helped me in my career. I'm just being absolutely honest. But at that point in time, I think it just helped to equip me with the additional knowledge just to help me decide that this was something I was quite passionate about and also something I wanted to go into. And I completed my GP training in September 2022. So when I finished again, it was the first time I think in any of our medical journeys since probably college where you're just sort of just left to make your own decisions, cos otherwise every single part of your career where you're going to train what um specialities you're going to work in is all planned out for you. So, um initially when I first graduated, I was a local doctor. Um so I was working in different um practices in the Kent area. I don't know if I'll recommend that for anyone cos it definitely was trial by fire. Um II definitely dove off the deep end in terms of having no support and just getting on with things and having a full clinic, barely any breaks. But II managed to survive, but it's not something I think I could personally do long term. Um So at that point in time, II had the practice I trained with, they'd offered me to start a salaries role um in January. So I lo from September on to January and then started my salary roll, which is part time. So, um I'll go on to the next slide and talk about how I structure my week. Um And as part of um joining as a salary GP BECA um, well, because I joined as a salary GPI was able to join the new to practice program. So essentially this is a um a program for doctors who have recently qualified GPS who recently qualified just to give you some additional support in terms of how you can progress in your career, how you can get to positions with leaderships and just to let you know about the different options that are available to you. So I think that for me was absolutely groundbreaking in terms of just allowing me to know the vast opportunities that are out there for me in addition to that again, from just practicing clinically, um in terms of doing GP work full time locum in um from September to January, I found that I needed to have, even during the clinical work, I needed to have some more variety of my day. So I also trained in minor surgery. So I remove skin tags and also do some joint injections as well, which again, I find quite fulfilling and it's AQ, it just makes my day a bit varied as well in terms of my clinical practice. So in terms of my average working week, I work as a part time GP. So I do four sessions a week. So this is essentially is two days a week as a salary GP. And then I also lo him as a GP as well And I do 2 to 4 sessions a week at practices across Kent to London. And on, on average, I probably do about one day a week. Um aesthetics um work as well. And a part of the reason why I chose this or chose to stretch my week like this is because it, it, it allows me to do all the other things that I'm passionate about. So I found that for me, if I was to, if I was to work as a GP, full time, I wouldn't be able to attend things like conferences or even attend certain meetings, which I found has been really helpful in terms of progressing my career from that aspect of things. If I was stuck to be having certain times, I had to see patients. So even with the locum GP work, I if I have a busy week where I have different um opportunities available, I can just say, OK, for that week, I'm not gonna pick up any additional locum shifts and I'm just gonna commit to um doing things like talks or attending conferences. So in terms of what does success look like, I always question because some people say, oh, you know, you seem to have done quite a lot of things you're quite successful. And to me it doesn't really feel like that and maybe it doesn't feel like that because it hasn't been hard. But I think the reason why it hasn't been hard is because maybe II can say that I'm in the process of finding my element and finding what really works well for me and what I'm really passionate about. So I think it is quite cliche saying that when you're, when you're doing something that you love, it doesn't feel like work and it actually does come to you a lot easily. And I think from just doing the work that I'm really interested in and other opportunities have constantly just been opening up. And I find that it's not actually that hard to succeed. And possibly I find that compared to doing things like aesthetics, this has been a lot easier for me to get into just because I think the pa extra passion or the actual, the extra passion for me is the. So um in terms of the end of my talk, so I just want to leave you with a few words of inspiration. So I just wanted to say that, you know, I really struggled with imposter, I still struggle with imposter syndrome. So I just wanna say that you deserve to be here and you're aware with all that you've achieved. So believe in yourself, your abilities and your own potential and do not let self doubt or imposter syndrome prevent you from celebrating your successes or trying anything new cos that's something I'm just struggling with at the moment. So, you know, people, oh yes, you, you've done this and that's successful and I'm like, no, it's not. Um But again, just really just being able to stay in the, in the moment and be present and being able to be like, actually, you know what, this is a goal I wanted to achieve and I've achieved it. And yes, I can be vocal and I can shout it from the rooftops and let people know that this is what I'm doing. And I think the most important words that you say are the words that you speak to yourself. So just always give yourself positive um self affirmations. Again, it all sounds really cliche. But really, if you just have positive thoughts, I think that just eventually will come out um even if you don't believe in it to begin