It was during my medical elective whilst I was working in South Africa that I sent off my application for the ALMP. I hadn’t heard about the ALMP prior to applying for it so I was unsure what to expect but was very pleasantly surprised when I was invited to attend an interview at the university. I felt that the ALMP would be a great opportunity to learn from the experience of previous alumnus and also would be a way of enhancing my career once I graduate from the University.
I was very excited when I heard that I had been offered my mentor Dr. Rowan Hillson, a recently retired consultant physician who specialized in the treatment of diabetes I had put Dr. Hillson as my first choice because I felt she would be able to offer me help with a number of areas of my medical studies. Firstly, I was about to start a year doing a clinical sciences intercalation in which I was going to be doing a research project in endocrinology. Dr. Hillson spent her whole working life in the field of endocrinology, so to have her support during this year I felt would be invaluable. Secondly, she was the National Clinical Director for Diabetes for the Department of Health so clearly was very well placed to be able to offer me career advice as I commence with my medical career.
I first heard from Dr. Hillson in early October when she sent me a lovely email to introduce herself and to ask me a bit more about myself. We then spoke on the phone a couple of weeks later and arranged to meet for dinner one evening. She invited me to send her a copy of my CV for her to have a look at prior to our meeting so that we could discuss it at dinner.
Over dinner we got to know each other and I was very interested to hear all about her extensive career in the NHS. She was able to tell me a lot about how the NHS had changed throughout the time that she had worked there and also offered me advice about choosing jobs in the future. Dr. Hillson had kindly read my CV and made suggestions of where I could improve it, which I found particularly helpful. We also realised we had a mutual interest in travel and I loved hearing about her recent trips abroad. It was very reassuring to hear that even someone who has clearly worked exceptionally hard in their career is still able to make time for travelling and holidays too.
Prior to meeting Dr. Hillson I wasn’t sure what to expect from our mentoring time together. However, after our first meeting I have realised how fortunate I am to have someone as qualified and as lovely as Dr. Hillson offering to help me. We are hoping to meet again before Christmas and then hopefully throughout next year as I look to apply for my first jobs as a Doctor.
By Lucy Elliott, Medicine, ALMP Mentee 2015-16