|7 Feb 2022
|Old Girls' Association
Kate studied chemistry, biology and geography at A-level with an AS-level in design technology and initially thought she would study occupational therapy. However, after attending a few open days she realised it wasn’t quite what she wanted to do and she chose to study medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School as an International student instead. Kate’s year was only the 5th cohort for what was, at the time, the smallest medical school in the country - there were only 140 people in each year so she was able to get to know her year and the year above quite easily. She has high praise for the School and says they were always open and responsive to feedback.
Kate left with her degree in medicine and went on to do her F1 (Foundation) year in Worthing working in urology, diabetes and
geriatrics. Her second year (F2) was at St Helier in London and her rotations included paediatrics, A&E and intensive care. After this Kate opted for a year out and worked in refugee camps in Greece and in a rural hospital in South Africa (her parents are from South Africa). Kate found it to be a tough placement as the hospital was severely under-resourced and there was little guidance for a junior doctor. It did however have its positives and seeing elephants on the way into work every day is one of Kate’s favourite memories!
Back in the UK, Kate spent the next two years at Charing Cross hospital, London, working in anaesthetics and intensive care before she moved to the Chelsea and Westminster hospital in 2019. It was here that Kate was working as a Junior Registrar when the pandemic first started and she was called out of paediatrics to help with adult COVID cases. This was followed by a promotion to Senior Registrar at Northwick Park, which was the epi-centre for COVID cases at the time and frequently in the BBC news with headlines such as Coronavirus: The London hospital hit by a ‘tidal wave’ of patients. Kate recalls this as being the most impactful time of her career to date as it was exhausting and emotional. Families were unable to be with their loved ones and having to give them updates over the phone was difficult, particularly as little was known about COVID to begin with. Kate really felt this particular job gave her a huge amount of experience and improved her confidence and personal growth as a doctor.
Now Kate has returned to Chelsea and Westminster and is taking another year out of training to work in paediatric A&E, whilst studying for her post-graduate certificate in clinical education. She feels work is manageable now from a COVID point of view but still ridiculously busy as they are helping to deal with cases that were put ‘on hold’ during the pandemic. There’s also the added pressure of children’s immune systems playing catch up due to so much time in isolation.
With so much going on professionally, you could be forgiven for thinking Kate doesn’t have much spare time for anything else but she is currently planning to marry her partner (an oncology doctor) in South Africa early next year! Congratulations to both of you and thank you Kate.
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