Kirsty Alexander (1979)
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Land Economy and Anthropology
Public Health Consultant
I graduated in 1982 and, like a lot of people, I wanted to save the world, making it more fair and just, and eliminating third world debt. I considered applying for the World Bank Scheme, for which I needed an MBA. In those days you required three years business experience to apply. So I did a year in advertising and marketing for Scottish Midland Co-operative Group, followed by two years in Investment Management, Corporate Finance and Venture Capital for a Scottish merchant bank.
"I had just completed the required three years when the plights of Ethiopians became apparent during the 1984-5 famine, so I went to work for Save the Children in Ethiopia. I became very interested in the work of the Public Health doctors (sanitation, immunisation, and TB control) and thought that would be a better bet than the World Bank. Having no medical qualifications, and wanting to return abroad as quickly as possible, I opted to do the Graduate entry accelerated Nurse training at St George's, London, plus a Tropical Nursing course at the London School of Hygiene and Medicine.
"Just as I was finishing, my husband (whom I met whilst working for Save the Children) said he didn't want to go back overseas so I decided to embark on the medical training with a view eventually doing Public Health. I started Pre-Med with a 4-month-old baby and then had my second child at the end of the first year of the pre-clinical course.
"After completing postgraduate training (including General Practice and the five extra years for Public Health Medicine) I finally became a Consultant in Public Health Medicine in 2008. I also do some sessional GP work. I would still like to work in developing countries, but as health inequality is directly related to social inequality there is also plenty to be done here in the UK.
"Outside of work I like hanging out with my family and friends, travelling, walking in mountains, theatre, films, art, music and dance - and would have loved to have some more lives to explore all more fully!"