My enthusiasm for psychiatry and for research was sparked during my intercalated BSc in Psychological Medicine during which I studied psychological adjustment after traumatic brain injury. After graduating in 2007 with a medical degree from the University of Glasgow and completing my foundation years in Greater Glasgow and Ayrshire, I moved to Edinburgh for core training in psychiatry.
During this time I pursued research projects in ECT and the effect of clinical guidelines on people with learning disability. In August 2012 I will start my higher training in the Psychiatry of Learning Disability in South East Scotland. I am looking forward to doing a PhD as part of PsySTAR because the programme encourages me to meet with researchers throughout Scotland to find my research niche and plan a project that is stimulating and interesting. My main research interests are learning disability and psychosis and I hope my PhD will be the next step towards a successful research career which will lead to improvements in the treatment of mental illness in patients with Learning Disability.
I graduated BSc and then MBChB, before completing an MD in 2011 on a large twin-centre observational study of Major Depressive Disorder in adults with cerebral glioma.
I plan now to extend my academic training into the lab-based scientific areas that will shape psychiatry in the 21st century. Familiarity with both clinical and mechanistic research techniques will I think be an advantage in the years to come. PsySTAR gives psychiatry trainees the unique opportunity to work in world-class research facilities with extensive postgraduate support, while enjoying the security of a higher training number - and the quality of life available in Scotland.
After graduating BSc from St Andrews, I completed my clinical years of medical school in Manchester, including an intercalated masters degree in public health with merit. My dissertation investigated determinants of quality of life in schizophrenia.
I find the interplay between biological and environmental determinants of mental health a fascinating area, with many recent developments and great potential. Scientific training in addition to child and adolescent higher training will give me an excellent opportunity to collaborate with scientists and clinicians across Scotland to do clinically useful research.
This article was published on Sep 13, 2012