I was inspired by the dedication of some of the doctors I worked with as a senior house officer (SHO). I could see that specialist registrars (SpRs) and consultants were able to get to know their patients well over a long period of time which I thought I would enjoy. I also found the variety of kidney diseases and their treatment very interesting when I learned about them at medical school and for the MRCP exams.
I liked the variety of different ages of patients, the opportunity to look after very ill patients as well as those with long-term kidney problems. The multidisciplinary approach to care and the ability to look after patients in the long-term really appealed to me. I became completely hooked when looking after a particularly memorable patient. She was 20 years old and was admitted with atypical haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS), passed no urine for 6 weeks and was kept alive with dialysis and plasma exchange. She recovered her kidney function and went home with a normal creatinine.
I went on to study the genetics of the disease for my postgraduate doctorate degree (MD) – a small part of a big project which has now led to an effective treatment for HUS which did not exist when I looked after my patient.