Helen is currently GP Principal at The Cloisters Medical Practice, Lichfield, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham, Primary Care and Honorary Treasurer of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
How has your career developed since graduating from the University of Birmingham?
Undertaking the MSc in Primary Care Research Methods whilst training as an Academic GP changed my career in ways that I never envisaged. Not only did I meet remarkable people and learn a lot but that first postgraduate qualification made me realise that I did want an academic clinical career and spurred me on to embrace a research programme. Subsequently doing and completing my PhD opened up a whole new world of opportunities, led me to become a Fellow of the RCGP and I took on responsibility as the Clinical Director of out dynamic and successful Primary Care Clinical Research and Trials Unit for several years. More recently I have become Treasurer of the RCGP’s which has led me to change from a research contract to a teaching one, and having benefited so greatly from the programme a decade ago, I now run the MSc programme in Primary Care.
What is the best thing about the job you are doing now?
The people – both patients and colleagues make my portfolio career tremendously stimulating and enjoyable.
What did you think were the best points of the course and the University?
The MSc is taught by real world clinical staff who are also interested in providing high quality educational opportunities – that makes for relevant, interactive and accessible teaching and a curriculum that really counts.
What advice would you give to current students studying on the course?
Keep up to date with assignments and reading, try to keep it relevant.
How did you grow as a person by studying at University? Did it change your life in any way?
I honestly believe that if I had not come to the University of Birmingham then my life would have been a lot less interesting and my career far less successful. I have had the most amazing opportunities, been encouraged to successfully apply for funding which has enabled me to study, travel and train at the highest level and has opened so many doors…Coming here didn’t just change my life, it transformed it for the better.