A DOCTOR who set up a business to educate students about careers in medicine has been shortlisted for the UK’s largest diversity awards.
Dr Patrice Baptiste of Leyton was nominated for a National Diversity Award, beating over 22,000 people and charities across the country to make it to the final.
The 28-year-old set up Dream Smart Tutors last summer to mentor students and link them up with professionals in the medical field.
Over 50 doctors have now signed up to take part in the programmes run in schools in Waltham Forest and Ilford.
“I am a Christian and I feel like it was a calling for me. Since I was four years old I have wanted to be a doctor,” she said.
“I wanted to do something to help others and make a difference in the world.
“I am using my database of doctors to help the students. I think it’s about you helping the next person if you have been successful.
“A lot of the students don’t know doctors and so it gives them a chance to network and ask questions.”
The former pupil at Holy Family Catholic School and Sixth Form in Shernhall Street, Walthamstow, is now a school governor.
When she graduated Dr Baptiste was the only student in her year to get accepted into medical school.
She now holds a degree from University College London and is currently on a two-year GP training course in Romford.
Dr Baptiste, who comes from a working-class Caribbean background, would like to see more students from ethnic minorities choose careers in medicine.
She said: “My parents were always there to support me and give me the confidence to pursue my dreams. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have got into medical school.
“My dad is a technician in a hospital and I wouldn’t have gotten work experience only for his connections.
“There’s a lot of things I never knew about a career in medicine like having to move from place to place and not being able to afford a house. I wish there was someone there to tell me those things when I was in school.
“I want to be a positive role model for the students and show them it can be done.”
The National Diversity Awards 2017 will be held in Liverpool on September 8.
Dr Baptiste has been shortlisted in the ‘positive role model award for race/faith/religion’ category.
She said although the news took her as a surprise, she is “excited and looking forward to seeing what happens.”