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When I started to study medicine, I had a narrow view of what a doctor’s job looks like. Looking back over the last 20 years since my graduation, I now appreciate that medicine provides some of the most exciting opportunities and can lead to diverse roles. I hope by providing you with a personal glimpse into my career that you may reflect on your own plans and development.
I am driven not only by personal ambition but mostly, I think, by wanting to make a positive impact on patients, the public, colleagues and trainees. I enjoy lifelong learning, but a clinical academic career has challenges. Given we all have limited time to spare, there is a tension between clinical and academic excellence. There is also tension when striving for academic excellence—should one become the world expert in a narrow research topic or have multiple research interests? We can only try and find the right balance. Also, as a clinical academic, there is more uncertainty about job security than in a clinical job. I love learning, and I personally prefer structured learning. This is why I have many degrees.
My first clinical job after graduating in Germany involved cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) research. I was lucky to be among the pioneers of the technique and to witness …
Contributors SEP drafted and finalised this work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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