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The University of Southampton

Laura Brophy, Ellen Williams BM5

Laura Brophy, Ellen Williams's Photo

I’ve had a fantastic time at Southampton and made incredible friends who I will take with me for the rest of my life. Throw yourself into everything you can, especially for those first few years.

Ellen Williams and Laura Brophy are the first medics in their families and have both enjoyed their experience at the University of Southampton. At 2019 Graduation they each received the Faculty of Medicine Dean’s Prize in recognition of overall contribution to the BM Programmes and the Faculty of Medicine.

Laura said: “I’ve loved my time at Southampton. I’ve been here five years and every year has been different, with so much to learn. I came to one of the open days and was really impressed with the campus – it was really sunny and so green. The fact that you get to meet and work with patients in year one, is something that really appealed to me – it’s what really sold it to me. It’s so important to get early clinical experience. I had so many years sat in a class room, I was ready to talk to patients and get out there. If you talk to the doctors in the hospital, they say Southampton students are great at speaking to patients and I think that’s because you get so much time with patients from the first days on the course.”

Ellen said the length of the course’s elective blocks was something that really stood out to her when looking at where to study Medicine. She added: “Our fourth year was a particular highlight as we experienced many different specialities including neurology, ENT, dermatology and ophthalmology. It was very well organised and put together and I feel I got a really strong grounding in all the subjects we did.”

Both Laura and Ellen spent time in Sri Lanka to experience another healthcare system as well as take part in extra curricula activities on campus. Laura was part of the University dance team and competed in various competitions while Ellen played Badminton for the University. They were both part of the MedSoc committee.

Laura said: “My advice to future students would be to ‘go for it’. Don’t let people put you off. Lots of people talk about how hard Medicine is and how long it is – and they’re right, but if you’re doing the right subjects at school, then go for it. It’s hard work but it’s very rewarding and you’ll meet some amazing people.”

Ellen said: “I’ve had a fantastic time at Southampton and made incredible friends who I will take with me for the rest of my life. Throw yourself into everything you can, especially for those first few years. You do have time to go and do things outside of Medicine and it makes your university experience so much better. Medicine is hard, but you do have time to do other things.”

Laura added: “The Southampton course is excellent and put me in good stead for my future career. There are so many different specialities to try as well as extra skills sessions like communications and conflict resolution – which are just as important as the academic side of the course. I’ve also really enjoyed being in the South for my degree. It’s such a beautiful part of the world.”

Parents quotes

Kevin Brophy, Laura’s father, said: “We are all so very proud of Laura. Looking at the joy of youth at graduation, is really lovely to see. Laura was passionate about Medicine from the word go and she has lots of skills that resonate with being a doctor. I did say to her that it will be a long course of study, but she embraced it happily. She has worked hard to get here today. The support network is so important during a course like Medicine, you get through it together.”

Simon Williams, Ellen’s father, said: “It’s a very proud day. It’s amazing to get to this point and it’s been long and hard. Ellen is the first medic in the family, but we were not surprised as she wanted it for some time and worked very hard to get here. Southampton has been a great university. Ellen has been able to see Medicine in the round here and see all the various different aspects of it and she’s been well supported as well by the university and by friends. It’s been a great experience.”

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