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Hello! My name is Bakhtawar and I’m from the vibrant city of Glasgow in Scotland. I am excited to share my reflections on the experience I had.

NDS Work Experience students standing in corridor wearing lab coats.
Bakhtawar (pictured far right) with her fellow peers.

Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a work experience programme at the Nuffield Department of Surgical Science (NDS), which turned out to be an interesting and transformative week. The schedule was packed with a wide range of activities, including engaging in ethical debates, going on enlightening lab tours, refining science communication skills, and so much more. Beyond the enriching experiences, the most rewarding aspect was the lifelong friendships I forged with like-minded individuals who share my passion for science and medicine.

A week of excitement and growth

From the very first day, it was evident that this week was going to be a whirlwind of learning and discovery. Engaging in lively ethical debates, we tackled complex issues that challenged our perspectives and broadened our understanding of the ethical implications in the field of science. These discussions encouraged critical thinking and fostered an environment where diverse opinions were valued and respected.

The lab tours were undoubtedly one of the highlights of the programme. Guided by knowledgeable scientists, we ventured into laboratories, witnessing first-hand the incredible advancements and breakthroughs in various scientific fields. The opportunity to interact with researchers, ask questions, and observe their work ignited a new-found curiosity within me.

Science communication played a significant role throughout the week. We attended a talk with the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) work experience students and received invaluable guidance on effectively communicating complex scientific concepts to diverse audiences. Learning to convey ideas concisely and clearly has not only improved my ability to engage others but has also instilled confidence in my own scientific knowledge.

Enduring friendships

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of my time at NDS was the friendships I formed with my fellow participants. Each person brought their unique perspectives and shared a common passion for science and medicine. Late-night conversations, shared meals, and collaborative projects solidified the bonds between us. It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by like-minded-individuals who share a common goal of making a difference in the world through scientific innovation.

A memorable encounter

One of the most memorable and thought-provoking sessions during the programme was a talk with Mr Alastair Lamb. He enlightened us about the fascinating world of robotics and its applications in the medical field. Through his engaging presentation, he discussed both the benefits and disadvantages of this rapidly advancing technology. His insight into the future of robotics in surgery captivated my interest, even though I had previously been hesitant about pursuing a career in surgery.

This eye-opening experience gave me a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies involved in surgical procedures. I now find myself fascinated by the possibilities that lie within the medical field. Driven by this new-found passion, I envision myself embarking on a journey toward a career in medicine, eager to contribute to the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare.

Reassurance and guidance

The conversations I had with medical staff during the programme were both reassuring and enlightening. They emphasised the abundance of diverse career paths within the medical field and emphasised that each individual will find their niche. These conversations alleviated any concerns I had about choosing the right path and instilled confidence in my decision to pursue a career in medicine.

My time at NDS was an extraordinary journey filled with unforgettable experiences, deep connections, and tremendous personal growth. The exposure to ethical debates, lab tours, science communication workshops, and the wisdom shared by medical professionals has solidified my passion for science and medicine. NDS has provided me with an exceptional platform to explore my interests, and I am immensely grateful for this invaluable opportunity. I wholeheartedly recommend others to apply for this programme as it equips aspiring individuals with the necessary tools and knowledge to thrive in the dynamic world of science and medicine.

Blog posts

Joanna Hester shares her 'Collaboration in Action' story

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Last month, a team of cyclists that included two members of NDS (Mr Alex Gordon-Weeks and Martin Pirkl) cycled coast to coast of England to raise funds for OPAL. Here, Martin tells us more.

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The NDS work experience - where 5.30am wake ups are worth your time!

In this guest blog, Lison Lafarge from Buckinghamshire reflects on her experience of the 2023 NDS Work Experience Programme.