Two-time Edinburgh graduate Dr Catherine Elliott returned to the University to become College Registrar for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine after roles in clinical medicine and medical law in London.
|Name||Dr Catherine Elliott|
|Year of Graduation||1991; 1995|
Your time at the University
I grew up in Holywood (the Northern Irish one) and after a school trip, when we were 14, I was really keen to come to Edinburgh to study Medicine. I loved the city and the history of the medical school.
I had a brilliant time, although was perhaps not the most diligent student, especially in my early years! We were taught by some amazing and inspiring people. I enjoyed the clinical years most and spent some very interesting times in the Borders, Dumfries and other hospitals beyond the Royal and the Western.
I was a barmaid in the Bristo bar (now Paradise Palms for some reason) and that was a great social hub for students from many different courses. I still sometimes meet people who recognise me from the bar there! I made fantastic friends in Medicine and other courses – a group of about ten of us still meet for an annual weekend and the friendships made at University have remained a very important part of my life.
I made fantastic friends in Medicine and other courses – a group of about ten of us still meet for an annual weekend and the friendships made at University have remained a very important part of my life.
Tell us about your experiences since leaving the University
I am now College Registrar for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine (MVM) at the University of Edinburgh and still do a clinical session every week.
I trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and had quite a traditional clinical academic career, doing an MD in Edinburgh and then moving to London where I was a Lecturer and completed my clinical training.
I had always been interested in law and so I did a distance learning Masters in medical law and ethics. That inspired me to leave clinical medicine for a while and work in medical law. Serendipity then led me to the Medical Research Council where I led on areas of clinical research strategy and developing policy around law and ethics of medical research. This was a fascinating job, and included being at Parliamentary debates on changes to the law governing medical research. I was also able to contribute to support for clinical academic training which I am passionate about.
I moved back to the University of Edinburgh just over three years ago to take up my current role and have absolutely loved being back in the City. It is such a beautiful place to live and, much as I liked London, Edinburgh outshines it (except the weather!) I am also fortunate enough to continue my clinical work in an antenatal clinic for complex pregnancies. I have been back in touch with many of my previous classmates and the friendships and network of alumni is a great part of working here.
You can’t control everything that will happen in your life – be open to unexpected chances that come along, even if they are unexpected or not part of your plan.
Medical Research Council (external link)