Junior doctor to inspire Redbridge’s ‘disadvantaged’ youngsters

Dr Patrice Baptise spoke to sixth form students at Caterham High School to inspire them to become do

Dr Patrice Baptise spoke to sixth form students at Caterham High School to inspire them to become doctors - Credit: Archant

A junior doctor is hoping to inspire youngsters from “disadvantaged backgrounds” to take up medicine, despite last month’s strikes.

Dr Patrice Baptiste, 27, who is set to join King George Hospital, Barley Lane, Goodmayes, in August, has been holding workshops for sixth form students at Caterham High School, Caterham Avenue, Clayhall, and is hoping to speak at more schools in Redbridge.

The state-schooled doctor from Waltham Forest said she was lucky enough to have a supportive family to help her get into the “elitist” profession, but admitted not everyone was as lucky as her.

“There’s not a great amount of students from state schools becoming doctors,” said Dr Baptiste, who wants to reach youngsters from a similar background as herself.

“Students think it’s beyond their reach but it can be done – I want them to believe and work hard.”

She said she wanted to connect with young people and pass on knowledge and contacts in the industry – something she wished she could have accessed as a student.

“When you don’t know what you want to do with your life – that’s when you get sidetracked,” she said.

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“15 and 16-year-olds are under a lot of pressure but it is doable.

“I didn’t come from the best borough or wasn’t well connected and that’s why I want to help people that are like me.”

Dr Baptiste said for some doctors “life gets in the way and they don’t look back”. The courses she runs are a way of reaching out.

“People forget, but I don’t want to forget,” she said. “I just want to spread some positivity.”

Speaking of the recent strikes, she said the students were “still passionate” about becoming doctors.

She said: “The situation hasn’t been dealt with in the greatest way – we give a lot to the NHS – but I have told them [the students] about the situation and they’re still planning on being doctors.”

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