CL in Psychiatry
Dr Charlotte Allan (2016)
Pathway to a Clinical Lectureship
Charlotte had the chance to do some academic projects at medical school and jumped at the chance to get more experience as part of an Academic Foundation Programme. She moved to Oxford as an Academic Clinical Fellow in Psychiatry and had one day a week for research, as well as a block of one month to develop a research proposal and start patient recruitment. After ST4 Charlotte took one year out of programme for research and returned to clinical training as an NIHR Clinical Lecturer. She used this time to complete her MD and start post-doctoral projects.
What does the work involve?
Charlotte split her time 50:50 between clinical work and research. This took some juggling at the beginning but overall has worked well for her adding variety and interest to the weeks, and continuity in her academic work. She has been able to develop her research interests in using MRI to explore vascular risk factors for depression and dementia.
As a CL Charlotte has lectured on the Oxford undergraduate psychiatry course and to the post-graduate MRCPsych course. She has developed “Psychiatry and the Arts”, a collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum and started the Oxford Psychiatry Podcast series.
In addition, Charlotte has been able to develop skills in research, MRI analysis, writing and public speaking. The research elements of her career have provided her with autonomy and the chance to develop new ideas and projects. Being able to do this alongside clinical training has led to a very interesting career path. The downsides are that you can feel as if you are doing two full-time jobs, and relying on finding funding can be hair raising!
Oxford is a great place to work clinically and for academic opportunities. Local departments, the Medical Sciences Division and colleges provide multiple ways of accessing training, developing collaborations and getting intellectual inspiration. Charlotte feels she has had good support in developing her career and help with obtaining funding -- vital to any research career.