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A Career in the Health Profession

Friday, 28 February 2014

Bolton School GCSE and A level students enjoyed a day dedicated to learning about careers as a health professional working in the NHS and beyond. 

The morning’s keynote address was delivered by Dr Clare Inkster, a Consultant Opthalmologist at the Royal Bolton Hospital. She opened the event by questioning why people seek out careers in the NHS, citing money, excitement, the making of new friends, academic achievement and the chance to make a difference in the world as being popular reasons; all of which were true.  However, she then explained to the Year 10-13 girls and boys that such a career involves a huge amount of hard work and responsibility, endless compassion towards patients however stressed or tired you might feel and whatever else is going on in your life. She also said it was possible to juggle a family life and life beyond work whilst working in the NHS and with two children of her own she was proof of it! 

Dr Inkster pointed out that the NHS is not a perfect system and things can go wrong, exemplified by the closure of Stafford Hospital on Wednesday of this week. She then gave the students a picture of her working life, where she spends 30 hours looking after patients and 10 hours in supporting professional activity, which includes a wide range of activities, many of which she has turned into passionate interests including education (she is also an Associate Postgraduate Dean responsible for the postgraduate training for Psychiatry in the North West and an honorary lecturer at the University of Manchester Medical School), international development (she has a keen interest in links between eye units in Nigeria and Bolton), assessing patient experience and Quality Standards in Medicine.

As the event opened, Sixth Form student Lewis Daley, aged 17, said: “I am aiming to become a doctor so this day is going to be really interesting for me. I want to learn how to make a successful application to Medical School and, beyond that, what the life of a doctor entails and how to become one.” 

Throughout the day, the students enjoyed a range of presentations detailing how to make successful applications to Medical School as well as the nuts and bolts of day-to-day life as a doctor, pharmacist and academic and of careers in occupational therapy, optometry, physiotherapy, nursing and midwifery, 

Amongst the presenters were two Old Girls and an Old Boy. Sarah Ahmed spoke honestly about the realities of life as a medical student – she is currently in her fourth year of study at the University of Birmingham. She told the audience that “getting in is not the hardest part, staying in medical school is the hardest part”. She spoke of the hard work and the long hours - whilst many other students may have 8 hours a week of lectures, a Medic is more likely to have 8 hours a day! Victoria Lyle spoke lucidly about her career in physiotherapy and Makrand Gore spoke of his life as a Medicines Optimisation Pharmacist with Bolton NHS. 

Besides the keynote speaker and the alumni, the day also saw presentations from: Katherine Davies, Consultant in A&E at the Royal Preston Hospital; Linda Harding, Undergraduate Admissions, Manchester Medical School; Teresa Smith, Undergraduate Admissions, University of Manchester School of Dentistry; Geoff Hide, Professor of Parasitology, University of Salford; Dr Jackie Taylor, Senior Lecturer, School of Health Sciences, University of Salford; Karen Wild and Gill Colgan from the University of Salford School of Nursing and Midwifery; Philip Morgan, Professor of Optometry at the University of Manchester; and Mike Robinson of Bolton NHS Commissioning Group.

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Mrs Clare Inkster delivered the morning

Mrs Clare Inkster delivered the morning's keynote address

Sarah Ahmed spoke about the realities of being a Medical student

Sarah Ahmed, a former Bolton School pupil, spoke about the realities of being a Medical student

Old Boy Makrand Gore spoke about life as a Pharmacist

Old Boy Makrand Gore spoke about life as a Pharmacist