Alumni profiles - Helen Marie Parry

MBChB (hons) (2006); MSc (Dist) (2005)

Core Medical Trainee Year 2 (CMT 2) at University Hospital Birmingham

No day is ever the same! Medicine is very varied, interesting and academically stimulating. Each day I enjoy meeting new people, interacting with different patients, making diagnoses and formulating treatment plans"

What are your career experiences since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

Since graduating four years ago I have worked at the University Hospital Birmingham rotating through four monthly medical rotations. These have included acute medicine, cardiology, hepatology, renal, intensive care, haematology and oncology disciplines. I have also spent time at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital working in the infectious diseases and tropical medicine unit.  Within these specialties my work is predominantly ward based, with on-call duties. Working in such a variety of medical specialities has helped me to successfully complete my postgraduate MRCP exams.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now? 

No day is ever the same! Medicine is very varied, interesting and academically stimulating. Each day I enjoy meeting new people, interacting with different patients, making diagnoses and formulating treatment plans. My job is also very practical and I perform numerous procedures each day, involving skills I have developed since graduating. It is a very rewarding career and especially fulfilling when you observe patients improving from clinical decisions you have made.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here?

Being a redbrick university, Birmingham campus is a great place to study as well as relax and have plenty of fun. With so many societies both in the medical school and on campus there is something for everyone and plenty of weekend trips to destinations around the UK to get the important work- life balance! As well as the union bar, the nightlife and shopping in Birmingham City Centre is also fantastic. The layout of the course for medicine at Birmingham University is a good mix of traditional lecture based teaching and more novel problem based learning teaching in small tutorial groups which I found appealing. In the more senior years, the numerous West Midlands NHS hospitals to which you rotate provide excellent bedside teaching and development of clinical skills, a feature Birmingham graduates are renowned for.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?

Birmingham is a fun city to live in, it’s multicultural with plenty of great places to visit nearby and is geared up for student life. I thoroughly enjoyed studying in Birmingham, so much so I chose to intercalate and spent an extra year as a student.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

Take every opportunity and work hard but play hard too. If there was ever an activity, sporting or arts based, that you wondered if you would ever be any good at, then you will probably find a society to join with other like-minded students to give it a go.

How did you grow as a person by coming to University?  Did it change your life in any way?

University gives you confidence and independence. You mature as an adult and make decisions about who you want to be and what kind of person you are. I certainly didn’t foresee myself pursuing a career involving both clinical and basic science and can honestly say that if I hadn’t had the opportunity to try laboratory work at university I would never have considered it.