Health & wellbeing
July 31, 2020
Staying creative after med school

Creativity has been likened to meditation for the calming effects it can have on the body and the mind. Incorporating some form of creativity into our lives can improve overall wellbeing.

As med students, many of us have creative hobbies like painting, writing or playing an instrument that fall by the wayside when we graduate and take on busy medical roles.

But how important is it to keep creative pursuits in our lives?

We caught up with Dr Patrice Baptiste who has many creative outlets; a YouTube channel where she educates new doctors, and poetry which she has published on Amazon.

Dr Patrice Baptiste

Dr Patrice was four years old when she first decided she wanted to become a doctor; “I saw doctors as being in a privileged position; being able to help others in their time of need.”

Now working as a GP, Dr Patrice writes for GP Online and is a STEM ambassador. Based in London (UK), she’s been recognised for her passion for STEM, particularly in encouraging young people to join the profession. She’s a school speaker and has written a book for prospective med students. She’s even developed a business which supports young people from less privileged, and black and minority backgrounds into top universities and professions.

Dr Patrice’s YouTube channel is a creative element of this. She says the channel is designed to be “somewhere people can find inspiration and positivity”, as well as an educational tool for doctors who want to build their skill set.  

A creative teaching tool

The channel is aimed at those looking to:

1. Improve their current career (whatever this may be, so not necessarily a medical career)

2. Improve their life skills (like time management)

3. Learn about a medical career in general practice

It offers a positive way to learn and caters to all learning styles. Viewers can take what they need and learn at their own speed.

“There were many times I did not agree with some of the teaching methods used [at med school] such as 'picking on' students when it's clear they may not know the answer. I enjoy teaching others so that they can truly learn and feel comfortable while doing so,” says Dr Patrice.

Writing poetry

Poetry is another creative outlet for Dr Patrice. She’s prioritised time for writing poetry to help her find balance in her life; “poetry is an outlet for me during times of stress and a way to remember and document the happy times in my life.”

Dr Patrice says she writes poetry when she’s filled with anger, or sadness, or feeling anxious, and you can feel this powerful emotion in her work.

She wrote The First Story In Poetry: Socio-Political Consciousness (Stories In Poetry Book 1), at one of the lowest points in her life. She was on a break from medical training and the process of putting the book together reminded her of the joy and satisfaction she gets from writing poetry.

“I've always enjoyed writing poetry but during my medical training it was kind of placed to one side as not as 'pressing' or urgent as working as a doctor! However, by neglecting it I lost something that was very therapeutic to me.”

She hopes that by sharing her poetry online, others who don’t have the gift of creativity can heal or relate to her words. She also wants to inspire other doctors to find their own creative outlet; “I would like to think other medics would pursue their old or even try new interests after reading my poetry.”

You can follow Dr Patrice on Instagram and Twitter (@drpbaptiste), or find out more about her here.

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Article by
Dr Patrice Baptiste

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