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How I Transitioned From Clinical Medicine To A Career In Public Health

Maybe you've been thinking about a career in public health?


Are you wondering if it's the right thing for you, or maybe you were just unsure about taking on different training or embarking on a new career outside of full-time clinical medicine?

Maybe your memory of public health from medical school and the things you've learnt there is still feeling like a long time ago or minimal.


Public Health as a career option outside clinical medicine

Are you thinking about working outside clinical medicine, maybe you've enjoyed some aspects of your training, but you are feeling a little bit stuck.


Maybe you're finding that clinical work is draining you and you are no longer able to leave work at work and be present at home and with the relationships that are important to you.


For whatever reason, clinical medicine might not be right for you and public health could be an option.


If you are keen to make a bigger impact as a doctor - are you seeing the same patients over and over again? And maybe it's starting to feel like you are simply putting a plaster on the most pressing issue that you see, but you're not really supporting your patients with their underlying social problems. And you know that these are contributing to their ill health.


Perhaps you're motivated to prevent illness rather than just treat it. And you'd like to make a bigger impact on the health of populations. I will help you to see that public health can shift this perspective for you. And it can be a really fulfilling career to step into, to start making a bigger impact as a doctor and in your medical career.


If you're just a bit curious, maybe you don't know what a public health trainee or a consultant does, and there are not that many of us, so you may not even know anyone who works in public health or public health medicine.


Perhaps you're wondering if you'd enjoy being in a different environment, working behind a desk or focusing on policy and research instead of that hospital or that clinical setting. If you want to know more about the difference between clinical work and public health work, I'm gonna tell you all about this and how I found my own transition out of clinical medicine into public health.


The world of public health from my experience and what it can offer you as a doctor.


Let me help you gain an understanding of what training and working in public health and a public health career look like. And for you to start to think about whether this is something that you want to explore for yourself, you'll start to understand a little bit more about the breadth of roles available in public health and how these might be able to offer you a more flexible working environment and different conditions that might suit your way of working and the life that you want to be living better.


  • I want you to know that public health is a possible career path for you. And if it's of interest, you can step out of a full-time clinical world, that clinical medical model to become a public health doctor.


  • I also want you to know that you can create a more flexible career for yourself, regardless of whether this is public health or not, but you can actually control your hours. You can have more balance and make a bigger impact in whatever you pass you desire in medicine.


  • I truly believe that the joy of medicine is really about variety. And it's really easy to forget that when we're on a training pathway, I believe that we can all be hap happy and healthy doctors.


How I started my Public Health career


I graduated 20 years ago and started my clinical training in adult medicine in the UK. And during my early years of working, I completed a tropical medicine diploma and spent some time working with Save The Children in a very remote setting in Honduras. I returned to the UK and continued to take all my exams and train in medical specialties, always retaining my interest in infectious diseases and global health.


After about seven to eight years of working in a clinical environment, I took a clinical research post in sexual health and HIV. And then I started my public health training in the UK. Again, through that training, I kept my interest in global health and expanded my passion for wellness and holistic approaches. After completing my training as a public health consultant, I did my CCT, which is my end-of-training specialization in the UK I moved to France so I could work with international organizations on really key global health issues, particularly my passion, which is focusing on HIV and TB.


So I now have a flexible career as a public health consultant, and I've built a successful consulting business, working with a variety of different agencies and organizations. And this model that I've adopted allows me to work remotely and flexibly. So over my career, I've worked in five different countries, and worked in three different languages.


How did I become a yoga teacher and a coach?


And at the same time as taking the decision to step away from full-time clinical work, I started to have the energy and the time to focus on prioritizing my own health and wellness. Clinical work was always very full-on for me. It felt very draining and I gave, gave, and gave without having much energy or time for myself or any of the key relationships in my life. I always wanted to expand my understanding and my own practice of mindfulness and yoga, and to become more healthy so that I could live the life I wanted.


So over the last 10 years, as I've changed my own career in medicine, I've also been able to expand my practice of holistic approaches myself. And this has ended up with me pursuing being a yoga and meditation teacher. So I combine these skills in mindset practice to coach other doctors, sharing my experience and expertise to be able to support other health professionals.


How to manifest the life that you want


So 10 years ago, I took a couple of coaching sessions and brainstormed what my dream life would look like and I've made that happen. So I now work very flexibly as a public health consultant, a yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher, and a transformational coach for doctors. My training has allowed me to transition out to clinical medicine, into public health and continue my passion for global health and wellness. I have my business where I work with UN organizations and NGOs and global public health issues. And alongside that, I have my coaching and yoga business, both of which I'm able to run remotely working from the foothills of the French Pyrenees. I feel very fulfilled and happy with the balance my career has given me.


Why I am passionate about Public Health


During my medical student elective I spent several months before my final year of medical school at a rural hospital in South Africa. And at the time the hospital was a pilot site for the use of antiretrovirals for the prevention and mother to child, transmission of HIV. No other antiretrovirals were available in the hospital at that time, despite the really high numbers of patients who were testing for HIV and being diagnosed.


And despite the introduction of testing, there really was no treatment available. Over the se