Heartfelt thanks from leading surgeon

Heartfelt thanks from leading surgeon

Distinguished international surgeon Kamran Baig returned to QE to give a speech at the Sixth Form Luncheon – and explained that it was his way of saying ‘thank you’.

Kamran (OE 1984–1991) has performed more than 2,000 heart operations, published 30 papers and delivered numerous international presentations, as well as lecturing at some of the world’s leading medical schools.

Yet, as he explained when he wrote to the School after the event, it had long been an ambition of his to return to QE – an ambition that had previously been thwarted only by his busy work schedule. “As I alluded to in my talk, gratitude is an essential quality and this was my way of expressing gratitude to QE for providing me with a platform on which to go on to greater heights.”

“It was an absolute pleasure and privilege to come back and share my experiences and reflections with the boys and staff.”

Now a consultant cardiac surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Kamran lives in Barnet with his wife and four children.

Kamran’s speech covered many areas, but one of his observations was that he has learnt the importance of family and that he recognises the debt he owes this country for educating him and enabling him to qualify. As a result, he has turned down a number of opportunities including some very well-paid jobs in the US.

Around 150 Year 12 boys and staff attended the luncheon, during which he gave an entertaining and inspiring speech about his career.

When Kamran was at QE, the School was a very different place, with few boys progressing to degree-level disciplines such as medicine. He was a cross-country champion, representing Barnet in the All London Championships, and was Chess Captain, as well as representing the School at cricket.

After leaving QE, he obtained a first in Cardiovascular Science at King’s College London. He also excelled in cricket – his passion – captaining the King’s Cricket team.

After qualifying in 1997, he began his medical career as House Physician at Northwick Park Hospital, followed by the Professorial House Surgeon post at King’s College Hospital. After trying his hand at neurosurgery in Cambridge, he opted instead for cardiothoracic surgery in Southampton. He completed his Basic Surgical Training at University College & The Middlesex Hospitals and was awarded his Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons in 2000 (when he became Mr Baig again, instead of Dr Baig).

He then embarked upon a research scholarship at the leading surgical research institution in the United States, Duke University in North Carolina. He won the Bayer Fellowship Prize in 2002 – one of only two awarded in the United States – and was the first British recipient. He conducted pioneering basic science and translational research on cardiac surgery, which formed the basis of his Doctorate of Medicine, awarded by Imperial College London. He completed his higher surgical training across London at King’s, Royal Brompton & Harefield, Barts and Hammersmith Hospitals.

He has lectured and tutored students at the following medical schools: Oxford & Cambridge, Duke, Imperial, UCL & Bart’s and King’s.

In 2010 he co-founded the London Core Review Course in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons London, attended by surgeons from around the globe. His latest initiative is a bespoke course for mentoring students for medical school applications and interviews.

After his visit, he offered to help boys individually who are seeking advice and to return to talk to the boys in the future on science and medicine-related topics.