with. So thank you so much for joining me in my talk. I hope you found useful. And if you have any questions, I'm happy to go through all of that now with you. OK. OK. OK. So I can see in the chart that there was a question, what would you or would you say? Although your journey to medicine? Yes. So my journey of medicine has been quite a rocky road and has it shapen as a person? Definitely, I think as um it shaped me to be a better doctor. I think it's made me more empathetic in terms of understanding people from all walks of life. Um even understanding people when they approach me and ask me certain questions Um or when I see someone who's struggling in terms of the medical journey, I think because of all the challenges that I've encountered, I'm much more open about it and I let people know straight away that, you know, haven't been easy for me. So just because you're struggling doesn't mean that you're not going to be an amazing doctor, you could still be an amazing doctor. But certain things in terms of how you become a GP or become a doctor is set out in a certain way and you just need to learn how to pass these examinations in order to be able to do all the things that you, you need to do. So that's definitely shaped me in terms of how I am as a person and what were the things that kept me going in in medical school? Um Yeah, it definitely, it was family. Um It was my boyfriend now husband. Um and yeah, friends. I don't think I would have actually, I think my husband was the most important person. I don't think he, um, he's seen me through the ups and the downs, the tear, the f and examinations, um, studying with me in the library. I don't think I could have survived medicine if it wasn't for him. So I think definitely having that person and that you can really just confide in and show, um, your vulnerabilities too because sometimes you will feel like you need to be strong, you can't show your weaknesses. But if you just have that one person, it can really just let it out. I think that definitely helps in terms of just having that encouragement, having that motivation and just being able to be like, you know, today's a crap day and it's, it's ok to be like this, today's a crap day. Um But have someone there that can actually motivate you to get past it. Um Someone else me, if I'm happy to connect on linkedin, yes, please add me on linkedin. Um um Add my name. So I'm gonna post my name or I'll post my, my linkedin details actually. Um Yeah, I'll post my linkedin details. So yes, please add me. I'm I'm more than happy to connect with anyone. And what, so what sort of advice would you give to someone currently in medical school or about to join? Well, to be honest, I my, my, my pre um clinical journey I really struggled with and I found that really difficult. So I think if you're really struggling with your, with your studies, um find that you're maybe not processing information as well as you think you should or compared to your colleagues, I think, do not be ashamed to go and get tested for things like um ad HD autism and also dyslexia again, I, if I wasn't diagnosed with dyslexia, I don't think I would have finished my degree because I had all this additional support And I don't think I would have been able to get to the end of my degree without it. So I think do not be ashamed of our for extra help. It's nothing to be ashamed about. So many people are struggling on. And actually, when I went into the um examination um room for the first time for the people who had extra time, I was actually surprised by how many people were there and people that were in the room that I didn't expect to be there. So don't be ashamed. Um So many people were going for sinus struggles and just speak to someone about it. You'll definitely find support. Um I think someone else asked, you mentioned that you managed to succeed because you were in your element. What advice would you give to someone who's struggling again? I didn't get into my element until how many years has it been? I'll say it's last year. So I graduated medical school in 2016 and I wouldn't say I really found what my purpose was until seven years later. So just be kind to yourself, I think, explore different options. Like I did, I did a bit of aesthetics. I'm not saying I hate the aesthetics. I'm, I'm not passionate about it, but I think that's not what I feel like I'm, I'm meant to be doing as a, as a GP, that's not what I meant to really be focused on. Um So I think if you found that you're, you're struggling and maybe something's not working quite well for you, it's OK to maybe slightly pivot and explore other interests. Um So whether that is joining different groups, joining um different charities as a board member, trustee, just to get some more involvement, more insight than I ought even speaking or reaching out to people and connecting on things like linkedin. I think these will give you different opportunities and different insight. I think linkedin has been an eye opener for me just in terms of seeing what other people are doing in this space. So things I wasn't even aware of that I could do as a GP and I've seen other people doing it. I'm like, oh, wow, this is a, this is amazing. Um I'm not saying that if you can do it, I can do it. But I'm like, I didn't know that this was even possible and this is something that II think I was really enjoying. I was really thriving and then these are how I found all these opportunities. Oh, do I have any masters I wanna achieve in my career? Oh, ok. So, um, I think what I said I wanted to do, I would like to do maybe this is me really putting out and being really open with, with everyone here. So I've always said I wanted to like to do like a TED X NHS talk. So that's something I'm putting out there. Um I was also, um, well, I mean, also in some discussions regarding