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alumni in focus

BSMS > About BSMS > Alumni > Alumni in focus Dr Charlie Sayer

Alumni in Focus - Dr Charlie Sayer

Dr Charlie Sayer (BM BS 2008)

Dr Charlie Sayer portrait

Charlie has recently been appointed as a consultant radiologist at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust and is delighted to be back working in Brighton.

He tells us about what inspired him to join us us a mature student in 2003, just as BSMS opened its doors to students.

Can you tell us a bit about where you are now? 

I have just completed a fellowship in cardiothoracic and cross-sectional imaging at St George's and The Royal Brompton, both in London. I have now been appointed as a consultant radiologist with an interest in thoracic and H&N imaging at BSUH - a dream job! I am living in Brighton (I have done since graduating from BSMS) with my wife and two kids. I’m looking forward to ditching the daily commute to London!


Where would you like your career to take you next?

I love all aspects of my job particularly teaching and research. I would like to continue to develop in both areas at BSUH and BSMS and help raise the research profile in thoracic and neck imaging. I would like to run a fourth year student IRP (individual research project) as this first experience in proper research, alongside the late Prof Fisher, really fired me up to continue contributing to my profession scientifically.


You were a mature student when you started the medicine course. What was it that brought you to study at BSMS and what were you doing before? 

I moved to Brighton in 1998 and completed an undergraduate degree in Philosophy. Following this I decided to pursue a career in medicine (following a brief spell as a landscape gardener and a pub chef) so I completed my chemistry and biology A levels at night school and applied to BSMS - the med school opening was perfect timing and they were very switched on to recruiting mature students which really helped create a very diverse cohort starting out. 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Don't be afraid of change and be ready to adapt. The NHS and medical profession is going through a difficult period but this also represents an exciting time for fresh ideas and different ways of working. Medicine has changed immeasurably even in my short career and will undoubtedly continue to do so.

What do you feel was the best thing about studying at BSMS?

BSMS prepared me really well for my Foundation jobs. The early clinical exposure from day one at medical school and a real focus on how to communicate with patients and as part of a team were invaluable. The nurturing and intimate environment that BSMS provides is a great asset. The fact that everyone has an identity and is able to develop alongside the clinical teams is invaluable as many bigger med schools have the problem of student anonymity. Many of the relationships I made as a first year medical student on the clinical firms I am now looking forward to continuing as a consultant colleague.


Who has inspired you most in life?

My Mum. She fought her way into medical school at a time when few women entered the profession following a tough childhood, having lost her mother at a young age. She managed to juggle a full-time consultant job, raise five children and compete for Britain in triathlon. She still practices as a Radiologist in the Chanel Islands aged 67.


What has been your proudest moment?  

Definitely the birth of my daughter Nia when I was a third year medical student at BSMS.

What is the skill that you would most like to have?

I always regret not taking learning the piano and speaking French further. My ambition is to be able to speak French fluently and play jazz piano, maybe at the same time! 

What's you favourite memory from your time at BSMS?

Graduation! As we were the first year to graduate there was such an immense collective pride from everyone who had been involved in the med school project - students, faculty, support staff, parents ... everyone.


Describe BSMS in 3 words

Intimate, friendly, high-quality!