BSc Computing for Health and Medical Sciences
Following an opportunity provided through the School of Medicine Steve spent a summer working in Washington State, in the USA. This helped him develop a range of skills and knowledge which helped when he produced a poster for a conference, which was spotted by a firm of consultants who got in touch to arrange an interview.
What is your name and current occupation?
Steve Box. Employed by Medical Mosaic Ltd as a Consultancy Product Coordinator
What did you study at Leeds?
BSc Computing for Health and Medical Sciences – an interdisciplinary degree programme.
Describe your role
My role currently involves research to familiarise myself with the ways in which Medical Mosaic supports areas such as pathology, while also becoming familiar with the consultancy tools they use to offer such a service. I am also working towards the development of our consultancy products and will soon be providing frontline consultancy work alongside more experienced colleagues.
As well as working for clients I have a responsibility to manage some internal projects, whether it is to improve workflow or efficiency.
What did you do whilst studying that helped pave the way into your chosen career?
My academic university work in health informatics partly supported my success in being offered my current role at MML. However, I also worked part-time for 18 months at the Yorkshire Centre for Health Informatics (YCHI) (part of Leeds Institute of Health Sciences (LIHS)) and spent the summer of 2008 in Washington State, US working for Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories (PAML). YCHI gave me the opportunity to develop organisational skills as well as gaining hands on experience with technologies that directly related to my course. PAML was an experience that opened my eyes to the United States and the American healthcare system; this resulted in further opportunity to develop a conference poster that compared IT in UK and US pathology laboratories.
Medical Mosaic Ltd spotted this poster at a health informatics conference in early 2009; they contacted me shortly after and further discussion lead to the arrangement of an interview.
How the research content and practical experience came together
The research developed my awareness of some of the fundamental problems in healthcare that informatics is addressing, the experience in an American pathology lab provided firsthand experience of where these problems exist and the resolutions which medical and IT staff are trying to put in place. The two came together and were clearly visible in the research poster which demonstrated the practicalities of laboratory technology problems and a mixture of research that lead to outcomes and helped to identify problems.
What skills and attributes did you develop as part of your course?
I gained experience in a variety of working methods- group work, presentations, and individual (at home and in a university lab). I developed my time management and report writing skills. The degree provided a strong foundation for my career.
The skills that attracted my employer were in core consultancy, such as evaluation with clients, developed as part of my final year project.
What advice would you have for students studying today?
Ensure you study something you enjoy and persevere to gain experience that counts for something towards your discipline. Organisations are looking for a team player and a sense of confidence in your ability, make the most of university to bring out these skills.