Just as our OJs are deciding on Universities and their chosen career paths after their amazing results, we got wind of Isabelle’s fantastic achievements in the world of medicine and asked her to give The OJ Community a low down of what kinds of experiences she has been through to get where she is now; how she got there and where she is aiming her sights next. She kindly tells her story so as to inspire current students to be brave enough to take the leap into medicine if that’s where their heart is leading them.....
“I started at the Judd School in 2011, and studied there for Sixth Form. I was in Duke House, with Mr Ecclestone as my form tutor (he was absolutely amazing) - I studied Biology, Chemistry, Maths & Economics at A level, and picked up Physics as an additional AS level in my final year.
My favourite teachers were Mr Ecclestone, Mr Stowell, Mrs Bambridge & Mr McCafferty: they were inspirational! I had some teachers I was terrified of but better not name names!
Friday break-time chicken burgers (limited to two per person!) were an undeniable highlight of the week!
I received the most incredible career guidance & encouragement from Mr Masters, Mr Ecclestone & Mrs Thomas - without their suggestions & positivity, I would never have had the courage to pursue the path I did. I applied to four medical schools & received four medical school offers: Cambridge, Kings College London, Exeter & Southampton - AS Levels: Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Economics (all A) - A Levels: Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Economics (all A*).
I studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge and in 2016 I graduated with a First in Natural Sciences; in 2019 I graduated as a Doctor gaining ‘Bachelor of Medicine & Surgery’.
During my time at Cambridge I was awarded a 'Wellcome Trust Scholarship' in Biochemistry and as a result of this funded internship, I collaborated on a project that was published in the prestigious Nature Journal. I have consistently been keen to carry out research, and have presented my papers at over a dozen conferences, both National & International.
I am most proud of a research project I undertook whilst working at the Royal Papworth Hospital, regarding a new ‘type’ of heart transplant & its efficacy.
One day before graduating as a doctor I was admitted to hospital with bacterial meningitis. I was allowed to leave hospital for 2 hours, graduated on the hospital site, then returned to hospital for 10 further days of intensive antibiotic treatment. After six years, I was absolutely DETERMINED to pick up that piece of paper!!!
Next week (!!) I am starting work as a doctor in the Oxford Foundation School, in Emergency Surgery, cemented by a summer spent working within Intensive Care at Great Ormond Street London. My aim is to become a Paediatric Anaesthetist.
Despite the undeniable - and sometimes frightening and overwhelming pressure of the current NHS situation, I adore my job and I would not swap it for ANY other career.
I feel unbelievably honoured to (a) have studied at The Judd School - and been encouraged to develop the resilience / confidence to aim higher than I’d dared imagine, and (b) to be equipped with the knowledge to save lives.
It’s hard to explain, but it feels incredibly special. When I first considered Medicine as a career, there was nobody within my circle of family or family friends who were in the healthcare sector. Indeed, nobody in my family had been to university before! I would be over the moon to be able to offer advice to any OJ who was considering a career in Medicine: in fact, I would consider it a real privilege.
Isabelle has asked us to pass her details on to any students who are remotely interested in Medicine, Oxbridge or both! Please get in touch if you are interested in having a chat with her: firstname.lastname@example.org