Dr Nicola Davis completed her Nuffield Research Placement in 2001 at Conquest Hospital in Hastings. She is currently undertaking a Masters degree in Oncology with the Institute of Cancer Research in London.
What was your project about?
My placement was titled 'Hospital Bed Stock Management.' The aim of the project was to identify best practice in bed stock management, recognising the importance of the hospital bed in medical care and the role of management delivery of an effective health service.
What path did you take after finishing your NRP and how has that led you to where you are today?
After completing my A-Levels I studied a BSc in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester, graduating in 2005. I then studied medicine at the University of Warwick, graduating as a doctor in 2009. I initially worked in the West Midlands, then moved to Kent to commence specialty training in clinical oncology. I also completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education with the University of Brighton in 2014. I am currently undertaking a MSc in Oncology with the Institute of Cancer Research in London, and preparing for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiology examinations that are required for me to progress to being a consultant.
Did your Nuffield Research Placement have an effect on the choices that you made after finishing school/college/university?
The placement helped me to gain experience and knowledge of hospital management, and reinforced my desire to pursue a career in medicine. The project was very useful as part of my portfolio when applying to study medicine and I was asked about it with great interest when attending interviews for medical school.
If you could give one piece of advice to Nuffield students about to start a placement what would it be?
Make the most of the opportunity - ask lots of questions to the people you spend time with so that you can gain a true understanding of what the work involves, allowing you to make informed decisions about your future career options.
What would your advice be to young people thinking about a career in STEM?
Carefully consider how committed you are to the field that are thinking of entering, as the work will be challenging, with many hurdles along the way. But keep in mind the rewarding nature of the work, and the incredible people you will be working with, and if you are prepared to work hard and show enthusiasm you will go a long way.