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In Conversation with Professor Mike Grocott and Captain Bryony Hastings

Date: Thursday 09 September 2021

Time: 14:00 - 15:00

Professor of Anaesthesia, Class of 1992 Medicine alumnus and Xtreme Everest Oxygen Research Consortium Leader, Mike Grocott, and Class of 2016 Graduate Entry Medicine, Captain Bryony Hastings, of the Royal Army Medical Corps will be joining us on Thursday 9 September for a live online Q&A as part of our Alumni Perspectives series.

The event is open to alumni, staff and students and will be an opportunity to hear from Professor Grocott and Captain Hastings about their career path and achievements since graduating from St George’s. Attendees will be able to submit their own questions when registering for the event. You can secure your place for this free event by completing this online form.

About Professor Grocott

A passion for climbing and a career in Anaesthesia led to Professor Grocott’s work to understand the human body's behaviour in low-oxygen environments as co-founder of the UCL Centre for Altitude Space and Extreme Environment Medicine (CASE) and Xtreme Everest Oxygen Research Consortium Leader. 

After training in internal medicine at St George’s, he moved to UCL for Anaesthesia and Critical Care training and co-founded CASE in 2000.

Professor Grocott says,

"My interest in climbing started at St George’s, when I would often go away on climbing trips. Even as a student, when I was awarded a prize for Clinical Immunology, I used the prize money to invest in some climbing gear. When the opportunity arose to set up CASE, my passion for climbing and my research activity really started to align."

Alongside his work as co-founder of CASE, Professor Grocott led a number of expeditions, including to Cho Oyu (the sixth highest mountain in the world), to help prepare for his work on Everest in 2007 as leader of the Caudwell Xtreme Everest research Team. The Xtreme Everest team’s ground-breaking research on patients, and on themselves, at high altitude aims to improve outcomes for people who become critically ill. The team’s work was covered in a two-part BBC documentary and Professor Grocott has made several media appearances as an expert medical contributor.   

Alongside his work as a Professor in Anaesthesia and Critical Care Medicine, Professor Grocott is a Consultant in Critical Care Medicine at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. He is the director-designate of the Southampton National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre and previously served as the NIHR Clinical Research Network National Specialty Lead for Anaesthesia Perioperative Medicine and Pain. He has led the national guidelines for Covid-19 in critically ill adult patients, contributed as an expert medical advisor to the Covid-19 ‘ventilator challenge’ and was involved in public health messaging at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in his role as Vice-President of the Royal College of Anaesthetists.  

About Captain Bryony Hastings

Captain Bryony Hastings of the Royal Army Medical Corps completed her Graduate Entry Medicine course at St George’s in 2016. She began her military career after being awarded a medical cadetship from the Army during the first year of her course. Captain Hastings, who completed her first degree in Physics at Oxford University, shares her reflections on a career in the Army and her time at St Georges below.  

After working as a Junior Doctor in Portsmouth for two years, Captain Hastings completed the Professionally Qualified Officers Course at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Her first deployment as a General Duties Medical Officer (GDMO) for 4 Medical Regiment was to Bardufoss, Norway - located 300 miles inside the Arctic Circle – where she completed the Cold Weather Survival Course. She provided medical cover for Exercise Clockwork, an annual tri-service exercise with the Joint Helicopter Command.    

Since then, Captain Hastings has taken on a number of tasks overseas for the Army, including adventure training in Germany. She will now be based in Winchester for the next six years while she completes Psychiatry training, and continues to be deployed as needed as a military doctor.   

Captain Hastings says about studying Graduate Entry Medicine at St George’s,

“I loved the community at St George’s and had a very positive experience of studying in Tooting and being in a clinical environment. There was a real sense of camaraderie - everyone was so committed and was consumed by Medicine. I enjoyed mixing with the undergraduates, and the maturity of these students really shone through.”

Reflecting on juggling her time as a Graduate Entry Medicine student with her military cadetship, Captain Hastings says, “If you had an interest outside of your degree, teaching staff at St George’s would be supportive of this. My supervisors were very accommodating and worked hard to help me balance my different responsibilities.”  

Speaking about the transition to Medicine,  she adds, “When you are studying your first degree, sometimes it’s not clear how it can be applied to situations beyond university, but with Graduate Entry Medicine, it was really clear how it could be applied to your future career.  

“You received lots of guidance on how to study and how to revise, and teaching staff took the time to make sure we knew what to expect from the course. This made a huge difference in helping us feel prepared for different scenarios.” 

Register for this event

To register for the Q&A with Professor Grocott and Captain Hastings, click on the link below and we will be in touch with joining instructions. If you have any questions about the event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at alumni@sgul.ac.uk.

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