Dr Jake Mann works in the paediatric team at Addenbrooke's Hospital. Jake graduated from Birmingham in 2012 and was awarded the Arthur Thomson Gold Medal.
What are your career experiences since graduating from the University of Birmingham?
After graduating from Birmingham I moved to Leeds for two years on an Academic Foundation Programme, which included 4 months dedicated research time. Since then, I have been on an Academic Clinical Fellowship in paediatrics in Cambridge and I’m looking to undertake a PhD soon.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
Currently I work as a doctor on the paediatric team in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. This involves seeing new children in A&E, helping look after children on the wards, and treat the babies on the neonatal intensive care unit. Part of my role as an Academic Clinical Fellow is working on research projects, over the last two years this has been in my ‘spare’ time but from December I will have 9 months in a laboratory.
What do you love the most about your job and what is the biggest challenge?
The biomedical research campus has an enormous variety of research specialists who are all enthusiastic to help and collaborate. There’s a great ‘can do’ attitude and much positivity.
The biggest downside is taking blood from children – not fun but someone has to do it.
How did your degree help prepare you for your career?
The strong grounding in basic sciences and pathology provided by the first two years of the medical degree, plus my intercalated year in biomedical sciences, gave an excellent foundation to drive my research interests.
As a winner of the Sir Arthur Thompson Gold Medal, how do you feel it has helped your career?
The Sir Arthur Thompson Gold Medal carries prestige and significance that I have, and will continue to list, high on my curriculum vitae. I am sure it helped in me securing a competitive ACF training post.
What attracted you to studying at Birmingham?
It is an academically excellent university and medical school that generally follows a ‘traditional’ degree of pre-clinical science followed by clinical years. I was also drawn to the university because of its strong badminton team.
How would you sum up your time in Birmingham in three words?
Friendship, challenge, community
What inspired you most during your time at Birmingham?
During my first three years at Birmingham I trained with the university’s 1st badminton team 11x sessions per week. It involved a lot of early mornings and commitment, though it never came as easily to me as medicine did. Badminton and my coach taught me goal-setting, discipline, never to applaud mediocrity, and to focus on my strengths.
A variety of inspirational clinicians and academics guided and mentored me through my degree, though at the time I probably wasn’t aware of their significant influence.
What tips/ advice would you give to people who are considering studying medicine/dentistry a Birmingham?
It is not just an outstanding university that produces clinically and academically excellent doctors. Birmingham has more opportunities than you will have time and there is a strong sense of belonging to the medical school community and university as a whole.
How would you advise people to make the most of their time on their course?
Set yourself goals that play to your strengths and with discipline you can meet them. If you wish to pursue a competitive career, start planning and working towards it now. Fill all your time and engage in everything the university has to offer (music, sport, social, charities, peer-learning) as you will never have this opportunity again.