UCLan student escapes abusive relationship to achieve dream of becoming a doctor

Posted on - 10th July, 2024 - 12:17pm | Author - | Posted in - Education, Health, Longridge, Preston News, Proud Preston, UCLan
Stephanie Bowie-McIntosh hopes to use her experience to help others. Pic: UCLan

A new graduate who has overcome an abusive relationship, sexual harassment and an ADHD diagnosis is looking forward to starting her new career as a doctor.

Stephanie Bowie-McIntosh, who graduated from the University of Central Lancashire this week, has accepted a position as a Year 1 doctor at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust after working in Longridge.

The 30-year-old has used her traumatic personal experiences to fuel her passion for caring for others.

Read more: Cricketer Alex Hartley recognised at University of Central Lancashire graduations

She said: “After leaving an abusive relationship, I realised I had so much more to offer people and wanted to concentrate on caring for people.

“I’ve faced many hurdles and turmoil, and no one can ever prepare you for how you deal with trauma but my lived experience means I know what people are going through at their most vulnerable moments in life and I hope I can leave a lasting impact on them.

“My journey throughout medical school wasn’t smooth sailing. I failed my first year due to a mixture of events and traumas, including endometriosis surgery, but the School of Medicine staff supported me and kept me going.

“It was difficult entering Year 3 as I had massive imposter syndrome and I felt a little out of place, but the staff are like family and they genuinely wanted the best for me so again they kept pushing me.

“After facing many hurdles, fatigue and exhaustion I was diagnosed with ADHD in my third year, which explained so much, and with support I was able to get myself on the best track and excel in a clinical environment.”

Stephanie, who is dyslexic, didn’t initially achieve the required grades to study medicine as an undergraduate. She therefore decided to move from Scotland to Preston to study for a three-year BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy degree and she followed that up with a one-year MSc (Hons) Sports Medicine course.

She worked as a graduate sports therapist at Bowland Health, in Longridge, and for Athletes’ Angels but she still had a burning passion to study on the university’s five-year Medicine and Surgery (MBBS) programme.

Going into medicine as a postgraduate meant she had no access to funding from Student Finance England so had to combine her intensive studies with full-time employment.

The former British Army Reservist said: “It was pretty difficult as I didn’t qualify for any further funding which frequently impacted my mental health and ability to study. I had to rely on the support of my fiancé Dave and full-time work, which really forced me to find a way to balance the demands of work, study and life.”

Read more: Steve Pemberton, Mandip Gill and Alex Hartley to be honoured by UCLan

Stephanie, who was the first in her immediate family to go to university, added: “If I can do it, then genuinely anyone can and people should never doubt their capabilities.

”There is a big responsibility with this job but I’m excited and really looking forward to starting my career as a doctor. I am really inspired to be part of the next generation of healthcare providers and to be able to do the job I’ve worked so hard towards is fantastic. I can’t wait to be able to provide for my local community.”

Stephanie was among 4,000 graduates who donned their academic cap and gowns in the University’s Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre.

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