Dr Dean Connolly
I became curious about psychiatry early in medical school when interests in the social determinants of health and basic neuroscience led me to an intercalated degree in experimental psychology. Learning about psychopathology from a broad range of perspectives inspired me to seek as much exposure to the speciality as possible during my clinical years. I undertook placements in general adult and child and adolescent psychiatry and later took elective placements in gender medicine and specialist drug and alcohol services.
I developed my academic career by entering essay competitions at the College and beginning to write and present literature reviews. In addition, I spent time as the psychiatry research group coordinator for UCL AcaMedics, as a blogger for the Mental Elf and as an author for the Unofficial Guide to Medicine textbook series.
Most recently, I have been studying for a Masters in Addiction Studies and focusing on alcohol and other drug use in the LGBT+ community and how sociocultural inequalities that specifically affect this group of people impact mental health and substance misuse, the availability of care and the ability of LGBT+ people to engage in care within the current system.
The opportunity to work with a mentor and attend events like the RCPsych International Congress were my main motivations for applying. My hope is that this will encourage me to dedicate time to explore psychiatry further and continue my professional development, during busy foundation posts.
I would encourage anyone with a genuine interest and some experience to draw on, to consider applying next year.