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Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Alumni in focus 

BSMS > About BSMS > Alumni > Alumni in focus Dr Sean Mitchell

Alumni in focus Dr Sean Mitchell

Dr Sean Mitchell (BM BS 2014) 

Sean Mitchell

Sean is a Foundation Year 2 doctor who graduated in 2014. He has been back at BSMS recently working with Tim Vincent to improve the Year 5 online clinical cases bank. In order to prepare for migration of the quiz bank to a new and improved bespoke system, Sean worked through all 360 cases (over 3,500 questions) to correct any errors, map them to the curriculum and attach keywords to enrich the data. This took several months and the dataset is now in the best condition it has ever been. We are extremely grateful for all his efforts and we were pleased to award him an honorarium as a token of the school's gratitude.

We caught up with him to ask him about the project and find out more about his journey from the ambulance service to qualifying as a doctor in 2014. 

What inspired you to come back and help with this project at BSMS?

During my time as a student at BSMS I was always impressed with the range of academic support that was provided. In particular I found the on-line clinical studies question bank a very valuable resource when revising for finals. I suppose I started the editing process while revising, as the team asked for feedback regarding clinical questions or errors. As I wasn't involved in writing questions I felt that providing feedback was one small way in which I could give something back. I was a bit keen and every time I came across a typo or had a clinical query regarding any of the questions I would email the team. After finals I was contacted by them and asked if I would help out by editing the entire database! I like to think that the editing process has helped make the module smoother and easier to use for future students, in addition I hope that it has helped improve my clinical knowledge although it is very different to revising. 


Can you tell me a little about where you are working now?

I have just started my second FY2 rotation which is in general practice in Brighton. This is my first rotation that has not based hospital based so it has a very different feel about it. My main challenges at the moment are learning how the computer systems work and how the practice and its associated health professionals integrate with the local community and hospital.

What has been your proudest moment?

My proudest BSMS moment has to be graduating. I came into medicine as a mature student having spent many years in the ambulance service. I still pinch myself that I am a doctor. 


What or who has inspired you most in life?

In the world of medicine Professor Douglas Chamberlain has been a constant source of inspiration. He is credited with introducing defibrillators onto ambulances in Brighton in the 1970s, hence starting the paramedic profession. He also introduced community-based defibrillators and has worked tirelessly throughout his career to improve resuscitation. I not only had the pleasure of working with him, helping to develop clinical practice within the ambulance service (not in the 1970s!) but I was also very proud when he provided me with a reference for my application to BSMS. I know it might sound a bit cliché but I am also genuinely inspired by many of the patients that I meet who are coping day to day with acute and chronic diseases in circumstances that are often very challenging.


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

To be able to play my guitar like Jimi Hendrix, sadly never going to happen. But I keep trying!     

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

To be able to play my guitar like Jimi Hendrix, sadly never going to happen. But I keep trying!     


What are your favourite memories of BSMS?

I have many fond memories of BSMS, along with the graduation and the graduation ball which was a great opportunity to see the tutors and staff relaxing and genuinely proud that we had passed! It is easy to look back with rose tinted glasses at the many hours sat in lectures, writing essays and undertaking exams and assessments, as without a doubt it was hard work. But I must say I enjoyed the journey, in addition I have made a wonderful group of lifelong friends who are now working throughout the country and moving into a wide variety of specialities. Studying at BSMS was a fun time.

Where would you like your career to take you?

Anywhere that is interesting. I am applying for GP training for next year and am intrigued by the concept of the portfolio career. I want to continue my association with the ambulance service and pre-hospital medicine, as contrary to popular belief the pre-hospital role is increasingly about admission avoidance and the management of patients in the community, rather than trauma. Hence I believe that it will become increasingly aligned with the work of the general practitioner rather than emergency medicine.

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

My wife saying 'go for it' when I suggested that I would like to do an access to medicine course. 


Describe BSMS in 3 words

Inspiring, supportive, challenging.