a book deal, so I'm hoping that it comes to fruition. Um, but all this looking work at the, for the time being and I'm also hoping that my um app um, that I'm creating will be a success. I can't really say too much about it at this moment in time cos still developing. But I'm hoping that this is something I can talk a lot more about um, within the next 12 months. So those are my short term goals. I sometimes I find that if I start thinking too big, it gets overwhelming and I feel like I can't achieve it, but if I make the goals quite small, um, then I can and I feel like it's more manageable and it's more something that I can achieve. Um, someone else mentioned that, that yes, they're also dyslexic and it's, yes, it is really difficult. Er, yes, how did I alter my study and my study technique? So I again when I first started to even, I mean, I was doing a levels and the reason why I struggled, struggled in a levels is that I used to just sit there with a book in front of me and try and memorize the whole book. That was a terrible, terrible technique. I know some people can just sit there and read a book and then they've got the information of what they absorbed it. But for me, that was, that did not work at all. So what I found worked for me was actually um doing like question banks. So this is where maybe I would read the page in a book. Um See what I, again, it's really difficult to know how much you're absorbing, just a reading. But then when I actually go and do the questions and I can see, OK, oh, actually, I didn't know the answer to this, even though I read it, I felt like that really helped to just reinforce certain things in my mind. And I found that also doing a lot, for me doing a lot of osteo practice as well that really helped in terms of I, I'm quite a practical person. So sometimes reason information just I don't quite process it. But when I'm actually thinking about it clinically, that's when it starts to click and make sense. So, um those are the things that I think I really started to do in my clinical years that allowed me to um, succeed and really helped me to retain information. And I think I spoke to someone else. Um, he was a consultant psychiatrist who's also dyslexic and said he failed all his exams in medical school and had to do multiple retakes. He said that even sometime in your reading, um, you may not feel like you're absorbing anything but there is, if you can imagine there's a blank wall and you're throwing paint on the wall each time you're reading, each time you're reading, you're getting you, you are absorbing something. So if you imagine that you have a blank wall, you read something. Once a bit of paint goes on the wall, you read it again, a bit more papers and more. And before you know it, that wall is going to be completely covered and you will be just amazed by how much information you've retained over time. So even now when patients are asking me some random questions or information, and I'm able to just recall certain facts and like, how on earth did I manage to remember this? But it's because of that repetitive learning. Um And eventually has helped to make it stick. And even in terms of my um career, a GP you've actually had to make some um adjustments for myself. So I found that I had a lot of fatigue, mental fatigue, just writing up um notes from when I speak to patients. So, what I've done is actually create some shortcuts in terms of safety netting instructions, I'm always giving out to patients. So rather than having to type out if you have a headache, you must do this, this do this, I just write and the device that I normally give to patients and I just sort of do hashtag head and then it will come up with the full headache construction or hashtag um chest and then it'll come up with chest pain and instructions. So this is the some of the things that I've started to do just to really sort of take off that extra mental um workload and fatigue in my day to day work. Um What would I have done differently while I was at medical school? I think, really cliche. But I think I would have told myself not to stress as much. I found that sometimes when my friends were all going out to go and eat or go for a drink, I'll be like, no, I must stay in the in the um in the library and study 12 hours at a time. But I found that later on as I got towards the end of my medical school journey, I was actually studying less, but I was studying more effectively. So I think even something I would never have done before was that my sister had a graduation about, I think it was three days before my um my finals exam and old me would have been like no way. I'm not leaving the house to go to this graduation. I'm sorry, I got my exams, but actually I went out for dinner. I had a really amazing time. I was really happy to celebrate my sister and I still did amazingly well. So I think also just trusting how much you've, you've done over that course of time cos if you haven't, if you're not a last minute person, you would have been studying throughout the year. So you, it's ok to give yourself a break and to actually do things that you enjoy and just to take really to save you the moments because there's a lot of things that were or a lot of free time that I had in medical school that I really wish I utilized a lot more or took time to enjoy. Um But yeah, at the time, I just was really just focused on getting out of there. So just really try and enjoy those moments in medical school and the extra time that you have to actually do things that do those projects that you probably might not have time to do with an F one F two when you start working because it can be overwhelming. Um I wish I actually, I mean, I did a few more extra projects whilst I was in medical school. Um just to make a few extra connections just because I didn't realize how much