For most Manchester medicine graduates, the learning doesn’t stop once you get your gown and cap at Whitworth Hall. There will be opportunities to expand on your learning throughout your career and to go down the path you want to go down, it’s essential that you take these opportunities. There is no bigger example of this than Valeed Ghafoor, a medicine graduate who has taken as many opportunities as possible since leaving The University of Manchester…
I came to The University of Manchester to study medicine from a very humble background, my mother is a homemaker and my father a retired taxi driver. I found the university concept quite intimidating and realised that so many people are incredibly talented. Just being surrounded by high achievers made me want to be better.
While in university I spent six years involved with the Manchester Access Programme (MAP) – I was part of one of their first cohorts to get acceptance to university. I did lots of student ambassador work and actually made some of my best friends for life through this. In fact I would say around 40-50% of my closest friends and confidants are colleagues I initially met through MAP while working as student ambassadors.
When I graduated medical school in 2014 I was already half way towards completing a research project in Preston. There was a study we were doing comparing data across Preston Hospital and the then MRI. This work was regarding vasculitis and chemotherapy regimens. The work was presented at the European Renal Association and I did an international oral presentation at Philadelphia at the annual American Society of Nephrology meeting with subsequent abstract publication.
I stayed at Preston to do my foundation training and had multiple other presentations, some were oral presentations in cardiology in Hong Kong, others were National RCGP poster presentations. I also began to work with other ambassadors who shared similar views and we put projects together, some of which were showcased in Athens at an international respiratory conference…essentially I loved research and teaching! What’s important to note is that I made a lot of these connections through my time at University both through the course and MAP.
I completed my foundation training which was a real life changing experience at an amazing hospital. During this time I formally learned how to do ultrasound guided line insertion – specifically dialysis lines and femoral lines. Up until this point I was certain I wanted to be a hospital consultant eventually, but I had an incredible GP placement at the Issa Medical Centre in Preston which showed me the endless possibilities of being a GP.
I decided to move back closer to family in North Manchester and commenced GP Training. Alongside this, I picked up additional shifts in Medicine (I hadn’t quite come to terms with the fact I wouldn’t be practicing in hospital anymore).
I completed my Diploma from the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology while I was doing my obstetrics and gynaecology rotation in GPST1 in 2017. I also had a community psychiatry placement that I really enjoyed with Dr Mohan who was an inspirational tutor at the Royal Oldham Hospital. I then went on to do paediatric and genitourinary medicine(GUM) jobs in my GPST2 year and finally completed my training in August of 2019.
Since then, the opportunities have been endless. I have worked as a Medical Registrar, been a salaried GP in Heywood and worked as a GP specialist in HIV and GUM in North Manchester General Hospital. The GUM/HIV job was offered based on my time spent as an ST2 and it added significant variety to my week.
I then returned to Issa Medical Centre to do my FY2 rotation in the the hope that they would want me to work for them. Fortunately, they subsequently expanded and needed a clinical lead GP to manage a practice of theirs in Preston (separate to their own surgery). One thing led to the next and I’m now the Clinical lead at this branch where I’m responsible for a surgery that has 15,000 patients and I absolutely love it.