Following the exchange of a few emails, Andrew and I met for the first time today down at the King’s Fund, just off Cavendish Square in central London. We didn’t have a formal agenda, so we used our meeting slot to break the ice and learn more about each other. Andrew was interested to hear about my career plans, which are still very open to amendment. I explained that though I aim to become involved with medical leadership, I’m not sure how far I want to take this – I don’t think I’d want to completely stop clinical practice because I enjoy it too much.
Andrew told me about his life and career – from a surgical trainee he took on roles with the British Medical Association before ultimately becoming the Group Medical Director for BUPA. Throughout his career he has challenged bad practice in medical management, pushing for policy changes that ultimately improve patients’ experience and safety.
Before parting we shared a few stories from our respective involvement with the Guild of Students – Andrew was its President whilst a student, and latterly the chair of its trustee board; I was the President of Carnival RAG – one of its largest societies. It was nice to meet a fellow medic alumnus of the Guild – very few of us seem to make it across campus to get involved with student groups and politics.
Overall this first meeting was about getting to know each other a little better. We have agreed to meet again. In the meantime Andrew has started following me on Twitter so he can forward interesting articles about the health service across to me. I look forward to our future meetings, which will hopefully give me insight into how to become a successful and respected healthcare leader.