Doctor, pharmacy graduate, research scientist, sometime activist
The UK Medical Brain Drain?
Back in October 2016, an announcement was made by the Secretary of State for Health in the UK, Jeremy Hunt, that the longstanding shortfall in staffing issues within the NHS doctor workforce would be addressed, by increasing undergraduate medical school places, by an all-but unprecedented 25 percent. Indeed, Hunt was proposing not only the largest single increase in medical student numbers since the founding of the NHS—raising the total annual intake to 7,000 freshman undergraduates from September 2018, and up 1,500 from the current national figure, but also a move underpinned by an attempt to recompense/recoup some of the £230,000 expenses forked out in training each individual graduate medical doctor in England.
A Glimpse into Epilepsy
In my four years of medical schooling, one of my stand-out conversations and lessons learned was from a consultant neurologist, working within the mysterious field of brain disorders. He did not so much demand as instruct that, if I wished to pursue a career in neurology (I was toying with the idea at the time, and to an extent, and still am), I ought to “be a bit more eccentric." He told me that I should get a tattoo. So, like the impressionable medical student that I was, I did. It is a simple lightning bolt, black ink, barely noticeable. It sits behind my right ear. Very few people see it or ask about it. But it represents to me all that is magical about the brain: It represents the name my family gave to the seizures that my epileptic brother, Alfie, suffered from in childhood. It represents a step taken to make the seizures seem less medical, and hence less frightening. Fear is at the root of all that we do not understand, and medicine is a complicated field frequently underpinned by it.
What They Don't Tell You in Medical School
Medical school is like serving an apprenticeship. You have no real responsibility for anything, and at the same time, you know at the end of it all, you will have responsibility for everything. The role of a medical student is that of a halfway house inmate; you can generally do as much or as little as you like. You can attend lectures, or bunk off the entire semester, you can leave hospital sites pretty much whenever you want, and no one will generally ask why; you can see amazing things—surgeries, clinics, ward rounds—just for the hell of it. And, to boot, you don’t get paid for any of it—on the contrary, you pay for the privilege of serving another couple of years learning how to do the roles you’re shadowing, in a very roundabout way.
Three Dimensional Printing for Personalized Medicines
The advent of the industrial revolution brought with it innumerable horrors, alongside great advances; the very thought that humans could be transported in vehicles mobilizing at speeds greater than a horse’s canter was simply terrifying. People would surely die in transit, after all: if not of shock, then in the collisions that would ensue, when these inherently unstable and unsafe vehicles span out of control. Yet fast forward approximately two hundred years, and we now have mass-manufactured road-worthy motors for all.