From international conferences to the ups and downs of life in a London hospital

From international conferences to the ups and downs of life in a London hospital

Jin-Min Juan is now working as a doctor at Northwick Park Hospital after graduating from Cambridge this summer.

Jin, who left QE with four straight A* grades at A-level in 2011, excelled in his university research work into the mind, winning one of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ valuable Pathfinder Fellowship and presenting his work at several international conferences.

He says: “Nothing quite prepares you for the jump between secondary school and university, but, notwithstanding some very intense periods of pressure, it was all well worth it in the end.

“I had a great six years at Cambridge, and particularly enjoyed the company of the tight-knit community at Robinson College. I met a fantastic range of people, and made some very good friends in both the college and later at the clinical school. I am particularly thankful to my pre-clinical Director of Studies, Dr Andrew Sharkey, for his belief in me and also his unwavering support.”

Jin joined Northwick Park in August as the most junior (‘Foundation Year 1’) doctor in his team. “Working as a doctor has itself been another steep jump from university. I have had some very good moments with patients and members of the team, tempered by moments of acute stress and uncertainty. But overall it has been a great and humbling experience, packed (perhaps surprisingly) with lots of laughter and hilarity. After six years in Cambridge, it is nice to be back in London!”

Reflecting on his life and career to date, Jin acknowledges the huge influence of his past experience, not least his “fond memories of my time at QE”. In the summer of 2011, The Times featured a large photograph of Jin and his twin brother, Jin-Xi, together with another set of QE twins, Anup and Amit Desai, to illustrate an article about the School’s excellent A-level results.

He remains “extremely grateful” to his QE teachers and recently contacted his old form tutor, Mathematics teacher Victor Vigneswaran, to update him on his career.

“I am still in touch with friends from QE, and had a fabulous reunion recently at Zuhayr Sheikh’s wedding,” he adds.

After becoming interested in the mind, Jin did his Part II (intercalated degree) in Experimental Psychology. “In my final year, I worked with Professor John O’Brien and Dr Annabel Price on a novel research project using anonymised electronic case records to identify differences between the survival of patients with two different types of dementia: dementia with Lewy bodies and Alzheimer’s dementia. I was selected for an oral presentation of this research at the International Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and the research paper has just been accepted for publication in the BMJ Open journal.

Last year’s award of one of just ten national Pathfinder Fellowships, worth up to £5,000 over three years, was in recognition of his research and academic work. “This has helped immensely in furthering my academic pursuits,” he says.

“Whilst exploring my clinical interests I have found psychiatry and geriatric medicine alluring, and my research in dementia has combined the two. In the future, I hope to pursue a career in a medical specialty that closely involves both mental and physical health.”

Jin is pictured here, at his graduation in Cambridge, presenting research at a conference and on his first day as a doctor.