A Career in Sexual & Reproductive Health

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 a Community Sexual & Reproductive Health (CSRH) Registrar: Dr Annabel Sowemimo!

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

I am currently Community Sexual & Reproductive Health (CSRH) Registrar based in Leicester and I also run Decolonising Contraception - a collective of Black & people of colour working in sexual health. After completing my foundation programme, I completed an MSc in Sexual & Reproductive Health research at the London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene and also a Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene with MSF.

Why did you choose this Specialty?

Throughout medical school I had such varied interest loving science and the humanities - I was on Drama Society and organised an outreach project called DramaJam, I was President of Student’s for Global Health and editor of their magazine at one point. I intercalated with Medical Anthropology and after that i was set on finding a special that built on the social science skill set I really enjoyed. CSRH is such a wonderful mixture of all my interests combining clinical practice, public health & management and leadership. There is a huge scope for research, innovation and community work - I just don’t there is any other specialty like this.

What your role in this specialty entails?

On a day to day basis, I work between the community sexual health clinic and the hospital gynaecology department. My competencies include gynaecology including menopause & early pregnancy care, genitourinary medicine, psychosexual health, managing sexual assault and lots more. You have Consultant’s with quite a wide scope of clinical practice.

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

I don’t think I discovered CSRH existed until my final year of medical school. Nationally, there are only about 36 trainees currently and there were far fewer when I was at medical school. Even now most other specialties are not really sure what we do and who we are. CSRH use to be a sub-specialty of O&G but in 2010, it became it’s own specialty and we have been growing ever since.