Edmund’s Glittering Path

""Edmund Watson is now forging a successful career as a doctor after shining both at School and at Oxford.

While at QE, Edmund (OE 1999–2006) was a gold medal-winner in the Biology Olympiad and won distinctions in his Advanced Extension Awards, before going on to Oxford University to read Medicine. As an undergraduate, he won various Collections prizes and earned Exhibitioner status during his first year, following this up with a Scholarship in his second, before graduating with a first-class degree in his third.

“I had a fantastic time at university – Brasenose is a very friendly college and I was very lucky to encounter a great group of friends, as well as the girlfriend who is now my wife,” he says. He took the opportunity to indulge his love of music and enjoyed singing with the Brasenose Choir, becoming a Choral Scholar. He also played clarinet regularly with the university’s Wind Orchestra, performing in locations as varied as Northampton, Glasgow and Israel.

During his post-graduate clinical training at Oxford, he was awarded a distinction in his Finals and a Prize Viva. He particularly relished his elective study placements in Malaysian Borneo and the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, USA. He continued to pursue his interest in singing, forming an a capella choir group, The Ultrasounds, and devoted many hours to his role as treasurer for the Osler House Club, a 450-strong society for medical students.

He began working as a junior doctor in 2013 at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital, and whilst there he joined the Gloucester Choral Society. In the following year, he moved on to north Bristol’s Southmead Hospital, before taking up his post with North West Thames Foundation School, which includes ‘rotations’ in clinical haematology, cardiology and renal medicine at the Hammersmith and Harefield Hospitals.

Edmund was able to deliver some teaching in his final year of Medical School, as well as designing a two-week course for fourth-year medical students. He has continued to teach as a junior doctor, delivering various ‘bedside teaching’ sessions to Bristol University students.

Having realised early in his medical studies that he enjoyed research, he is keen to be involved in it and in education in the future. A member of the Royal College of Physicians, he hopes to become a consultant haematologist.

Edmund was guest of honour at the School’s 2016 Founder’s Day thanksgiving service.

Characteristically modest, he began the main part of his address to the congregation at Chipping Barnet Parish Church by saying: “I still see myself as a ‘work-in-progress’, and I definitely am not sure that I deserve the honour of being invited to speak to you here today.”

He then told the boys: “As you go through the rest of your careers at QE, use those wonderful brains of yours to think, and to make the most of this remarkable School environment – whose 443rd Birthday we celebrate today – to help you become masters of asking good questions.” Those questions should be about themselves, about others and about the world around them, he said.

The service featured the traditional prayers for the School, as well as Bible readings, hymns and music by Vivaldi, Brahms, Rutter and Hubert Parry. Afterwards, the boys, staff and guests processed to the School, where, in time-honoured fashion, Headmaster Neil Enright gave the roll call in front of the Main Building. The School Chronicle was also read aloud – a tradition started by Ernest H Jenkins, in 1930.

As well as Edmund, the VIP party included: his wife, Emma, and parents; the Chairman of Governors Barrie Martin and his wife, Perin; Rector of Chipping Barnet Reverend Chris Ferris; and the Deputy Mayor of Barnet, Cllr Sury Khatri and his wife and Deputy Mayoress, Tara Khatri.