Alumni profile - Dr Pedram Kordrostami
I am currently working as a junior doctor in one of London’s hospitals. I am also the founder of AfterDrink which is a supplement designed to support alcohol-related health and co-founder of a canned water company promoting a sustainable alternative to plastic bottles. I spend the time I have off from work growing these businesses with support from friends and family.
What did you study at Barts and The London and what are you doing now? I studied Medicine at Barts and The London and I am currently working as a junior doctor in one of London’s hospitals.
What does your current role as a junior doctor involve? What does a ‘typical’ working day look like for you? I currently work as a Clinical Fellow in Dermatology and I see patients mainly in a clinic based setting. A typical day involves seeing patients in clinic, in the morning, and reviewing patients on a ward round who have been referred by other specialists in the afternoon. Some days I also have surgical lists which involves taking biopsies of skin lesions and the removal of cancerous lesions.
Did you study your degree at a London university knowing that you wanted to work in London once you had graduated? Do you think you would ever come back in some sort of teaching or mentoring capacity? Getting a place at any medical school is very difficult and medicine is taught at a high standard in all of the UK universities. More often than not, prospective students will chose a university based on where they think they have a shot of getting in, rather than being selective. I count myself as very lucky to have studied at Barts and The London and would come back in a teaching or mentoring capacity without hesitation if the opportunity arises.
What sparked your interest in medicine? I have always had an interest in science related subjects and how the body works. Studying Medicine gives you the unique opportunity to use that knowledge in order to help others. This made medicine the only course and career path I could see myself doing.
Why did you choose to study medicine at Barts and The London? Barts and The London is attached to several of the country’s best teaching hospitals that are at the forefront of medical research and patient care. As a result, you are taught by leading experts in their respective fields and I am very fortunate to have studied medicine here. In addition, the University is situated in a vibrant and culturally diverse part of London which makes it a great place to live.
Medicine is a five year course which is longer than many courses at Queen Mary; I can imagine there must have been times when it didn’t feel like the end was in sight and that you felt quite overwhelmed. What advice would you give to current medical students? Overall it was actually six years as I took a year out to complete a research BSc degree at another university. There are definitely times when I felt overwhelmed and exhausted and there’s no doubt that medicine is a tough degree. It’s particularly difficult because you will have friends who graduate from University several years before you and start their careers while you continue your studies. That being said, Barts and The London is incredibly supportive and there is a sense of community amongst the students which helps you reach the end.
If you had the option to go back and repeat your university experience, would you do anything differently? The only thing I would have done differently would have been to explore the East End of London more; there are an endless number of things to do both socially and culturally.
What do you think is unique about Queen Mary compared to other universities? I only realized how well medicine is taught at Queen Mary when I started working as a Doctor. As a student, you are exposed to clinical situations from a very early stage and learning communication skills is a primary focus of teaching. In addition, the degree is taught in a way that develops your presentation, academic writing and teaching skills which gives you a significant advantage amongst peers when you start building your portfolio for future specialization. Ultimately, studying Medicine at Queen Mary makes you a well-rounded clinician and, therefore, a better Doctor for your patients.
What was so special about your time at Queen Mary? Can you give one or two examples of your most memorable moments? Playing for Barts and The London football team is where most of my memorable moments come from. The weekly social events as well as playing in cup finals against Queen Mary and other London medical schools are the most memorable times that stand out to me. My closest friendships are from my time at Queen Mary.
Do you have any interests outside of medicine? How is it juggling your business alongside your job as a doctor? I am the founder of AfterDrink which is a supplement designed to support alcohol-related health: www.afterdrink.com. I am also co-founder of a canned water company promoting a sustainable alternative to plastic bottles: www.nuwater.life. I spend the time I have off from work growing these businesses with support from friends and family.
Your entrepreneurial experience is amazing! What advice would you give to individuals wanting to start their own companies? If you have an idea that makes you feel excited and you are passionate about it, go for it! Even if you don’t succeed, the amount you learn from going through the process is invaluable and will always be useful in the future.
Do you have a favourite spot on campus? The Garrod building of course!