Dr Chen Kailayapillai
I was very keen to apply for the Fellowship as it would allow me to keep psychiatry at the core of my learning and development during the foundation programme, where I'd be spending the majority of my time working in other specialties. I'd studied medicine as a school-leaver, and my first exposure to psychiatry came through observing an ECT list as a sixth form work experience student. From there I developed my interest in mental health and maintained the interest in medical school through SSMs and projects.
I'd tried to get as wide a range of experiences in mental health as possible throughout medical school and was able to have placements in general adult community and liaison psychiatry, as well as an SSM in high secure forensics. I'd also completed my intercalated degree focusing on neuroscience, and an elective working in Forensic Adolescent Psychiatry in Australia, as well as promoting psychiatry through peer teaching as the President of the Oxford Psychiatry Society. I’d also worked significantly in widening participation in medicine, having run various access and outreach events while at medical school and used this to demonstrate how I'd be able to act as an ambassador for psychiatry.
I’d recommend that applicants have a clear idea about what they in particular can get out of the Fellowship, as there are lots of varied opportunities that it presents and it’s most useful if you know what to focus on. Finally, it’s important to not see the foundation programme as just a means to an end. I’ve heard repeatedly from various psychiatrists is that there is much to be gained in your skills as a future psychiatrist through the work you’ll be doing in other roles.