Five minutes with...

Retired senior clinical lecturer in public health Sarah Walters OBE graduated from St George's in 1985. Here she talks to us about her jobs, some of the things she loves, some which she loves to hate and her memories of St George's.

What is your job title? My final job before I retired was senior clinical lecturer in public health at the University of Birmingham. I took ill health retirement in 2006 (I have cystic fibrosis and my health was deteriorating at the age of 48). I was awarded OBE for services to medicine in 2004.What did you actually do? At the University of Birmingham, I set up from scratch, and subsequently managed the Masters in Public Health programme, and also the academic training for the Part A MFPH examination for trainees from the West Midlands, although we also had some attendees from Wales and the East Midlands too. I did research into health services for people with cystic fibrosis, and also research into the health effects of air pollution. I also served on the committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution, and was a Part A examiner for the Faculty of Public Health.How do you spend your free time? Since retirement I have bought (with my husband) a 20 acre woodland which we manage for wildlife and community groups.  It was neglected and we have brought it back to management and in 2013 won the Royal Forestry Society Excellence in Forestry award for the best small woodland in the Midlands and North West of England. We run open days, produce small wood products including green wood turning, chainsaw carving and firewood, do our own coppicing, do talks and tours for community groups.  We are also trying to set up a landscape-scale conservation project across North Warwickshire and Tamworth along the River Anker. As well as this, I did a professional photography course finishing in 2012 and now run photography workshops at the woods. I also help my husband (an engineer) run a business from home manufacturing and selling security products to help prevent theft of bicycles, motorcycles, quad bikes, agricultural machinery etc – these products have also won many awards. Which living person do you most admire, and why? Aun Sang Suu-Kyi – she shows the power of quiet resistance to achieve change.What’s your favourite book/song/filmBook - Wild Swans by Jung Chang.  Film - The Hunt for Red October starring Sean Connery.  Song - My Immortal by EvanscenceWhat would your super power be?I would want to be able to heal my cystic fibrosis!How would you like to be remembered? Somebody who made a difference, not only to the lives of people, but to the planet too.What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?Never give up!What is your favourite memory of St George's? Although it was a long time ago, the antics of Professor Pilkington were pretty memorable.Are you still in touch with people you studied with? Unfortunately I moved away from London and there are few St George's graduates in the Midlands, although it is always lovely to meet up with old classmates.How would you sum up your time at St George's in three words? A great time.St Georges were very brave to take me on as a medical student. I was the first person with cystic fibrosis to qualify as a doctor.  Taking on somebody with this condition was unprecedented, and a definite risk. They gave me the opportunity to realise a dream and to make a difference.There are now quite a few doctor with cystic fibrosis, and with other disabilities, and I think that St George's were enlightened to try and take people with disabilities on and prove they could become successful doctors.

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Alumni authors - Tony Copperfield

St George’s alumni are more than just great healthcare professionals, many have gone on to be successful contributors to the publishing world too.

Sick NotesBy Dr Tony Copperfield (Martyn Lobley (MBBS 1981))About the book:The hilarious, shocking and occasionally tragic truth about the working life of a British GP, written for the lay reader. Dr Tony Copperfield is an average GP in an average town. He spends his life fighting off the worried well armed with internet print outs and health pages torn from newspapers, dealing with youngsters with meningitis, worrying about swine flu, mopping up vomit, shouting at bureaucrats and banging his head against the brick walls of the NHS. Perfect for anyone who has ever wondered what really goes on in a GP practice.''A wonderful book, funny and insightful in equal measure, and an ideal gift for all doctors and those brave enough to use them''. Dr Phil Hammond GP (Private Eye magazine, Channel 4's Countdown)Buy the book on Amazon

Five minutes with ...

Anaesthetist Kathryn Lloyd-Thomas graduated from St George's in 2000 after studying Medicine. Here she talks to us about her jobs, some of the things she loves, some which she loves to hate and her memories of St George's.

What is your job title?ST6 Anaesthetics (70 per cent less than full time)

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Alumni authors - Jeremy Swayne

St George’s alumni are more than just great healthcare professionals, many have gone on to be successful contributors to the publishing world too.

Remodelling MedicineBy Jeremy Swayne (MBBS 1996)About the book:Modern medicine is dominated by a scientific method that focuses on the biological mechanisms of disease, and on developing medical technology to control them. It has achieved great things, but at a cost that is becoming unaffordable. In Remodelling Medicine, Dr Jeremy Swayne draws on his 40 years of experience as a physician to provide a persuasive argument that change is necessary, that there has been a longstanding belief amongst many engaged in or concerned with medicine that this is so, and that the momentum for change is growing; and offers pointers to the direction that change should take.Buy the book on Amazon

Five minutes with ...

Cathy Wield graduated from St George's in 1983 after studying Medicine. Here the Registrar in Accident and Emergency talks to us about her jobs, some of the things she loves, some which she loves to hate and her memories of St George's.

What is your job title?SP3(LAS) in Emergency Medicine

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Alumni authors - Cathy Weild

St George’s alumni are more than just great healthcare professionals, many have gone on to be successful contributors to the publishing world too.

Life After DarknessBy Cathy Weild (MBBS 1983)About the book:The remarkable and moving story of a doctor and mother of four who endured seven years of severe depression. Years of self-harm, attempted suicides and admissions to psychiatric units culminated in her resorting to brain surgery as a final attempt to escape her illness. The story of Cathy Wield covers the horrors of time spent in archaic institutions, the loss of any hope of recovery and certain death, to a full recovery following surgery. Today she had returned to her career and rediscovered the joys of life and her family. This story is one of hope from an often hidden and stigmatised disease.Buy the book on Amazon

Alumni authors - Tariq I.Mughal

St George’s alumni are more than just great healthcare professionals, many have gone on to be successful contributors to the publishing world too.

Understanding Leukemias, Lymphomas and MyelomasBy Tariq I.Mughal (MBBS 1976)About the book:A practical and highly illustrated guide to the hematologic cancers, Understanding Leukemias, Lymphomas and Myelomas is an invaluable primer for everyone involved with these conditions, from specialists in training to interested patients. Using straightforward terminology and extensive color figures to describe and illustrate the current procedures involved in diagnosis and treatment, this is a ready source of up to date information on these common conditions.

Five minutes with ...

Rob Galloway studied Medicine at St George's and gradauted in 2001. The Consultant in Emergency Medicine talks to us about his jobs, some of the things he loves, some which he loves to hate and his memories of St George's.

What’s your job title?Consultant in Emergency Medicine on the south coast in Brighton.

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Alumni authors - Graham Cliff

St George’s alumni are more than just great healthcare professionals, many have gone on to be successful contributors to the publishing world too.

A Fundamental Mistake. Human nature, coercion and bad behaviourBy Graham Cliff (MBBS 1972)About the book:Since time immemorial, civil order and control have been secured through the threat of punishment for misbehaviour. This book - an amalgam of applied psychology, social science, criminology, and political philosophy, suitable for the intelligent layperson - explains why reliance on the traditional punitive approach alone is not only morally questionable and psychologically misguided, but may also foster the very problem it seeks to ameliorate. Be prepared to have your assumptions challenged, and to do some fresh, lateral thinking.Buy the book on Amazon