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Bermudian joins competitive healthcare programme in UK

Kayah Wilks will begin rotations at the Kings College NHS Foundation Trust (Photograph supplied)

A trainee doctor who won a medical scholarship after she volunteered during the Covid-19 pandemic has been accepted into a prestigious postgraduate programme in Britain.

Kayah Wilks, 23, will start clinical rotations in August as part of NHS London’s deanery — an organisation that is responsible for postgraduate medical training in the public health service.

She was awarded the Robert and Margaret Harvey Medical Scholarship about two years ago, having been inspired by her mother to pursue a career in healthcare.

Ms Wilks said: “It’s always been something that was at the back of my mind for sure.

“Growing up I’d always been quite bubbly and I enjoy being around people and communicating with people.”

She added: “I wasn’t exactly encouraged in school to go into this field, but I’d say my mum definitely inspired me a lot and told me that it was definitely something I could achieve.

“Without her, I don’t think I could have gotten this far, if I’m being completely honest.

“I’m glad I’ve finished my degree and achieved this much and I can finally start as a doctor, because I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Ms Wilks said that she was first recognised by the medical scholarship’s committee thanks to her work offering nasal swabs.

At the time, she was attending Barts and The London School of Dentistry and Medicine, part of the Queen Mary University of London.

Ms Wilks said that she originally studied at its campus in Malta when she joined in 2019, but moved back home to Bermuda to take classes online when the pandemic unfolded.

She saw a call for volunteers and put herself forward.

Ms Wilks added: “I worked in a team of ten other young Bermudians, and I was just volunteering from about March or April until around August.

“I think that whole experience completely changed me as a person.

“We were working out of the car park at White’s Supermarket in St David’s almost every single day for a couple of months straight.

“I learnt a lot about myself, about working as a team, about practising healthcare in Bermuda, and Covid-19 itself and how that changed communities.”

Ms Wilks admitted that she never applied for the Robert and Margaret Harvey Medical Scholarship and was instead recommended for it in 2022, after her work was recognised.

She said: “Someone had put my name forward to Dr Harvey and she gave me a phone call.

“We spoke on the phone and then she just told me at the end that she’d like to give me a scholarship.”

Ms Wilks added: “I had no idea it was coming. To be honest I hadn’t really heard of the scholarship beforehand.”

She appreciated the financial freedom that the scholarship offered.

Ms Wilks graduated in 2023 and began her postgraduate foundation programmes before she was accepted into the NHS London deanery, and later was assigned to its King’s College NHS Foundation Trust.

She will work in different sectors including general surgery and community medicine.

Ms Wilks is unsure what speciality she will choose, but plans to move back to Bermuda to open a practice.

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Published May 16, 2024 at 7:55 am (Updated May 16, 2024 at 7:55 am)

Bermudian joins competitive healthcare programme in UK

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