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Published: 19 May 2022

Last year marked 21 years since the launch of our Graduate Entry Medicine programme (GEP), the first of its kind in the UK. We are delighted to be welcoming alumni, students and current and former staff to St George’s, University of London this Saturday to mark this huge milestone in our university’s history.  

Our event will officially open at 1.45pm with a panel discussion led by our Principal, Professor Jenny Higham to reflect on how far the programme has come in the last 21 years, and to celebrate the achievements of its unique community.  

During this session, one of our current GEP students will be in conversation with several of our alumni and staff about their experiences as part of the programme's community. Find out more about our speakers below.  

Visit to find out more about the event and to register , or email with any questions about the event.  

Professor Deborah Bowman 

Former Deputy Principal (Institutional Affairs) and Emerita Professor of Bioethics, Clinical Ethics and Medical Law, Professor Deborah Bowman has had a long and varied career at St George's. During her time as Deputy Principal, she led on cross-institutional matters, including Quality and Partnerships, Public and Civic Engagement, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Staff Careers, Development and Wellbeing and Athena SWAN.   

A former member of the original Graduate Entry Medicine team, she held various roles connected to the programme. She says of her time as part of the team: “To have had the chance to be there at the beginning and to be part of something so special remains one of the greatest highlights of my career. Thank you to everyone who was there with me.”    

Read more about Professor Bowman here.

Dr Shehla Baig 

Dr Shehla Baig is a Reader in Medical Education and Director of MBBS Development and a member of the Senior Education team for MBBS at St George's, University of London. Dr Baig is an experienced curriculum designer, for UK and international projects. She is an active clinician and educator at St George's. Alongside her roles at St George’s, she is a General Practitioner at Balham Park Surgery, a member of the Medical Schools Council Education Advisory Group and an Education Associate for the General Medical Council.    

A member of the original Graduate Entry Medicine programme at St George’s, Dr Baig reflects on the early days of the course: “Every day was new, creative and challenging. It was heartening to see the science, skills and humanity coming together and watch students bring their rich and varied backgrounds to the practice of medicine.” 

Read more about Dr Baig here.

Dr Hannah Barham-Brown 

Class of 2016 alumna, Dr Hannah Barham-Brown, is a GP trainee and Deputy Leader of the Women’s Equality Party.   

Alongside her clinical and political work, Dr Barham-Brown travels the UK giving talks about diversity and disability, and has made several media appearances, including on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, BBC Breakfast and Sky News.  

Speaking about her time on the Graduate Entry Medicine programme at St George's, she says: “Being a small University in South London, St George’s felt like a very close-knit community. The diversity of students on the programme meant that you would never be the only person who had taken a less traditional path into Medicine.” 

Read more about Dr Barham-Brown here.  

Dr Maya Shahsavari 

St George’s Graduate Entry Medicine alumna and surgeon, Dr Maya Shahsavari, already knew that she wanted to study Medicine from the age of 13. She graduated from St George’s in 2013  and is currently an ENT specialist registrar in Scotland in Year Six of Specialty Training in Otolaryngology and head and neck surgery.  

Dr Shahsavari was born in Iran, where her parents had been political activists campaigning for free speech. The story of her path from political refugee to surgeon has featured in The Scotsman and on BBC news online.  

Speaking about what motivated her to study at St George’s, Dr Shahsavari says, “I knew St George’s had the oldest Graduate Entry Medicine programme in the country and it was a place I’d set my sights on for some time. I’d wanted to study there since I decided I wanted to be a surgeon, so it felt like an incredible achievement when I was accepted onto the programme.”    

Read more about Dr Shahsavari here.  

Dr Jane Lloyd 

Graduate Entry Medicine alumna, Dr Jane Lloyd (nee Durkin), was one of just 35 students from the very first cohort on the Graduate Entry Medicine programme at St George’s. She joined the programme aged 30, following a degree in Economics and Commerce and a career in Investment Banking in Sydney and London.

During her time at St George’s, Dr Lloyd was awarded a Royal Navy (RN) Medical Cadetship, providing sponsorship for the final 3 years of her medical degree. After completing House Officer jobs (F1/F2 equivalent) and a Senior House Officer post in Emergency Medicine, she undertook 3 years of ‘general duties’, where junior doctors in the RN take a sideways step from typical medical training pathways, for adventures, before slotting back into higher specialist training in their chosen speciality.

Dr Lloyd’s military medical duties have included a wide range of exercises and deployments all over the world, along with training and experience in both diving and aviation medicine. The former led to duties within the Royal Navy submarine rescue team; a parachute-borne team designed to be deployed at sea out of the back of a Hercules aircraft over the site of a submarine incident. Following General Duties, she undertook General Practice training in Wessex, completed with a mix of NHS and military placements.

Reflecting on her career path since graduating from St George’s, Dr Lloyd says, “I love the variety that comes with my role in the Navy; my adventures and experiences have added multiple dimensions to my medical practice that I can’t imagine are available in civilian life. I am so grateful to the GEP team at St George’s for giving me such a solid grounding as a doctor; I am certain that the GEP emphasis on patient communication skills and self-directed learning have been crucial to my successful growth and development as a clinician over the past 16 years”.

Read more about Jane here.

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