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BSMS > About BSMS > Alumni > Alumni in focus Dr Jack Whiting

Alumni in Focus - Dr Jack Whiting

Dr Jack Whiting (BM BS 2020)

A photo showing Jack Whiting sitting on a chair in a garden

Jack graduated from BSMS at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Since then he has spent time working on a Covid high dependency unit (HDU) ward and in acute general medicine.

Here he tells us what it was like to graduate early and work on a Covid HDU ward and what he misses most about BSMS!  

Where are you now? 

I am currently on a six -onth orthopaedics rotation in Oxford. I started my FY1 year with six months on acute general medicine. 


Where would you like your career to take you next?

I have just under two months of FY1 left, and then I will be heading to Wexham Park for FY2. I am planning to apply for anaesthetics training after FY2. I need to spend my anaesthetics and ITU rotation in F2 deciding whether I want to choose core anaesthetics, or combine it with ITU. 

 

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

I loved being at BSMS, for a number of reasons (the small, family feel, personalised teaching, the sports teams, the amazing city) but I didn’t realise quite how good our education there was until I started working as an FY1 and realised how well prepared I was for the day-to-day life as a doctor. Starting was still nerve wracking, but I settled in quickly and realised that BSMS had given me a head start in a huge number of FY1 aspects, from communicating with staff and patients, to the practicalities, as well as academics, of managing a patient.

What has it been like working on the front line during a pandemic?

It was pretty harrowing. I’m sure others had it worse, and can describe the experience more eloquently, but I worked on a Covid ward for 2 months, and also ended up covering the Covid HDU on a few nights due to staff shortages. 

To be completely honest, from a medical point of view it was very easy, and very boring. Oxygen, dexamethasone, remdesivir, HDU. But from a psychological point of view, it got very difficult, very quickly, particularly when the HDU / ITU beds were completely full and we were reaching the maximum of what we could offer on a ward. This led to patients being palliated and dying on the wards, with us unable to help them. It was an experience I don’t look back on fondly, I’ll never forget.

 

What is your favourite memory of your time at BSMS?

I have so many! It’s difficult to look past our graduation ceremony. Despite Covid throwing a spanner in the works and meaning we missed our elective and graduation ball, BSMS worked really hard to put together a good show, and somehow it felt like we were all together celebrating, despite the lockdown and social distancing in place.

Memories aside from that: spending time on the beach, working on BrightMed, and the annual NAMS weekends were the best things about going to medical school in Brighton. 

What advice would you give a first year medical school student? 

Get involved with as many extra curricular activities as you can! Throw yourselves into societies and sports teams, and make the most of all that university has to offer. It’s not impossible to continue with these things once you start working, but it does get quite a bit trickier!

 

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