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A Career in Obstetrics & Gynaecology

The Melanin Medics Blog Series showcasing black Medical Professionals in various Medical Specialties. Sharing their journeys, challenges and life lessons. #RepresentationMatters. This week we're featuring an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career journey so far

Miss Abisola Adeleye, BSc(Hons), MBBS, MRCOG. I'm currently an ST6 level specialist registrar, training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in the East of England Deanery and a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Studied Medicine at Bart's and The London, Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry, I also earned a first class honours BSc degree in Primary Health Care during an intercalated year at University College London. I won a runner-up award in the London Schools and the Black Child Academic Achievement Awards 2010. My passion for education has been realised through a medical workbook I co-authored and published with CRC Press - Making sense of Fluids and Electolytes: a hands-on guide. I also enjoy being a trustee for and participating in activities run by the charity Salaam Education Services.

Why did you choose this Specialty?

I get to do something different on most days at work - On-call for labour ward and delivering babies, simple and complex obstetric and gynaecology surgery, outpatient clinics, inpatient ward rounds, ultrasound scanning. Very varied activities and I get to work with different healthcare professionals such as midwives, nurses, theatre teams, sonographers, not just doctors.

During your time in Medical School, did you enjoy this specialty?

My medical school placement was in a DGH (District General Hospital) away from my medical school base. I had to stay in hospital accommodation which meant I preferred to spend more time in the hospital and immerse myself in the specialty rather than in the accommodation. I met enthusiastic consultants unlike any other specialty I experienced. They saw I that was keen and gave me more hands-on opportunities and mentorship.

What is your greatest achievement till date?

I was fortunate enough to publish my workbook on fluid and electrolyte management aimed at medical students:

Making Sense of Fluids and Electrolytes: A hands-on guide. This was a very unexpected opportunity which started out as an entry into the RSM’s Young Authors competition. This event was held in a similar way to Dragon’s Den - I pitched my book idea along with my colleagues, to a panel of publishing house editors. The prize was supposed to be mentoring from one of the editors and signed copies of well-known clinical books. The editors liked our idea so much that we were offered a publishing contract. I found the publishing process quite enjoyable overall, especially when I was finally able to hold the book and thumb through it! The challenges were keeping the material up-to-date, working as a trio and finding editors ourselves, whom we could work well with and who shared our vision for the book . With regards to publishing more resources in the future, I currently have nothing in the pipeline yet but I won’t say no to another opportunity to publish something that can help others.

What has been your biggest challenge working in this specialty so far?

Work-life balance. Making the most of time off work by truly relaxing and not being tempted to allow work to extend into my time off.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Working out, weekends away, nice meals, exhibitions and shows with friends & family. I do enjoy teaching others, something I’ve done since I was a teenager coaching students for 11+ & GCSE exams.

Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life. ~ Dolly Parton

What advice would you give to someone interested in this specialty?

Get a medical school placement, taster week, foundation year rotation or trust SHO job in the specialty to ensure that you know the realities of what to expect in the specialty, to help you work out if it’s right for you.

By being here today, I am hoping to help you see how you can achieve your own success and overcome challenges you may face along the way. 


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