I was told about this event back in early November by a member of the Doctors Advancing Patient Safety team. He said he would be going and it seemed like a great event. So after a quick google search, I came to the Eventbrite page and was impressed by the lineup. Naturally, since I’m very opinionated about the careers and wellbeing of medical students of doctors, I was very keen to go…to go and present!
After a few emails, I managed to get myself a 15min slot squeezed into the afternoon after the final break. But I’ll come back to that.
Each of the 18 speakers (yes 18!) were given 10mins to give their presentation, followed by 5mins for questions from the audience. Naturally there were a few who struggled with the tight schedule, but it surely helped to keep the event going at a speedy pace.
We learnt a lot from the speakers. First up was a friend of mine, Dr Evgenia Galinskaya, who outlined her journey from dermatology reg to career coach for doctors and running her own company, Other Options For Doctors. Dr Aroon Baskarada, one of the event’s hosts, talked about a career in Consultancy. I was even tempted to become an aesthetics doctor after speaking to hearing from Dr Zack Ally, cosmetic trainer and founding CEO of Derma Medical. Friend and colleague Dr Abeyna Jones discussed her career so far, including setting up Medic Footprints. We also listened to the events second host, Dr Lafina Diamandis, Paediatric Doctor, Property Investor, and founder of Eurekadoc Publishing.
It was after lunch when we had the pleasure of hearing from arguably the strongest speaker, Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée CBE MBE FRCN FCGI, CEO at Beacon Organisational Development, CBE renowned International Speaker & Author, and Executive Coach for NHS Leadership Academy. Yes, she has indeed been honoured by the Queen more than once! What was great about this lady is that she has proven that with determination and steadfast belief in your core values, you can achieve anything.
The follow quote resonated with the audience
Action with vision can change the world.
However, it was this quote that I could identify with the most
Are you in touch with what makes your heart sing?
After a few more presentations, including one from Dr Roshana Mehdian, it was my turn!
I wanted the audience to know that leaving medicine is a safe and viable option for anyone that knows it will improve their happiness. Having extra skills, is great, but you don’t have to in order to survive outside of clinical practice. With a splash of humour here and there, and proving that I’ve made it, I had considerable impact on the medical students and junior doctors in the room. I spoke with a number of the attendees to offer more advice to them.
After a few more questions as a panel of speakers, we were asked the ultimate question to be answered with only one word; Medicine, stay or go? All the speakers gave a sentence, generally along the lines of stay or at least do what is right for me. yet I was bold enough to just say go. Not because I want a mass exodus of doctors, after all we need doctors. But rather because there is so much to learn in this world, and even though you can’t learn it all in a lifetime, you certainly will learn more if you are not just working as a doctor.
My final words of advice were instead an instruction;
Learn. Learn about yourself, learn about the world, and learn about how you fit in.