Duncan Shrewsbury. MBChB, 2011 | GP and Senior Lecturer

Duncan Shrewsbury

Dr Duncan Shrewsbury is currently finishing his GP training and is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Worcester. Duncan graduated from Birmingham in 2011.


After qualifying in medicine, I undertook foundation training on an academic programme across Stoke and Wolverhampton, before entering GP (general practice, a.k.a. family medicine) specialty training in North Worcestershire.

During my undergraduate medical studies, I intercalated in neuroscience, and then got a job as a part-time biology teacher in a Further Education college. This sparked an interest in education, and led me to a MSc in medical education, which I completed around the same time as my medical degree. I am now completing a PhD in medical education, continuing my research into dyslexia in medical education and training.

What is your current role and what does it involve?

I am now finishing my GP training (Academic GPST3), working part of the week in a practice in Worcestershire.

I also work part-time as a Senior Lecturer in Clinical Education and Primary Care at the University of Worcester. Here, I run two masters-level (postgraduate) programmes, one of which is part of the innovative Urgent and Acute Clinical Care fellowships that provides extended training opportunities to early-career GPs with an interest in urgent care. Part of my role as an academic involves me engaging in research. I am finishing my PhD in medical education, and am actively involved in work that is looking into wellbeing and mental health of doctors in training.

My third role is as chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners trainee (‘Associates in Training’) committee. This involves me working with the Royal College, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, and the British Medical Association (as well as a whole host of other bodies) on issues around the quality of trainees’ experiences in training, recruitment and workforce development, and ensuring that patient care in the community is sustainable and of a high standard.

What do you love most about your job and what is the biggest challenge?

My job is incredibly varied. I get a good combination of having a ‘base’ but also being able to travel around the UK and Europe. I get to work with some fantastic people, and constantly meet new and inspiring people from a range of backgrounds.

The clinical part of my job is incredibly rewarding, and having gained insight from my academic and leadership roles enables me to play a bigger part in influencing some of the changes going on in the UK health service. This allows me to advocate for the needs of my patients and the local health economy.

How did your degree help to prepare you for your career?

My degree qualified me to work as a doctor, enabling me to enter the profession. Unique to my experience at the University of Birmingham, however, was the opportunity to engage in education and leadership roles from early on, through some of the staff-student groups and committees that the medical school has. This, undoubtedly, sparked an interest, but also gave me perspective, insights and confidence to explore further opportunities post-qualification.

How would you sum up your time at Birmingham in three words?

Incredible. Enjoyable. Life-changing.

What inspired you most during your time as a student at Birmingham?

Actually, in terms of career development, it was a few key individuals who we got to have fairly regular contact with, who inspired and nurtured us that made the biggest difference.

Extra-curricular activities helped shape and develop my skills and insight, and certainly made for a more rounded and enjoyable time at university.

What advice would you give to people who are considering studying your course at Birmingham?

  1. Say YES to things, seek opportunities and take them
  2. Have fun, enjoy your time…you can’t re-live it (no matter how hard we try)
  3. Build your networks. The friends you make at university will be life-long and formative. But also, cultivate your professional networks too- links with researchers, experience in labs, opportunities in industry…