I am the proud daughter to two doctor parents.
Who both inspired me in their own ways.
To learn. To investigate. To question.
I was always the bright and enthusiastic student.
Brought up with a strong belief in the scientific method.
I studied medicine. Graduating from Edinburgh University in 2005.
Becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine in 2017.
It wasn’t an easy path.
Expectations were high. From every direction.
Relentless rotas. Exhausting exams.
I found myself struggling. Feeling lost. Ambivalent. Unsure.
So I tried to escape.
Travelling to Australia.
I fell in love with the beach and the buzz of the Emergency Department.
I got excited about the opportunities of a medical career.
And it’s taken me around the world.
Working with indigenous communities in outback Australia.
On a mercy ship down the Amazon river.
Becoming a Flying Doctor in Africa.
Studying International Health in rural India.
Before returning to the NHS. In a time of austerity.
I took part in the junior doctor protests. And have been working on the frontline during this pandemic.
Which has forced me to question the role of the doctor.
The impact of policy. The values of society.
At home and away.
All these experiences left me disillusioned.
Frustrated. Conflicted. Constrained.
For the sake of my own health.
I went to workshops and retreats.
Tried talking. Tried silence.
Sound baths. Soulful psychology.
Dancing. Down-ward dogging.
And again I began to question.
Why, as a doctor did I not know of these alternatives?
Especially when they had helped me so much on my own path.
How can I offer these options to my patients?
People I see in A+E everyday who are struggling.
Waiting months to see specialists.
Doctors, who are trained to only focus on the biology of the body.
And manage symptoms with medications.
Without any knowledge.
Any consideration of the context and construct in which they are working.
It’s leaving them unaware of who, how and what else can help.
Which is especially important, when they can’t.
And how can we truly facilitate informed consent without adequate awareness.
Or analysis of the Western way alongside an alternative?
Now, more than ever we understand the paramount importance of our health.
Physical. Mental. Social. Emotional. Relational. Financial.
It’s all so instrinctly connected.
Known and felt by us all at this time.
Could this be the time to move the healthcare system forward?
To make it more integrative. More inclusive.
I am ready to inspire a truly holistic approach to healthcare. Are you?