I was fortunate enough to be part of The Talent Tap scheme for 2014. Thanks to this organisation, not only did I get an in depth feel of my choice of career but I also learned to be more independent and responsible. I learned to be friends with people from completely different career paths. I also learned to respect and love each one of them. I am grateful to The Talent Tap, to Nick and Rupert, for giving me this life changing opportunity.
During my stay with The Talent Tap, I attended a two weeks’ placement in various medical areas. My first week started off with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital shadowing Dr Naresh Joshi. Here, I attended the operating theatre for the first time in my life as well as visiting eye clinics with other eye doctors. I learned about the science behind the human eye. It interested me so much that I’ve already started researching all the different forms of eye surgeries available. During my placement with Dr Joshi, not only did I learn about the importance of a surgeon or a doctor but I now also recognize the importance of an anesthetist, a scrub nurse and all the other equally important staff members. Today, I truly understand why team work is recognized as a vital part of medicine. Attending the eye clinics was also equally as fascinating as the theatre. I have so much knowledge and experiences to share with others now.
My second placement was at World’s End Healthcare Centre, where I was given an opportunity to shadow Dr Emma Potter, a fantastic General Practitioner, who inspired me to become a GP one day. I absolutely loved spending my day here. I learned so much attending the clinic with Dr Potter; how she dealt with each individual patient with patience and care was really interesting to observe. She has taught me to be calm and composed during all situations, regardless of what medical symptom the patient shows. I could never thank her enough for looking after me so well and helping me understand the importance of a good patient to doctor communication system.
Finally, my third placement was at St Mary’s Hospital, where I had the privilege to shadow Mr Lawton, a plastic surgeon, in a Trauma Surgery Ward. The whole team of doctors in this ward were amazing people. They looked after me very well as well as teaching me things I didn’t even know existed. Not only have I learned about the importance of medical professionals but I have also observed what it takes to become a good doctor and a good nurse. I now also understand the importance of team work in theatres as well as in general situations. Throughout my week with Mr Lawton, I learned to be patient and tolerant; to be spontaneous and optimistic; to be a team worker and an individualist. From my previous knowledge, I already knew that doctors worked immensely hard but this experience has shown me that they actually have no life for themselves. They sacrifice all their needs to give someone else a better quality of life. That, in itself was the most inspirational and rewarding thing I witnessed at the placement. I’ve never had a precise answer for why I wanted to become a doctor. I think I do now.
I guess the most important question I can ask myself after these two weeks is: could I see myself being a doctor in the future? The answer is, I can’t see myself in any other profession. This experience has opened my eyes about the world of medicine. Today, I want to be a doctor, not just to treat patients (who are of course the main priority) but also because I know that it’s what will make me happy. Treating patients for doctors shouldn’t be an obligation, it shouldn’t be just the requirement of their profession, but it should come from the heart. And that’s the main thing I’ve learned from this experience. In order to become a doctor, of course the first thing I will need is the required A Level qualifications. However, personally, I think it’s more than just academics and your BMAT or UKCAT scores. It is about your personality and your passion for the profession. In order to make a good doctor, you ought to have amazing communication skills: you ought to be a team worker: you ought to respect everybody’s opinion and learn to step down when needed: but most importantly, you ought to do everything in your patients’ best interest. After all, you’re there for them.