extra time I had and how much time I actually wasted saying I was in the library studying when I could have actually been doing something else. Um, would you be open to GP partnership in a current professional or climate? Oh, really? Technical issue. Um, so I think it depends on what your practice is like and it depends on how your practice operates with my GP surgery. I work as a salary. GP, to be honest, I think it's completely, it's well run. And so I would consider partnership in that practice. The only thing that's stopping me from, be, from becoming a partner mainly is because of the extra commitment cos now I'm only doing two days a week. I think they would want me to do at least three days and because of all the extra things I'm doing at the moment, I don't know if I can commit to the three days because I don't know if they will be flexible or not to allow me to maybe take a day off at the last minute or sw my days quite often. Um, so that's something I would need to talk to them about. But, um, yes, I'm meant to be next in the, in the line for, um, promotion to a partner. Um, once one of the GPS retire who's close to retiring any in, in the next year or so. So, um, it's something I'll definitely think about. Um, I do think that especially in the climate of locums, if I'm being, that's been really difficult for me. So I, as I mentioned, I had to go, um, across Kent and London because shifts are not as frequent as they were when I first started. So I'm having, I live in, um, Bromley area. Um, but I've sometimes had to go to East London. I've had to go to seven sisters, North London. Um, I've had to go to, back to Rochester where I was originally um lived and that for me is quite a long journey to be making on a day to day basis. So I think I would like the security of just knowing that, ok, this is why I'm going to day to day, but it's just the fact that it's fixed and I don't have that flexibility in my timetable. That makes it, that makes me a bit more hesitant about becoming a partner. Um Do you feel as the medical school prepares you enough for the transition to F one F two? No, absolutely not. Um I think it gives you the clinical knowledge but in terms of when you do become uh again, I it, it depends on what your medical school was, was like, I think again, I went to Kings. Um I don't think I was prepared in terms of how I needed to work as af one F two when I first started. So I really struggled and I, when I first started as the F one, I remember that I was the only doctor on the ward. That was terrible. That should never have happened. But I was the only doctor on the ward and I was expected to do a whole war ward round on my own. And I've never done a ward round on my own before. So that was completely like just a shock in my system. And then even then when other doctors joined, they were um international doctors. So again, they were new to assist. I'm new to the assistant. We were both just the blind needs and the blind. Um So that was a complete disaster for the first two months. But then once the core medical training joint, they essentially just taught me how to be a good f one doctor, they just said, you know, you're wasting time. These are the things you don't need to do. So they really taught me about time management. And I don't think you learn about how much you need to manage time or how you need to prioritize tasks as um when you're in medical school, even though you do all these, um I can't remember what they're called now, but you do all these like questionnaires where it's like, ok, how do you rank certain priorities and tasks? But when you're actually managing it and all the, you have the nurse telling you must do this, you must do that. It's really difficult to actually do it in person. Um But it, it's a skill that you will learn with time, I think, don't stress it. I think as long as you have a good team, hopefully you, you don't go through what I went through. But as long as you have a good team to become an F one F two doctor um is, is absolutely fine. I think the work as F one F, well, the work as F one F um doctors is, is easy really, you just need to know how to do the chores. Essentially. You're just a glorified um administrator. So you're just running around doing digital summaries going to discuss um scans and that's what you really do as af one doctor. Um I didn't really make much decisions if I'm being honest. Um But then when you become af two doctor, that's when you start to make a lot more decisions. So I was working in A&E, I also worked um in and did GP in my F two year. So that transition was also quite significant for me. Um But yeah, you'll be ok. Um I think if you're really worried, maybe speak to someone in who's maybe a bit more senior than you and within the trust just to try and get some advice on things that you should be doing. Or if you have a registrar there who's particularly friendly, then just really just befriend them. Um whether it's, you know, buy them a coffee in the morning, bring them a little, bring them chocolates or whatever it is just to make them take you under the wing and show you how you can manage things more effectively. Um ok, if not, what would you change um can help facilitate that? I think you need to have more clinical time. So I think actually it's changed now. So when I graduated, um my exams were in J in June and then um July, I started um f one but I think for some medical schools now you do examinations much earlier. So you do examinations in January and then I think you might have your elective. And then after that, um, from my understanding, some people, um then go and do hospital placement and I think that's, that works really well because you're actually doing a job 9 to 5 and you're actually shadowing, um, shadowing and the doctor you're going to be taken over from. And I