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Biology and Psychology to Clinical science STP

  • Name : Iyesha Kebe, (She/Her)

  • Job Title: Trainee Clinical Scientist (Specialising in Cardiac Science) 

  •  A levels/ equivalent: Biology, English literature and Chemistry

  • Undergrad and postgrad degrees: Biology and Psychology BSc. My current job is a combined work based and masters programme called the scientist training programme (STP)

  • Favourite science fact: Clouds are heavy, and weigh about around 550 tonnes

Journey in 3 Words: Dynamic, Explorative, Purposeful

  • Briefly describe your current role:

As a trainee clinical scientist specialising in cardiac science, my role involves conducting, analysing and reporting diagnostic tests of patients with suspected cardiac diseases. These tests include ECGs, exercise testing and echocardiography.

  • What motivated you to pursue a career in science:

I have always wanted to work in the sciences. Science was my favourite subject in school and I found it as a great opportunity to problem solve and help people. 

  • What is a typical week like for you?

A typical week for me, as a trainee in my final year of the program, follows a consistent schedule. I typically spend two or three days in my specialty training for echocardiography. Additionally, I allocate one or two days to non-invasive testing, such as Holter analysis. Lastly, I have one study day for my academic assignments. 

  • Would you describe your role as varied or predictable and how does that tie into your personality?

I would describe my role as a trainee in my final year of the program as somewhat predictable due to the consistent schedule of specialty training, non-invasive testing, and study days. However, within each designated activity, there is variability in the specific patient cases and tasks I encounter, adding a degree of diversity to my work. Overall, while there is a routine to follow, the nature of the tasks within that routine keeps my role engaging and dynamic.

  • How did you decide on your MSc? and do you feel you made the right decision for your career? Why did you choose the STP pathway? .

 I became familiar with the tests through research and shadowing cardiac physiologists in my departments. I also emailed and messaged cardiac physiologists on LinkedIn to understand how they entered the field and to hear about their day to day job role. I chose the STP for my MSc due to its patient-focused approach in cardiac science, aligning with my desire to have a career in healthcare. The program's emphasis on science-led healthcare allows me to merge my passion for quality care with my love for scientific inquiry. Additionally, its structured nature and rotations across healthcare departments provide a holistic understanding of patient needs. 

  • What is an insight you gained about your job only after you started? 

The impact of effective communication on patient care outcomes. While technical skills are crucial, the ability to listen, empathise, and communicate clearly with patients significantly influences their experience and overall health journey. Additionally, although our job may involve specific routine tests, it's crucial to apply our holistic understanding of the patient's condition to tailor our approach and management effectively.

  • Is there anything that makes you hesitant about your field?

 Nothing in particular however the responsibility of accurately diagnosing a patient's condition can sometimes feel daunting, emphasising the importance of ongoing professional development and support networks.

  • How do you stay motivated? 

I stay motivated by reminding myself of the impact my work has on improving patient outcomes Setting clear goals and celebrating small achievements.

  • For your current role, what application / interview top tip would you give?

Having a solid understanding of the tests and activities in the desired specialism you apply for. Demonstrating your commitment to patient-centred care, problem-solving, and adaptability will showcase your suitability for the role. Sharing relevant experiences that show your leadership capabilities. 

  •  What other roles did you explore before deciding on the STP pathway - could you detail what you liked about them and didn't?

I explored roles in public health. I worked as a volunteer researcher for a public health charity, I worked in administration and was a teaching assistant briefly. I definitely enjoyed my role as a researcher but I didn't particularly like the other roles because it was not science or health related. Also I wanted to work more with people and I don't believe I suit a desk job. 

  • How have your passions and interests changed since you started thinking of careers?

Was there a defining moment for you? My passions and interests have remained consistent since childhood, as I've always known I wanted to work in the science field. However, I was not aware of this role in secondary and university. I explored different roles until deciding on this one which helped to refine my career path. While there wasn't a defining moment, this journey allowed me to adapt and evolve my interests until finding the right fit in my current role.

  • Is there an experience/ conversation that has heavily impacted the trajectory your career journey?

I think exploring roles that were not in science helped it really confirm where my interest lies and what fulfilled me. 

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I see myself further advancing in the field of echocardiography. Additionally, I aspire to be actively engaged in public health research and program development, striving to make meaningful contributions to global health specifically in Africa.

  • Outside of science how would you describe yourself? 

I would describe myself as a calm person. But I also enjoy meeting people and listening to other people's stories. I enjoy travelling and find joy in being creative outside of work through art and music or outdoor activities like hiking.


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