'A bright light in the darkest of times'

What started as a seemingly far-fetched and distant ambition of attaining a medical degree and starting work within our wonderful NHS finally came to fruition on the 4th August, 2021 when I entered Oxford University Hospitals as a Junior Doctor in Acute General Medicine. The journey to medicine was not a straight-forward path set out by perfectly orchestrated A Levels or experience of the “family business” as is often the case with many entrants. For me, it stemmed from a developing interest in Neurology and age-related neurodegenerative diseases, which was accentuated by my Undergraduate Psychology BSc. During my second year, I had already started the long and arduous process of laying the foundations for a well-rounded and evidence-based portfolio of work experience and interests that would assist me in the medical application process. Not only are the odds of admission in the first round slim, entry as a post-graduate is a particularly competitive feat. Much to my disappointment, my first application was unsuccessful, resulting in the next year being dedicated to attaining a self-taught Chemistry A Level to better improve my chances the second time around.

Acceptance to the University of Aberdeen in 2016 will always be a tremendous highlight of my academic career, but whilst my dream of becoming a doctor was firmly on its way, it was delicately balanced on several private student loans that would soon be pulled away. As a postgraduate, I was not eligible for government financial support, and after my second year, I was no longer considered eligible for further private loans. My time at medical school had come to a crashing holt. Besides being torn away from everything that I had spent many years creating, I was perhaps naïve in my disbelief that such an ambition was not worth the time or money of multiple banks and loan companies, due to the average length of study being longer than most undergraduate degrees, as well as the annual tuition fee being £9000 for English students. It Is with enormous gratitude that I can now write about the extremely generous and empathetic efforts of the Lady Ryder of Warsaw Memorial Trust, in particular, Lady Hobhouse and Mr Robert Frith. It is only due to being the first recipient of the Medical Scholarship that I can introduce myself as Dr Lorking. Without their firm, reliable and consistent support, my hopes and aspirations of providing healthcare to our growing, ageing population would not have been realised. In a society where there are countless staff shortages in our NHS, in addition to the challenges faced during a global pandemic, the development of the Medical Scholarship by the Trust is a bright light in the darkest of times. It is incredibly humbling to be a part of the development of this wonderful legacy, and I am reminded of the values of compassion and humanity upon which the Trust are founded every day on my journey to a job I love. For this, I am eternally grateful.

Dr Lorking MBChB

The Lady Ryder of Warsaw Memorial Trust is a company limited by guarantee and is registered in England No.3935283 | Registered Charity No: 1082295