For this week’s alumni profie, we spoke to MSc Public Health alumnus, Dr Simon Cathcart. Simon is a public health consultant and president of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH); he studied at the School in 2001 as part of the UK public health specialist training programme.
Why did you decide to study at LSHTM?
The course is included in the training programme, and i was living in London at the time so very convenient for me. I had previously completed the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Liverpool so this gave me the opportunity to compare and contrast; both are wonderful is all I can say.
What challenges did you face while studying at LSHTM? How did you overcome them?
My first child had recently arrived so trying to keep up with the academic as well as social side was a challenge. Cycling and good coffee helped.
How has your degree at LSHTM helped you in your career?
Learning how to study, make friends and influence people. The library was a wonderful place to sit and reflect on life. I have always been interested in travel and international health so the School was a perfect place to develop my skills and experience.
Were the relationships you formed at LSHTM useful – in what way?
I attended the ASTMH alumni reception in November 2016. My connections with LSHTM are a continued part of my work in public health and with RSTMH. Two of our trustees currently come from the School and last year Professor Peter Piot was awarded the Society’s most prestigous medal in honour of Sir Patrick Manson (a figurehead of both LSHTM and RSTMH).
What has been the greatest achievement or proudest moment in your career?
Becoming president of the RSTMH, that and having my first child!
What do you hope to further achieve in your field in the future?
As president of RSTMH my ambition is to see the Society grow and form stronger links with LSHTM, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and other learned institutes worldwide.
What advice would you give to current students?
Get a bike, see London and study when you need to, oh and join the RSTMH as a student – it’s minimal cost and maximum benefit!
Main image courtesy of Dr Simon Cathcart; feature image courtesy of the RSTMH.
Would you like to share your experience of studying at the School on the Alumni Blog?
Whether you did a short course, studied distance learning, graduated last year or years ago, we would love to hear from you!
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