tRAINING COURSE OFFICERS
The Training Course Officers are elected officials of the KCL Wilderness Medicine Society.
They are responsible for organising the Training Course, recruiting speakers and teaching delegates.
Laura graduated with a 1st class degree in BSc Biochemistry from the University of Exeter in 2017, where she undertook modules including sports and exercise metabolism, cell biology of disease, and medicinal chemistry. Whilst there, Laura was awarded the Dean’s Commendation for academic success, and won the prize for the best dissertation within the theme of science communication, for her dissertation on science communication in relation to the public’s understanding of the UK's sugar tax, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Laura began MBBS at KCL 2018, with interests in cardiology, wilderness medicine and sports medicine. Laura was recently shortlisted for the Helal and Harries prize for presenting her research poster on innovative technology in event and expedition medicine, at the Royal Society of Medicine’s Sports and Exercise Medicine Section’s conference.
Laura loves the great outdoors. Having spent much of her childhood growing up in Switzerland, Laura is an experienced skier and loves being in mountainous environments. Whilst travelling in Australia and New Zealand, Laura completed several hikes, in a range of climates and terrains, with her favourite being the Tongariro Crossing in the snow. Aside from skiing and hiking, Laura enjoys a range of sports, having been part of University netball, rounders and amateur boxing teams, and captaining her netball team. Laura has also raised several thousands of pounds for cancer charities in various running races.
Laura has tutored GSCE and A-level biology for over three years, becoming experienced in different teaching styles. Laura is a Graduate Entry Medicine Mentor, and is also a mentor on the Mentorship to Health programme developed by the Health Pioneers Charity, which aims to help tackle the socioeconomic inequalities present within healthcare and in medical school applications. Laura will also soon begin working towards becoming an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Authority. She is currently working as a COVID-19 vaccinator, interacting with people from all walks of life, explaining the principles of vaccination if needed and responding to their queries. Laura is currently a member of the British Association of Sports and Exercise Medicine, and is currently a FAWM candidate after successfully completed last year’s accredited Wilderness Medicine Training Course.
Neil is currently intercalating in Health Care Management at Kings College London, having completed three years of Medicine MBBS at the same institution. After completing the Kings College London Wilderness Medicine Conference 2021 and Training Course 2020/2021, he has taken a particular interest in the Wilderness Medicine Speciality.
As part of his medical degree, Neil also has conducted observational research projects in weaning patients off ventilation and monitoring the effects of Teriparatide on patients using HSA technology. Neil’s research project on weaning was nominated for the Nichola Claire Hood Memorial Prize.
In 2020, Neil established an “Intro To Medicine” lecture series for further education students in Camden, London, with the aim to get more students from low-income families into a medical degree programme. Part of his responsibility included coordinating a curriculum and liaising with keynote speakers to talk about their speciality. Having had three years’ experience of group tutoring A-level Biology students, Neil has developed a passion for teaching. From this experience, Neil has gained confidence in communicating new concepts, structuring a lesson, and testing students. Being a member of the teaching team in this training course, Neil aims to challenge himself in teaching practical skills- a key responsibility of as a healthcare professional.
Neil curated his love for the outdoors through his time in the Cadets, where he went on four overnight expeditions. In this role, Neil not only learnt various outdoors skills such as camping with bashers and communicating through signals, but also was responsible for developing younger cadets’ confidence with wilderness survival and first aid. Perhaps the most important responsibility Neil learnt here, was to help plan expeditions using the Seven Questions tool. Additionally, in his spare time, Neil has led various outdoor group bonding exercises for Rocket Planet Leadership Force, a youth organisation. Neil was able to lead a group of students in land navigation tasks.
Recently, Neil has gone on various hiking and camping expeditions, most notably a week long expedition in the Scottish Highlands, developing on a lot of his skills learnt in the Wilderness Medicine Training Course 2020/2021
Neil’s future aspirations include developing his rock-climbing confidence and planning a Three Peaks Challenge for April 2022.
Barbara was accepted onto the Medicine Programme at King’s College London in 2017, and is currently an intercalating student at Imperial College London. This year she will be studying Translational Respiratory Medicine, in hope to further develop her research skills and gain a depth of knowledge in the field, as well as apply this newly acquired knowledge in a variety of clinical contexts. During this period, there will be opportunities to attend clinics and observe novel diagnostic procedures in a research-active environment.
Over the years, Barbara has channelled her passion for hiking through various expeditions across the UK. One of the many highlights being hiking to the summit of Snowdon and coping in difficult weather conditions while on an expedition in the Peak District. Barbara thoroughly enjoys playing sports and has been a member of multiple teams, including her university’s women’s rugby and netball teams. On completing the KCL Wilderness Medicine Training Course last year, Barbara developed a keen interest in the field, inspiring her to help run the course this year.
For the last year, Barbara has worked for NHS 111 helping to combat the sharp spike in calls since COVID-19. Barbara has recently taken on a team leader role, helping to recruit and train new candidates. Furthermore, Barbara has been a COVID-19 vaccinator for the last 6 months, helping patients to make an informed decision while administering vaccinations.
For the last few years, Barbara has participated in multiple volunteer led societies. Participating in the ‘Save a baby’s life’ programme, Barbara was able to develop her communication skills by teaching parents paediatric first aid, gaining valuable experience and confidence in presenting to large groups. Barbara also developed the ability to adapt her language and formulate analogies to ensure the parents could bridge the gap between medical terminology and the technicalities of the procedures being taught. Barbara’s teaching abilities have been developed further throughout her time volunteering with the ‘Shine Mentoring Programme’, supporting primary school students in subjects which they found difficult. As a Shine committee member, Barbara helped to innovate a new remote pen-pal scheme to support local primary school children through the isolation brought on by the pandemic, when face to face mentoring was no longer an option. Barbara is also currently working towards becoming an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Authority.