Visit from Dr. Paul Williams
Ex pupil Paul Williams came back to visit his old school to talk to our students about a career in medicine.
Paul is a GP and is now training and specialising in other areas of medicine including transplants. His training has included periods in Spain and a planned trip to South Korea. Those who taught him will remember him as a truly brilliant student!
We asked him some questions about his career and his time here at LHS.
What do you love about your job?
I love that I get to help people every day. I get to apply the scientific knowledge that I spent a long time learning and there's a technical aspect to it, which is I still find quite challenging, which really brings out the enjoyment in the career.
What advice do you have for any budding medical professionals?
So, if you want to study medicine, it has to start from the GCSE level. You have to get at least 8 A stars in your GCSE's. You should try and find some work experience within medicine relatively early so you can do it from as young as 16 and then you can really know if it's for you or not because it takes a specific type of person to want to do it forever.
What advice do you have for students if they really don't like science?
Science, unfortunately, is unavoidable, and if you want to pursue a medical or veterinary career, you have to apply yourself to biology and chemistry. You will not get a place in a medical school or a veterinary school without them. If you don't do either of those two things you would need a undergraduate science degree to be eligible as a graduate entry, but that's even more competitive. If that's what you want you have to apply yourself.
How did LHS set you up?
A couple of things really. I had some really good science teachers who have pretty much all retired, which makes me feel really old and some really good science teachers who really encouraged my dream. A lot of encouragement from tutor groups and Mrs Heath and Miss McAnally.
What made you want to go into the medical field?
I've always wanted to do surgery, so even when I applied to medical school, it was either do surgery or do something else completely. And the reason that I enjoy surgeries is because it offers a quick fix so a lot of medical patients and people who have diseases that are controlled or treated with tablets don't get better very quickly. Whereas when you do surgery on someone, they either get better instantly or over the course of the next couple weeks.
Do you have any messages or anything you'd like to say to?
What I would say is don't let other people's perceptions of you affect the dream that you want to follow, because it didn't really matter in the long term, which high school I went to.
Do you have any advice for how parents could help there?
Parents who want to help get their children into Med school, there are a few things you can do. You need to encourage your son/daughter to take part in extra-curricular activities, sports, music, and any leadership roles such as sports team captains or student leadership. Try to facilitate volunteer work, whether that’s doing the ironing in the care home, looking out for elderly people in the neighbourhood, or being the tea guy in a hospital!
After his talk Paul guided the students through a simulated surgery!