Dr Anna Wagstaff
Early in my medical career I was drawn to the close connections between physical and mental health and social circumstances, and I loved volunteering for the Alzheimer’s Society. In my first few clinical years, as I learnt to examine patients for definitive signs, interpret blood results and understand imaging, I felt we were missing the wider, holistic picture. Then I had the opportunity to undertake a placement in an inpatient psychiatry unit, which I loved, and I realised I’d found my fit in medicine.
Because of this, I did an audit in off-license prescribing of antipsychotics, undertook an elective focussed on the psychology of eating disorders in diabetics and attended a Psychiatry Summer School to gain experience of niche specialties like deaf psychiatry and perinatal psychiatry. Furthermore, I designed and executed a research project looking at symptoms of depression and anxiety in adolescents and their association with online behaviours which increase a young person’s risk of grooming and bullying.
During my research project I was supported by a fabulous supervisor and my fellow intercalators, who engaged with my research and acted as a sounding board for ideas. This taught me the importance of being part of a team of like-minded, interested and motivated people and this encouraged me to look for mentoring opportunities, so I could continue my research during my foundation years. This led me to finding the Fellowship and I started working on my application immediately.
I’m delighted to have been offered a position as a Fellow and hope to use it to both further my own research and create opportunities for medical students to get experience of how exciting this rapidly developing field of research is.