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Old Boy Discusses Reality of Medical Career

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Old Boy Mobeen Qureshi returned to Bolton School to talk to students interested in a career in medicine about his experiences of training and working as a doctor. He was able to give pupils from both Divisions an insight into the hardships of a career in medicine, but also the joys and advantages of his fulfilling profession.

He began by discussing the core qualities needed to be a good doctor, particularly communication and teamwork skills, integrity, and the ability to maintain confidentiality. He also touched on why the pupils might want to choose medicine for themselves.

Mobeen then talked about his own pathway into medicine. After leaving Bolton School in 2009, initially he planned to study dentistry, but although he achieved the grades needed, his university had made too many offers and couldn’t take him onto the course. He therefore reapplied, and with his grades he could apply for two dentistry courses or five medical courses: he went for medicine as he felt he had the better chance, and was accepted into Glasgow University. He was therefore able to give pupils great advice in the event that they were not successful with their applications: he urged them to keep trying and not give up as it’s just their first attempt.

He went on to discuss about the realities of being a doctor, both good and bad. In particularly his first year as a junior doctor, working in a remote hospital in the west of Scotland, was very tough with gruelling twelve hour shifts. However, he said that he can look back now and see that the tough two years of the foundation programme allowed him to see what he was capable of and learn about himself. He added that although it seems bad for junior doctors because they are on the bottom rung, he can now tell his colleagues in the same position that it does get better! He reassured the aspiring medical students of the same.

Mobeen also talked about the advantages of becoming a doctor. In particular he spoke about the wide variety of options available, not just in medicine but also in terms of science. He talked about one of his friends, a fellow Old Boy who studied to become a doctor, has recently realised that he doesn’t like clinical medicine: he now wants to become a pathologist, working in laboratories and doing research rather than interacting with patients. There are also constant opportunities for further study and learning, and Mobeen is himself now training a consultant surgical trainee. He also celebrated the sense of camaraderie in hospitals, and the fact that throughout his training and his work he has been able to meet people from all walks of life. In addition, he spoke passionately about his work and how fun and fulfilling he finds the challenges of being a doctor.

Mobeen’s honesty while talking about both the positive and negative aspects of his career was no doubt invaluable for the pupils who attended his talk.

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