Founder of Widening Participation Medics Network
I grew up in a one bedroom flat with my mum in inner city Bristol. As a single parent, she juggled her job in retail and taking care of me. Luckily, we had support from my grandparents, aunty and uncle also living near by. Later we moved into a house with 2 bedrooms however difficulties arose when choosing which secondary school to attend. Due to our postcode, we had to appeal to get me into the school I preferred; with support from my teacher Mr. Burton, our appeal was successful.
I love to learn and threw myself into my education. On Sundays, my family and I would all visit my grandparents and I would sit in the corner sofa to revise - I can now work in any noisy environment! Around the age of 14, I was choosing between being a doctor or teacher and I decided I wanted to become a doctor with a focus in medical education. I continued to work hard and I achieved the grades necessary however I received 4 rejections for medical school entry. At this point, the head of my 6th form encouraged me to apply for a different course however I decided to reapply to medicine.
I was successful in two job interviews and became a full-time health care assistant in neurosurgery. During that year, I had 4 interviews for medicine and 4 offers: Manchester, Peninsula, St.Georges and Liverpool. St.Georges was the first on my list to turn down due to the additional expense of living in London then Peninsula as it did not feel very diverse. Manchester offered a great additional bursary for those living in low-income families and had amazing research facilities so I accepted it.
At medical school, I worked extremely hard during my first year - my work-life balance was wrong. At that time, I had imposter syndrome and felt that I needed to work harder than everyone else. Second year, I joined athletics and met my partner; this is when I started to enjoy the benefits of exercise and I started to explore what Manchester had to offer.
Finances were always at the forefront of my mind so I was very strict with my budgeting. I turned down social events and spent less money when out with friends. I worked every summer which varied from working in a photography gallery, preparing tea for NHS managers meetings, cleaning a hairdressers, working at a train station — the list goes on!
I graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Neuroscience (First) and Medicine. I was accepted into my first choice London deanery and I have just started my top choice radiology job.