I had always wanted to study medicine for as long as I can recall, and was fortunate to catch the final embers of St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School. It was an unforgettable experience and I am deeply grateful to my many teachers and mentors who shaped my formative medical years. A three-month elective period in northern Namibia opened my eyes to developing world medicine and began a relationship with the continent that I have maintained to this day.
My Basic Surgical Training was at St. Mary’s Hospital, although it was an inspiring rotation at Mount Vernon Hospital that persuaded me to pursue plastic surgery as a career. I undertook a Fellowship at Groote Schuur Hospital and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town where I was exposed to the wonders of cleft surgery and decided that that would remain the focus of my professional career. I undertook my Higher Surgical Training in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in the Oxford Deanery and gained my FRCS (Plast) in 2011. I subsequently returned to Canada to undertake a Paediatric Plastic Surgery Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto which was a first class experience, followed by a fantastic Cleft Interface Fellowship at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, before returning to the Spires Cleft Centre as a Consultant.
My relationship with the Hodges’ and Uganda was sparked by a visit to Kampala in 2008 which was engineered by Tim Goodacre. I subsequently returned to CoRSU for a short Fellowship, and was fortunate to visit Kagando Hospital on a number of occasions. I now teach on the Cleft Module of the Masters Programme in Plastic Surgery based at Mbarara University. This superb initiative is transforming the standard of plastic surgery training in the region and is a real beacon for what can be achieved with the enthusiasm and dedication of surgical trainers like Andrew Hodges and George Galiwango.
I was thrilled to be asked to join the team at Interface Uganda as a Trustee in February 2014 and very much look forward to supporting this extremely worthy cause over the coming years. Naturally I would be delighted to speak to anyone who is thinking of getting involved with Interface Uganda in the future, whether in a fundraising capacity or more directly on the ground.