think that's really effective. So, um, if that's what your school does, then I think you'll be completely aware and ready for what's to come. But my school didn't do that. I just really just went in just to go and get the sign offs in the log book and then went back to the library again, if I'm being completely honest. So from that point of view, I wasn't prepared for what it was going to be like as af one doctor. Um, what advice would you give to anyone who's current um who's a current medical student doctor who feels as though they're lagging or lagging behind while comparing themselves to others. I think comparisons to people joy, I think focus on finding your elements. So focus on finding what it is that you're passionate, what makes you, you unique, what's going to make, what's your unique selling point? Um What story do you have that can be relatable to someone else or? Um Yeah, what story do you have that can be related with someone else? Because sometimes if you look at someone else who's doing really amazing um in a certain field, but if that's not for you or that's not what you're good at. If you're not an amazing teacher, you're not really good at speaking in public, then it's ok. You don't have to be speaking in public or be on a public stage. You can be doing things that impact or behind the scenes. You can be part of committees or um yeah, you can be part of committees, you can join the BMA. Um What do you call it? Your GP all sorts of things where you're actually working in the background to actually make some impactful changes. So don't focus on what someone else is doing, find what you're interested in and just really go and work on your own Night Lane. And as a medical student, you so early on in your career, like I said, I thought I was gonna be a psychiatrist and I completely pivoted. So, all that work I did in psychiatry. I wouldn't say it's gone to waste but it's gone to waste. I mean, I've done a lot of work. I did a lot of research, published papers, but that's all gone to waste now because I'm not actually using that in my day to day work. So, please don't be too hard on yourself. What other benefits? Good part of being a GPI would say for me. Um, the short training, um the fact that it's only three years, I do like the fact that it's for most days it's 9 to 5 or 9 to 6. Um I like the flexibility of it that you can either do salaries, you can be a local GP, you can do out of hours. Um, you can do minor surgery, you can do, um, coil fittings. Um, there's so much you can do as a GP. Um, if you're interested in, you can do uh actually diploma ent and then maybe go to a clinic one day a week. So I really love the fact that you can make GP, what it is that you want it to be. Um which is something that you might be able to do with other specialties or something. I know you can't do with other specialties as a full time um doctor unless it's gonna postpone your career progression. But I found that I was still able to do everything that I wanted to as a GP and it hasn't delayed any aspect of my career. Um, so I, being a doctor is stressful. How do your mind after a busy hard day? Do you have any hobbies outside work? That helps you to relax. Um, sort of too. Um, after a busy or hard day I enjoy coming home and spending time with my family. Um, I do like to do family days. Um, so just whether that's going to the aquarium, going to the theater, um, going to the park, just spending time with my family and loved ones. I think it again with the pandemic and being so isolated, um, during that point of time and I actually found that I really, that was really difficult and really stressful for me in terms of my mental health, especially working in A&E, I found a really appreciated family. And then for me, I don't wanna do anything that's gonna take me further away from my family. So that's what I've really just focused on in terms of knowing what's important for me and what makes me happy. So that's something that I make sure I prior to. So if, if I know work has been really hard or stressful, I probably do a few less local shifts for that month and just focus on spending time with my family or doing other things that I enjoy. If not medicine, what else would you have chosen to study? Hm. My husband says I would be good at like project management. Um But I'm not that bossy, but I do like to make changes and I think in a very str strategic way. Um So I think I would have done that, but also I thought like, I still would want to make a difference um in people's lives. So I think I still would have worked maybe within the health space as well, but maybe at more at a project management level um or public um health um part of um medicine. Um What changes do you wish to see in our healthcare system? Huh So again, I think, I think there's been a lot of talk about decolonizing medicine and just really making it equitable for all. Um I think medicine or the healthcare system at the moment is systemically racist that historically and we there's a lot that needs to be done to break down these barriers and to make it truly equitable for everyone. Um So that's something that I'm, I think I'm working on or trying to see if we can improve and, and that's something I would like to see. Um and I would like just to see black and brown people's health being taken as priorities and that we don't always have to do the work ourselves. I want it to be actually recognized at um a national level that this is a, a health emergency that needs to be taken seriously. It's not something that we within our communities have to manage ourselves. I like, yeah, I like externally people to also prioritize our health as well. Is that the last question? Yeah. Mhm So thank you so much for throwing in. Um I hope you, you found it useful or helpful, motivational in some way. So thank you. OK, bye.