Ish Saxena, MD ’13, is a general practitioner (GP) trainee based at the Royal Preston Hospital in the northwest of England. After studying at St. George’s University, he completed a master’s degree in healthcare management at the University of Manchester. He is now involved in innovations in primary healthcare and is currently undertaking a health infrastructure innovation project in his home town.
Dr. Saxena is the founder and CEO of “F3’ing It!”, a startup company focused on supporting doctors and providing the best opportunities for those seeking job opportunities or training breaks. The organization, which launched in March 2017, is collaborating with doctors, NHS trusts, and non-NHS organizations throughout the country.
His other interests include medical teaching, for which he has received multiple awards from the University of Manchester. Dr. Saxena is also the lead rep for Associates in Training (AiT) at the Royal College of General Practitioners in his region, clinical entrepreneur fellow at NHS England, and a BME Doctors Council member at the General Medical Council in the UK. Outside of medicines, Dr. Saxena also enjoys travelling and keeping his travel blog up to date.
You chose to study at St. George’s University rather than staying nearer home in the north of England. It must have been a big decision.
Looking back, it was a huge move. I was at school in Liverpool in the UK when I heard about SGU. My main motivation for applying was that I was keen to practice medicine in the United States at some point and saw that SGU would give me that opportunity. It was only when I arrived in Grenada and started my course that I realized all the other benefits of studying there. The SGU curriculum was challenging, which gave me a vigorous educational experience, and SGU students also get to enjoy stunning beaches after their lectures.
Alongside this, the University was extremely supportive with terrific learning resources and we had the benefit of learning from esteemed professors from all over the world.
But the best thing about it all was the sense of community. I made lifelong friendships and professional connections, and it’s been great to stay in touch and see how successful my fellow graduates have been.
You’ve won a number of awards in your career already. How did SGU give you the platform for success?
I’ve noticed that all SGU alumni have a drive to succeed which sets us apart from most students and graduates. I’m certainly very ambitious and excited about the contribution I can make to healthcare and the lives of individuals.
After graduating from SGU I completed a master’s degree in healthcare management at the University of Manchester, which has led to a number opportunities for me to get involved in both the management and delivery of healthcare.
I’ve been honored to receive the Foundation Doctor Portfolio of the Year award as resident at the Royal Preston Hospital and awards for teaching and education from the University of Manchester. I have the privilege of being the Royal College of General Practitioners lead representative for trainees in my region. I am also Clinical Fellow at the NHS England entrepreneur scheme and a BME doctors council member at the General Medical Council in the UK.
SGU gave me a great base in terms of scientific knowledge and I draw on that in my day to day work. It was also the starting point for my clinical skills and I learned a breadth and range of topics I wouldn’t have benefited from elsewhere. For example, I had the opportunity to study parasitology which has meant I’ve been able to help patients with tropical diseases back in the UK.
My strong education and international experience at SGU and my time working at Brooklyn Hospital in New York has helped me achieve what I have today.
Alongside your day job, you volunteer your time to help new medical students. You must be extremely busy.
I am busy but I think it’s important to contribute back and help give opportunities to future generations of medical students. I came back to the UK after working in New York because I felt I could contribute more here. I wanted to draw on the practices I’d learnt in the United States to make improvements in healthcare in my home country.
I help students from the University of Manchester and teach them about the practicalities of working in a large hospital. The NHS is struggling at the moment so it’s vital that new doctors are helped to settle in and that the best possible care for patients is promoted.
What are your future career ambitions?
I’m interested in becoming a general practitioner (GP) because it’s a good mix of direct care and healthcare management. I plan to be an NHS GP in the next few months and will continue to work towards improving the delivery of primary care. It’s very likely that this field of medicine is going to change in the next few years because of our aging population, and it’s important that both doctors and patients are educated and ready for these changes.
I’m currently working on the creation of a screening system for frail patients so they can be treated at home. In the not-too-distant future, I also hope to see personalized care delivered close to home by bringing specialists into local practices.
Every day is bringing different highlights and new challenges. Living my dream of being a doctor is phenomenal, and I’m very lucky to be able to say I love my job.
– Louise Akers