High-quality visiting speakers to guide QE’s aspiring medics

QE’s thriving Medical Society has welcomed a string of guest speakers, including an Imperial College professor and an old boy of the School who spoke about life as a junior doctor.

The lunchtime Medsoc is organised by Year 12 pupil Bushry Basheer, who also arranges the speakers.

Bushry recently welcomed back to the School Old Elizabethan Kiran Patel (2000–2007) (pictured left), who previously visited QE as the Guest of Honour at the thanksgiving service on Founder’s Day in 2014. He studied Medicine at King’s College London and qualified in 2013, then completing his two years of foundation training at Barnet and Chase Farm hospitals, as well as with University College London Hospitals. He is currently in the first year of his core medical training at Northwick Park Hospital.

Kiran told Medsoc that he had no regrets about having chosen Medicine as a career: the skill sets it offers are in worldwide demand, while academically he finds it both challenging and enjoyable.

""He welcomed questions from his audience of boys from Years 10-13, counselling them to think seriously before embarking on a medical career. The amount of responsibility that medics take for the life and wellbeing of others can be stressful at times, he pointed out, adding that Medicine was also not a career for those seeking financial reward. The route to becoming a consultant is long and involves a string of examinations requiring hard work and perseverance, he added.

Kiran hopes to become a cardiologist, having expressed an interest in the subject since he was in the Sixth Form.

He commented on the current junior doctors’ dispute: without the goodwill provided by staff working overtime, the NHS would collapse. Hence it was imperative for the Government to avoid further demoralising the workforce, Kiran said.

In addition to Kiran’s visit, Medsoc has welcomed OEs Athavan Thirukkumar and Mahenthran Thanurshan, (both 2003–2010), who were also keen to help a younger generation of pupils. Having started their higher education reading Medicine at Queen Mary University, the two are currently students at Barts and the London School of Medicine. They spoke on Life as a Medical Student.

Other speakers invited by Bushry in recent months include:

  • ""Professor Paul Aylin (pictured right), a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Imperial, who spoke on the topic of the ‘weekend effect’ – the claim that you are more likely to die in hospital if you are admitted at a weekend – and the use of ‘big data’ in Medicine
  • Ludvic Zrinzo, Consultant and Senior Lecturer in Neurosurgery at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery. He gave a lecture entitled Sentient stardust and brain surgery in which he spoke about his work as a functional neurosurgeon – which involves inserting electrodes into the brain to stimulate electrical activity – and compared this to more invasive neurosurgery.
  • Charles Till, a paramedic with the Red Cross and London Ambulance Service, who spoke about the importance of paramedics in acute Medicine.

Bushry also recently delivered a talk himself; he compared health systems across different countries, considering how the NHS could be improved (bureaucracy and cost-efficiency) and also where it is doing well (including end-of-life care).