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Head Girl: Jill Adams OW 1981

8th January 2024

Tell us a little about your time at King Edward's Witley?

It all seems a long time ago and everything seemed so certain then!

I was at King Edwards from 1978-1981, in Queen’s House (Q31!).

I enjoyed school and it was great to live and be educated with people from many different places and backgrounds, and I particularly value the friends I made, and still have. I will also always appreciate how much King Edward’s opened my eyes to the world, with so many going off to such far flung places during the holidays. I have been lucky to be able travel widely myself since. I enjoyed many of the other opportunities available at school, in particular the amazing grand pianos in the music school, and singing in the chapel choir. I have sung in in choral societies in various places since.

Being Head Girl was a surprise, privilege and also a challenge. It was a great opportunity, although uncomfortable at times.

What did life after school hold?

I knew I wanted to be a doctor from an early age. It did make school easier knowing what I needed to study and I was totally focused on that goal. After leaving King Edward’s I went St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School in London. During my medical training I intercalated for a year at University College, studying anatomy and physical anthropology, which was fascinating and I loved the detailed study into comparative functional and evolutionary anatomy and human evolution.

At university, I was a member of the ‘Barts Alpine Club’ which took me to the tops of many mountains in England, Wales and Scotland, and ultimately led me to do my GP training in North Cumbria and the Lake District, a place I still love. I have had a varied career as a GP since in Cumbria, Birmingham (where I was a Clinical Research Fellow in the Department of Primary Care at the University Medical School and did a Master’s Medical Ethics and Law), Surrey and for the past 20 years, West Sussex. In addition to clinical practice, I have worked in education (Training new GPs and teaching medical students at various stages of pre- and clinical training) and been a member of a Research Ethics committee (where we scrutinise any research involving human participants to protect their rights, safety, dignity and wellbeing). I have never regretted choosing medicine and still love it and find it endlessly interesting, and a privilege, although I am currently in the process of retiring from it. I have not yet decided what to do next!

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