Our next HSOG ReConnect contribution is by former pupil, Cameron Brown, from the class of 2007.
After I took up Karen’s offer to ‘ReConnect’, my first thought was, how do I fill you in on what I’ve been up to, now that I’ve now been away as long as I attended the High School!
Following my final school assembly in June 2007, I spent 6 years at Dundee University studying medicine with an intercalated degree in orthopaedic technology. DO NOT underestimate how many ‘character building’ experiences will test you in the first few years away from home: rugby club initiations, learning to cook, student unions, student hall cleaning rotas and trying to tackle end of year exams! Definitely a shock to the system!
Once Dundee was done with me, I applied for my foundation doctor training and returned to the nest, in Glasgow. Never take a 3 month university summer holiday for granted. Anyone who tells you they never questioned their career choice working as a first year doctor (FY1), is lying! Moving from uni life to a working career seemed like a double edged sword: you have a proper income for the first time but around 48(-92) hours a week less to spend it.
Four years of Foundation and Core Surgical training was a baptism of fire and a decision on specialty training has to be made at this stage. For anyone who has read Adam Kay’s book ‘This is Going to Hurt’, you will remember his reference to orthopaedic surgeons… “it is reserved for the rugby team – it’s barely more than sawing and nailing – and I suspect they don’t ‘sign up’ for it so much as they dip their hand in ink and provide a palm print”… it was the one for me.
I finished a 3 year post-graduate Masters in surgical science at Edinburgh University, passed my MRCS surgical exams at Royal College Surgeons and applied for trauma and orthopaedics. Getting an 8 year training programme number was like winning Willy Wonka’s golden ticket and I owe a lot to the guidance of some lifelong mentors.
Over the last 4 years there’s been a big shift in life and responsibilities. A fiancé, dog, mortgage… check, check, check. Again, DO NOT take uni summer holidays, mid-week drinking, weekend sport and long lies for granted!
In these unprecedented times, COVID-19 is unfortunately keeping the hospitals busy. I’m proud to see our NHS holding the line and the appreciation being shown. Frontline staff have done an incredible job caring for patients and the public have done an even better job protecting frontline staff.
When Kenny Robertson sent a message to organise the donation of PPE to a local hospital, it brought home the lifelong connection with the High School and was hugely appreciated by the NHS staff.
I’ve always been extremely proud to have attended the High School. The friendships you make definitely stand the test of time and the values instilled from an early age are testament to the morales and principles the school is founded on.
If anyone would like to get in touch, I’d be more than happy to give advice/share my experience on a career in medicine.