James Rodwell

MA History of Medicine, 2017

James Rodwell

Coming to Brookes was one of the best decisions I have made, and the whole university experience has been second to none

James came to Brookes to study the history of medicine after a number of years working as a classroom assistant in a further education college. He now plans to pursue a career in the ambulance service.

Many years ago I considered joining the ambulance service but failed to gain the necessary qualifications when I was in school. Eventually, I chose history as my academic path, although I could never quite get the interest in medicine out of my system. When the opportunity came along to enrol on a postgraduate course in the History of Medicine I naturally pursued it.

Coming to Brookes was one of the best decisions I have made, and the whole university experience has been second to none. The guidance I received from my tutors enabled me to secure a merit grade for both my dissertation and my overall degree.

My main research project focussed on the advancement of neurosurgery in the treatment of head injuries from the 1930’s onwards, and how this has contributed to the development of modern-day Accident and Emergency Medicine. I also researched the development of anaesthesia, and how the different chemicals and application methods have changed over time.

I suffer from Asperger Syndrome and what really surprised me about Brookes was how supportive and accommodating both my tutors and the student support teams have been.

My experience at Brookes has rekindled my interest in pursuing a career with the ambulance service. Whilst studying I attended an open day at the South Central Ambulance Service Headquarters in Bicester. I had a chat with one of the training officers and she advised me that the best way to pursue the career would be to start off in a technician role with the intention of eventually progressing to paramedic status. On top of that, one night while I was having a cup of coffee in Brookes’ Café Central I ended up having a conversation with a student paramedic, which really helped me realise that this is the career I want to pursue.

When my time comes I would really like to return to Oxford Brookes to commence my paramedic training, as I am confident that the support and encouragement I have already received as a student here will continue.