Pathfinder fellowship inaugural dinner, 2017 cohort
7 February 2017
On the 7th of February, this year’s new cohort of Pathfinder Fellows was invited to our inaugural dinner at the Royal College of Psychiatrists. From the outset, we were incorporated enthusiastically into bubbles of conversation with pathfinders, sponsors and distinguished members; what could have been a formal, intimidating introduction was instead a warm welcome over a glass of champagne. We were enthusiastically greeted as colleagues and this entirely positive welcome from the community at the College reflected what was to come during the rest of the evening.
Over dinner we played an elaborate game of seat swapping, akin to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, with the Pathfinders rotating seats between the courses. Whilst, if completed at speed a sure-fire way to indigestion, it ensured we met a variety of Pathfinders as well as the sponsors and mentors who have facilitated the programme’s success.
We were treated to two short speeches during the meal. One from Dr Tom Brown and one from Professor Sir Simon Wessely. Both spoke about the depth and breadth of a career in psychiatry and the flexibility to pursue our own personal interests within the field. We were all encouraged to jump in and get involved wherever we could, and reminded to share the opportunities and experiences we have with others, so that not just our opinions and careers are shaped, but those in the student cohort around us.
We left full of renewed excitement that we had been chosen, and that our little pipe-dreams and hopes are all one step closer to becoming a reality. For me, it was inspiring to see both those who have gone before, and also that we have joined a community which has turned around with arms wide open ready to give those below them a helping hand and some wise words. I know we all left the evening, fired up to explore our areas of interest, and I’m sure I speak for us all when I say I can’t wait to see where the next three years lead us!
Genevieve (Evie) Taylor-Davies,
Imperial College London