Dr Giancarlo Bell
I was first drawn to psychiatry in 2nd year after a 5-week SSC in the Humanities department. During the module we were tasked with analysing and discussing key texts from the birth and development of psychiatry and psychology as well as reading relevant fiction and poetry. I was amazed that I could incorporate my interests in politics, sociology, history, and literature into my medical degree, and the experience left me wanting more. After spending my next SSC in a general adult psychiatry team, I was hooked. With psychiatry I could spend an hour with patients and the finer details of their backgrounds, beliefs and personal experiences were central to their care. I had found my vocation.
I attended the RCPsych Scottish Summer School and the National Forensic Trainees Conference in Edinburgh. I organised to spend my 4th year SSC in my local CAMHS team in Glasgow, and my summer elective in the Neuropsychiatry department at St. George’s Hospital in London.
In the past I have had extensive involvement with the BMA, organising with colleagues to stand up for the rights of students and juniors, and for patients affected by austerity government and the hostile environment, at local and national meetings.
I am interested in the structural and political factors that lead to mental illness and would like to devote a significant portion of my career to tackling these inequalities. I am also interested in how culture, religion, and socioeconomic class affect our feelings of wellbeing and community.
I am honoured to be taking up this position and I will take my role as an ambassador for psychiatry seriously. I would encourage anyone with an interest in mental health to apply to this and to the many other opportunities that RCPsych offers for students. Good luck!