Summer Student 2023 Interview Columb Kavanagh

What’s your name?
Answer: Columb Kavanagh

Where are you from?
Answer: I’m from Naas in County Kildare but studying medicine in Trinity College Dublin.

Why did you pick medicine as a career?
Answer: I chose medicine as my career because I’ve always been into science, fascinated by the human body, and love helping people. Therefore, I suppose it was the best way to score a triple win. I get to satisfy my scientific curiosity, dive deep into the intricacies of the human body, and make a positive impact on people’s lives.

Why did you choose the Diabetes Collaborative CTN for your summer placement?
Answer: I chose the Diabetes Collaborative CTN for my summer placement because I recently completed a masters (health care infection management) in college where we touched on some aspects related to clinical trials. I’ve also been really interested in endocrinology since doing physiology in my first year of medicine, the interaction between the professor teaching and the patients was very positive. It was also great to see how much of a positive effect it had on the patients. Endocrinology has also been interesting as it also to explore the delicate balance involved in maintaining the bodies equilibrium, and the consequences this has to result in human disease if this balance is thrown off. It feels like an exciting moment to get involved in such groundbreaking research, as their efforts not only hold the potential to transform our understanding of diabetes but also pave the way for innovative treatments and a brighter future for patients with the condition in the future. What sealed the deal for me was the warm and friendly response I received from my supervisors when I reached out to them. They showed genuine interest in me and were enthusiastic about giving me the opportunity to learn and grow

What’s the one thing you wish everyone knew about diabetes?
Answer: The one thing I wish everyone knew about diabetes is that it’s not just about sugar intake. Diabetes is a complex condition that involves multiple considerations for it to be managed optimally. It’s important to understand that individuals with diabetes can lead fulfilling lives with proper management, and support from others can make a world of difference in their journey.

Is this your first time in Galway?
Answer: This isn’t my first time in Galway, but I’ve only visited briefly in the past for two or three days at most. I ran a half-marathon in Connemara two months ago. However, I’ve never actually lived here. Galway is a fantastic city, and I’m really enjoying my time here. It has a completely different atmosphere compared to bustling Dublin, with really pleasant vibes. There’s so much to do and see in Galway, making it an amazing place to explore and have a great time.

What is your project as a Summer Internship?
I am working with Professor Fidelma Dunne and Doctor Christine Newman, they see patients who are pregnant women with diabetes, they regular visit patients and review how they are getting on with their pregnancy and their diabetes. Alongside their clinical duties they are involved in some clinical trials. My job will be to observe some of their clinics with patients, learn doctoring skills, learn more about how trials are introduced to patients and patients are brought on board to a trial.

Ways to relax are important in all careers, what ways do you have to relax?
Answer: I totally agree that ways to relax are crucial in any career. Personally, I find relaxation by being active and getting outdoors. Hiking, running, and sea swimming are my go-to activities for unwinding. As of late, I’ve been enjoying the active side of things here in Galway by exploring Connemara through hiking and swimming. I’ve also been running along the coast some evenings too. It’s been a fantastic way to unwind and immerse myself in the stunning natural beauty of the area. Additionally, I equally find solace in reading and drawing during my downtime, which helps me disconnect and recharge.

Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
Answer: I’m not fully sure yet, it’s still very early in my career but one possibility that excites me down the line is working as a doctor specialising in endocrinology. I envision myself providing passionate care and support to help patients with complex conditions. While doing so, I also hope to be actively involved in clinical trials and to continue collaborating with the CTN to contribute to advancements in the field. The future is full of possibilities!

Where can people find out more about your exciting career?

Answer: You can find more about me on LinkedIn

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