As someone without clinical experience, I had a lot to learn about the British healthcare culture when I joined Medics.Academy as marketing lead one year ago. If you had tracked my path prior to that day, you wouldn’t have guessed where I would have ended up.
I was close to becoming a research scientist. However, during university (studying biology) I went to Perpignan in the South of France to work in a laboratory. My purpose there was to investigate new ways to develop sustainable, naturally-derived fungicides.
The lab work wore thin quickly. My interest was piqued more by the entrepreneur who founded Akinao, the young company I was working for. She was a research scientist herself, before she noticed a problem that ordinary research channels were not going to solve in good time. Fungal pathogens were running rampant in the agricultural sector, and there was a deficit in sustainable solutions. All around us in South France grew an invasive species of plant that was completely resistant to fungal infection, and yet no one was studying how to isolate its antifungal property for use in industry. Investigating this was the responsibility of myself and the other lab technicians.
The lab I’d never had exposure to the world of early enterprise before that time. I was fascinated, and spent my last year learning about business, entrepreneurship, and marketing while I finished my degree. After graduation, I began small. I wrote simple “SEO articles” for marketing agencies, finding work by scraping the internet for a huge list of companies that might need content. Working online, I could make my income go further by moving to Eastern Europe. I stayed in Poland for years, learning how to work directly for clients and charge for more complicated services.
In Poland, I inserted myself in the middle of the burgeoning startup culture in Cracow. I was given a desk at the startup-accelerator / workspace, hub:raum, in exchange for being on-call to write sales copy for the various startups working there. I worked for many different entrepreneurs and saw many different types, from grizzled Ukranian hackers who boot-strapped their way to a solid hacker training platform, to barely-pubescent geniuses who had coded something revolutionary but had no idea how to sell it.
Eventually, I felt the call to return home. Soon after I did, I met Johann, who at the time needed someone to take on the marketing functions of Medics.Academy to allow him to focus on running the company and creating new business opportunities. Over the last year, I have become increasingly convinced that Medics.Academy is providing a crucial piece in the solution to our healthcare training crisis – the development of scalable solutions for didactic teaching to relieve logistical strain for, and to enhance, in-person training.
The challenges facing the healthcare sector are substantial. However, they can be overcome. As we continue to work with people inside the healthcare system to implement new training solutions, I would remind you that the individual has more power to improve our collective situation than it might seem. Develop your skills in communication, negotiation, skill acquisition, and stress management to become a more effective and even aspirational clinician in the eyes of your peers. Build your ability to lead others, learn how to correct systemic mistakes, and you can make tangible changes where you are.