Prospective Medicine students from Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College (QE), Darlington, have gained a valuable insight into the highs and lows of working as a doctor in the NHS from a trainee GP currently based in Darlington. Dr. Olivia Davies gave a fascinating and very human account of her motivations for becoming a GP and spoke to students about what they need to consider before making an application. She also discussed the pros and cons of working in the profession and the varied opportunities tailored to individual strengths and performances, including the possibility of working abroad. Olivia provided detailed information on the various training routes available, in both general practice and hospital medicine, the length of time it takes to qualify as a specialist and how to apply for jobs.

Following the talk, student Layna Chang comments: ‘Olivia’s talk has made me even more determined to go into Medicine. Her anecdotes were very moving and the presentation really gave an insight into how challenging and unique each patient case is. Although the process she talked about is long and tiring, it will be worth it as every day you will meet new people and learn new things. One of the main reasons I want to go into Medicine is because of the range of skills you learn and how each day will be different from the one before. Olivia has made it more apparent that a career in Medicine is as exciting as I had hoped it would be’. Aryan Agarwal adds: ‘Olivia gave me a really clear idea of what it is like to go into Medicine, not just at university but after graduation. She spoke in an unbiased way and listed the pros and cons of working in the profession, instead of simply glamourising it. Medicine is something that I wish to pursue and Olivia has confirmed that it will be a fulfilling journey despite its challenges.’ Liz Bryan, Higher Education and Careers Adviser at QE, concludes: ‘This was the best talk that I have heard given by a member of the medical profession. It contained all of the essential elements a student needs to know before making the commitment to start on what is a long journey to becoming qualified. Olivia was a great advocate for the core values and attributes required of a doctor, she was brilliant!’