21 July 2017 10:07

Jamie Harrison chose to become a doctor after working as a healthcare worker in the same deprived area where he grew up.

His mother is a beautician and his father a coach driver so he is the first person in his family to go to university. 

It took him a while to decide he wanted to study medicine.         

“When I was six I wanted to be a fireman. That Christmas I decided to put my fireman's outfit and water pistol to the test and set my toy box on fire. After I failed to put it out, I ran screaming for the help of my parents who were asleep and decided I wanted to be a policeman instead.” 

Even after sixth form, he was unsure what to do. He went to Canada on a gap year volunteering for the Salvation Army where he volunteered doing youth work and working with the homeless. 

“This gave me a whole new perspective on life.  How to live simply and an even greater desire to help others -in whatever role.” 

When he returned, he became a Healthcare Assistant in a GP practice in Oldham in Greater Manchester. 

“That is what made me want to be a doctor. I loved their ethos of making a change through the delivery of holistic care.” 

He switched to working part-time and returned to college to re-sit his GCSEs and then complete an Access to Medicine course.  

“It was challenging in its own way - returning to education as an adult can be difficult. You have to readjust to living on less money, whilst juggling a working life, social life and find time to study.” 

He then spent five years at Lancaster Medical School studying for his medical degree. 

“Lancaster has been great. It's a beautiful place, surrounded by stunning scenery. The medical school and hospital staff are lovely, and the fact that they know you by name  makes a real difference.” 

He now plans to complete the two year Foundation Program for newly qualified doctors before deciding between emergency medicine or plastic surgery.