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Doctor Shows That Disability Is No Barrier To Medicine Career

Georgia shadows Dr Tim Smith at Leighton Hospital
Georgia shadows Dr Tim Smith at Leighton Hospital

31 March 2017

An aspiring doctor with a congenital disability has been encouraged to pursue a career in medicine - after shadowing a Trust doctor with a similar upper limb deficiency.

Georgia Gray, 23, is currently applying for Graduate Entry Medicine courses and approached charity Reach for support with her applications.

Reach, which helps children with upper limb differences to live life without limits, put the student in touch with Dr Tim Smith, a Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Leighton Hospital.

Tim arranged for Georgia to spend a day with him over Christmas where he gave advice on medical school interviews and talked about how his disability hasn’t stopped him from succeeding in the field.

He also gave Georgia the opportunity to practice skills such as suturing, taking blood and resuscitation simulation.

Tim said: “We went through some of the practical skills that universities have flagged up as potential issues and it’s given Georgia the confidence to know that they can be done. It’s sometimes just a case of finding different ways of doing things.

“There are other doctors who are working and practising that have a range of disabilities, including upper limb deficiencies, and so it’s definitely possible for those with a disability to pursue a career in medicine.”

Georgia, who has since moved from New Zealand to England and been accepted on to a course, explained that the experience was encouraging.

She said: “It was a real stroke of luck finding out about Tim and it’s been really cool to be here and to see the different ways he does all of the practical skills.

“I hadn’t really considered A&E before, but now I’ve seen that it’s not an issue.”

Tim added: “We’ve all got different attributes, different skills and different abilities and that applies whether you’ve got a disability or not.

“The beauty of medicine is that it’s so varied that you can find an area that suits you. You can do whatever you want as long as you’ve got the aptitude.

“There are challenges along the way, but all medical students and doctors have their challenges. The important thing is not to single yourself as having challenges because of a disability.”