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Medical Student Role Model Competition at Imperial College London

We recently ran a competition for the medical students to tell us about their top medical role models in 3 minutes. The competition was overseen by Dr Ros Herbert, GP Teaching Fellow in the Department of Primary Care & Public Health. We had videos, poems and drawings and we were incredibly impressed by the creativity of the entries. The winners were Megan Hutchingson, Lottie Whittington, Graeme Downes, Alexandra Ho and Nell Freeman.

Two of the students wrote about inspirational GPs. Nell Freeman wrote about Dr Rachel Baggley, a GP who does a lot of international HIV work.

"Dr Rachel Baggley is my medical role model. I met her when she was head of HIV programmes at Christian Aid and often travelling back and forth to Zimbabwe, DRC, and other conflict zones and areas of great need. She was known throughout the organization (and beyond) as someone passionate, hugely committed and KIND. She made great efforts to give younger people career opportunities that they might never have had, and also supported them to make these experiences a success. Throughout this, Dr Baggley continued to run evening clinics as a GP in a busy clinic in south London and be the brilliant mother to 2 delightful and amazing teenagers. She began her work in HIV with injecting drug users in the late 1980s, before moving to Zambia with her husband and young family, setting up local HIV Testing and Counselling services. She currently works on the HIV prevention team for the WHO in Geneva.

Dr Baggley is also my medical role model for the way that she has managed her career in clinical medicine and HIV policy – thousands of people across the world are living and healthy because of her work. She is also my role model because of the efforts she makes in bringing people together and her generosity in helping young professionals develop. But truly she is my role model because when I meet her and her family, they seem happy. Her huge professional achievements, from the outside at least, do not seem to have been at the expense of all the rest of her being, those who she loves, and who love her back. If ‘role model’ is taken very literally to be someone we would use as a guide for our own lives, then I feel very certain nominating Dr Baggley."

Alexandra Ho wrote about Dr Naomi Refeinberg an inspirational GP she met on her placement on the Isle of Skye. Megan's poem was about the doctor who inspired her to go to medical school.

Previous work suggests that role models are key to the development of professionalism amongst our students and that students choose role models who demonstrate empathy and patient-centred behaviours as well as clinical excellence. A challenge to us all! 

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