Medical student wins prestigious physician prize

A Keele University medical student has won the sought-after Wolfson Intercalated Award from the Royal College of Physicians.

Bridget Kemball, 24 and from Stoke-on-Trent, recently finished the fourth year of her medical degree, and the award of £5,000 will go towards her living costs whilst studying for an MPhil in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine at Keele University. Bridget will be researching whether cough swabs or cough plates are better at detecting infection in children with cystic fibrosis.

An intercalated medical degree is one extra year on top of a five-year medical degree. The award is a contribution to medical or dental students who are undertaking an extra year to complete a masters in an area of medicine with intentions to pursue a career in medical research. Bridget was nominated by Keele’s Professor Divya Chari, a Neural Tissue Engineer, and the team who leads intercalating medical students.

Bridget said: “I feel very honoured to receive the award as each medical and dental school in the country can nominate one student and there are a lot of fantastic students at Keele intercalating. As well as being an excellent award to have on my CV to help me towards my future career aspirations of working in paediatric research, it is also going to be hugely helpful in covering the costs of an extra year of study.

“The Wolfson Award will allow me to spend less time doing part-time work and enable me to spend more time focusing on my research, which is really exciting. I feel exceptionally lucky to have received the award and very thankful to my supervisors, Dr Francis Gilchrist and Dr Will Carroll, and Professor Chari for all their help with the application process and for nominating me.”

After Bridget has completed her masters she will return to do her final year of her medical degree, and wishes to become a paediatrician and go into academic medical research.

She added: “I am hoping this award is a stepping stone to achieving my dream career in paediatric research. I currently have two main passions in medicine which are paediatrics and infectious diseases, and so was very fortunate that the intercalation process at Keele enabled me to find a project which contained elements of both paediatrics and infection. I also intend to spend part of my future career working for a charity such as Doctors Without Borders.”