Changing the conversation about health

Olivia Phillips

As a student of Graduate Medicine at the University of Leicester, I am in the very early stages of developing an understanding of the complexities and needs of the national health service. Growing up, I was heavily influenced by my grandfather, a general practitioner who had witnessed and spoke of the development of the national health service with great affection. Those sentiments were passed to me through the stories he told of those patients that had become so much more accessible to him in a system which provided care free at the point of need.

After studying History at the University of Cambridge, I dedicated myself to the task of studying medicine. I spent my time gaining experience across different parts of healthcare. This included volunteering at a hospice, observing orthopedic surgeons, oncologists, staying with GPs, talking to practice managers, working as a healthcare assistant, and finally, working as a rehab assistant for Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists. I was inspired by the work I saw, the dedication of those individuals I met and the profound achievements of teams demonstrating how to work together. I was also shocked by the hours people worked, the fragmentation of care making everyones� jobs harder, and, at times, the lack of recognition experienced by some of the most generous people I have met. It is these experiences which I will carry with me as I continue to learn from an ever wider pool of people wishing to produce change for the better.