Chris Baird-Clarke, MSc Occupational Health, Full-time 2012 | Specialist Registrar

Chris Baird-ClarkeChris is currently a Specialist Registrar at Bristol Hospital NHST Occupational Health Dept (on secondment from HM Forces Army).

How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

Since graduation I commenced a 12 month secondment with Bristol NHST Occupational Health Department. My MSc has provided me with significant background knowledge academically and professionally in dealing with all aspects of my current role. I understand what other occupational health professionals are talking about (e.g. OH nurse, Hygienists, HR) and am able to advise accordingly when concerning management or clinical decisions. On visiting external agencies to undertake occupational health related studies I am understanding of the business aspect and requirement for occupational health. My knowledge of the legal aspects of occupational health has led me to seek information about future training in Law as Employment and Equality Act 2010 law is interesting.

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

Seeing many different patients and providing intelligent and rationed advice to them and to management. Balancing my medical knowledge with industry & business management and law is unique and challenging yet very rewarding both academically and professionally.

Why did you originally apply to do your chosen course at Birmingham?

This course was full-time and best suited to my learning needs and style. Birmingham was a maximum of a 90 minute commute and so I was able to work on the train home and in the mornings. Birmingham city itself is a vibrant and fun student city.

What did you think were the best points of the course and the University?

Small groups enabled friendships to be built. Working closely with other types of occupational health professionals led to a greater understanding of their role than can be taught. Regular practical’s and workplace visits giving a real life working aspect to what is being taught.

What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?

Enjoy doing the presentations, they really benefit learning. Talk to everyone on the course, they all have something valuable to offer about their aspect of practice that you will not necessarily be aware of. We had a number of impromptu teaching sessions from colleagues keen to let us know about their experiences and types of practice.

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

I became more professional in my approach to occupational health now having a wider and deeper understanding of many aspects of my field. I have a greater respect for others in my profession particularly the non-medical professionals.