Dr James Sterritt
I started medical school directly from A-levels with no prior experience of psychiatry and it wasn’t until my third year that I had any exposure – it was my first ever clinical placement, and every subsequent rotation paled in comparison. I quickly realised that psychiatrists had the potential to help enable people to improve their lives in profound ways.
I became chair of Exeter & Truro PsychSoc and helped establish the Exeter Psychiatry Series – a series of educational and careers focused-talks delivered by psychiatrists to educate and inspire medical students to consider a career in psychiatry.
I became interested in forensic psychiatry in my third year during an SSU titled “Crime and Insanity” at a medium secure unit and I carried this interest forward to my elective where I spent four weeks at Broadmoor High Secure Hospital. I also spent four weeks at the Tavistock Centre and Portman Clinic - I have always been interested in the relation of psychoanalysis to forensic psychiatry and learning about the use of psychoanalytic psychotherapy in treating patients presenting with violence, criminality, and paraphilia fascinated me. It was a perfection amalgamation of my two interests, which has led to me wanting to pursue a career in forensic psychotherapy.
This is the main reason that I applied for the Foundation Fellowship – having discovered a real area of interest in a niche subspecialty, I was excited to have a mentor who shared this interest and who could help me realise my ambitions of a career in this field.
To prepare for the interview, I spent time questioning why I really wanted a career in psychiatry, why I wanted a Fellowship and what I would do with the opportunities it bestowed. Initially, I wasn’t sure that I was qualified for this role, but here I am – so why not apply?