F3 Stories Podcast: Dr Shona Johnston
Welcome to the F3 Stories Podcast by Messly. This podcast shares the stories, adventures, and wisdom of doctors who've taken an F3 Year and hopefully, inspire you to create the F3 Year of your dreams.
You can catch up on all of our previous episodes by visiting our F3 Stories Podcast Hub.
In this episode, we speak to Dr Shona Johnston who is currently a post-CCT paediatrician living in the Netherlands.
🎧 Listen here
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🔎 About Shona
Shona Johnston is a post-CCT Paediatrician who has taken a winding and unpredictable route to consultancy. Over the course of her career, she has held a number of non-training roles including overseas work with NGOs, clinical fellowships, and teaching roles, as well as working for herself and becoming a personal coach for healthcare professionals. Shona is an expert in taking time out of training and also in helping doctors transition back into the NHS after extended periods of time off work or out of training. She has spoken at conferences on the topic of supporting doctors’ return to training, and has helped shaped the Health Education England guidance on the topic.
Shona’s medical career started rather conventionally in the UK, but part-way through a Paediatric training post in Oxford, she decided to leave her training post, and the NHS to fulfill her lifelong ambition to work in Africa. She spent 12 months in Sierra Leone working at the only children’s hospital in the country.
✅ Topics discussed
In this episode, Shona shares her experiences in Sierra Leone and the highs and lows of working overseas for an NGO.
This episode also includes:
👉 Why Shona decided to leave training and work in Sierra Leone
👉 Why Shona delayed her time out of training until after starting specialty training.
👉 What her expectations were for Sierra Leone, versus the reality of working in a resource-poor country.
👉 Who worked with Shona at the paediatric hospital and what her duties were.
👉 What it felt like to work in a resource-poor country and how she coped with the emotional struggles of the job.
👉 What she enjoyed most about her time in Sierra Leone and how the experience changed her as a person and a professional.
👉 The one piece of advice she would give to other junior doctors thinking about working with an NGO.
🛠️ Useful links
👉 Learn more about the organisation Shona worked through here: https://www.vsointernational.org/
👉 Read Shona’s blog posts from her year in Sierra Leonne here: www.shonajohnston.blogspot.com
👉 Check out Shona’s coaching website here: www.drshonajohnstoncoaching.com and here: www.facebook.com/shonajohnstoncoaching
👉 Reach out to Shona about her interview and experiences in Sierra Leone here: email@example.com
This article is part of a wider series of comprehensive guides and information to help doctors ensure their F3 year is a success. We cover everything from initial planning, options for moving abroad, help with finding work, and tips for making the most of the experience.
Click here to visit our F3 Resource Hub to explore the full list of guides and articles.
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