Who are the speakers?

Improve Your Chances of Becoming a Doctor

Speakers from previous events include:

Dr Brenda Cross, Admissions Tutor for MBBS, UCL Medical School


Dr Brenda Cross is the Faculty Tutor responsible for admissions to, and progression through, the medical degree programme at the Royal Free and University College Medical School of UCL where she is also a Sub-Dean (Student Support and Welfare). She graduated in 1972 with a degree in Nutrition and Physiology. She acted as a freelance nutritionist and ran one of the first vegetarian restaurants before becoming a research assistant at Imperial College. She lectures in physiology and obtained her PhD in the neural control of breathing in 1978. She worked at the Max Planck Institute in Germany for some months and later became a Senior Lecturer in Physiology at UCL. Brenda has been involved with medical education for over 26 years and in student selection for medical and biological science courses for over 17 years.


Mr David Gaunt, Consultant

Mr David Gaunt

Mr David Gaunt qualified in 1987 from the Middlesex Hospital Medical School. He worked in the West Midlands, and then London. He specialised in Surgery, and qualified finally in 1996. Since 1992, his special interest has been in Accident and Emergency medicine. He is also keenly interested in anaesthetics. He completed six months as a Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Registrar so you may have seen him in the skies above London flying in the Virgin Helicopter. He is now a Consultant and manages the Accident and Emergency department of Watford General Hospital, the Minor Injuries Unit at St Albans City Hospital, the Urgent Care Centre at Hemel Hempsted General Hospital, and his most recent acquisition – a 120 bed Acute Admissions Unit at Watford – the largest in the country.  David has a daughter and four sons. His interests include computers and photography.


Dr Chris Beet, Specialty Registrar in Intensive Care Medicine

Chris graduated from Leicester Medical School in 2007 and competed his initial training in the East Midlands before moving to East Anglia for further training in emergency care. He is now half way through his training in Intensive Care Medicine in the West Midlands. He currently works at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham which houses one of the largest intensive care units in Europe. At the age of 33 he is still a ‘junior doctor’.

Chris has an interest in both medical education and medical leadership and his research interests include needs assessment for healthcare training and improving patient safety and quality of care. In his spare time Chris is a keen Lego builder and can often be seen cheering on Leicestershire County Cricket Club (well someone has to!). He lives in Leicester with his partner and their guinea pigs.


Mr Alexander Woollard, The Royal Free Hospital

Mr Alexander Woollard

Facial palsy is caused by numerous factors, affecting all ages. Most patients recover, those that don’t are left with a permanent disability. Speech, eating and eye-closure are all affected which leads to permanent dental and eye damage, awkward social interaction and can affect development in children.

Surgical reconstruction is an option. This involves nerve and muscle transfers to restore function. Even then outcomes remain variable; why this variability remains is unclear. Our research aims to understand how nerves reform their connections to muscles. This knowledge will improve outcomes for out patients, reducing disability and improving quality of life.

Dr Will Bentley, Senior House Officer

Will qualified from the University of Manchester, before undertaking his Foundation jobs at North Manchester General Hospital. During this time he covered a variety of specialities, including Gastroenterology, Psychiatry, Colorectal Surgery, General Practice, Accident and Emergency and ENT. He then started to specialise in a career in Ear Nose and Throat because, as he says,  “I like ears”.

  At present he is training to become a GP. He has a love of teaching and working with students applying to medicine for the first time. Despite this he still finds time for his love of music.


Dr Gordon Dent, Director of Admissions (Undergraduate Medicine), Keele University

Director of AdmissionsDr Gordon Dent is the Director of Undergraduate Medicine Admissions.  He is also a PBL (Problem Based Learning) tutor, Lecturer and Practicals supervisor.  his research interests are Leukocyte cell biology, pathophysiology of asthma and pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Having completed a BSc in Pharmacology at the University of London in 1985, Gordon undertook a part-time PhD at the National Heart & Lung Institute from 1986 to 1991, investigating the receptor- and enzyme-mediated pharmacological regulation of eosinophil activity. In 1991 he moved to the Großhansdorf Institute for Pneumology and Thoracic Surgery in Germany, where he continued to work on the pharmacology and cell biology of leukocytes (eosinophils, neutrophils and macrophages) and respiratory epithelium. He returned to the UK in 1998, taking up a post as Research Fellow – and later Senior Research Fellow – in the Infection, Inflammation & Repair research division at the University of Southampton School of Medicine. Here, he studied the roles of T-lymphocyte, eosinophil and neutrophil chemoattractants in airway secretions in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Gordon moved to Keele in August 2003 as a Lecturer in Pharmacology in the School of Medicine, also undertaking teaching in the Schools of Pharmacy and Life Sciences. He was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2008.


Dr Roger Crystal, Senior House Officer

Roger CrystalDr Crystal began his career as a surgeon in the UK, becoming a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and specialising in ENT surgery, at St Mary’s Hospital, part of Imperial College Healthcare, London. His preregistration house officer jobs included surgery at Stoke-on-Trent hospital, and medicine at Barnet Hospital. Dr Crystal was unschooled in Birmingham and studied medicine at Manchester University after a gap year, including an integrated degree in physiology.  He holds degrees in Medicine and Physiology and was an Honorary Research Fellow at University College London. He is the author of a number of peer-reviewed scientific articles.  Dr Crystal completed an MBA at London Business School, which included experience in investment banking at Goldman Sachs International.  He then spent almost two years in healthcare strategy management consulting at AT Kearney.  He is now the Chief Executive Officer at Lightlake Therapeutics Inc, a London based biopharmaceutical company.


Frances Scott, Careers Adviser

Frances Scott, Careers AdviserFrances graduated from Loughborough University with a first class BSc in Human Biological Sciences. She then worked as a Clinical Cytogeneticist at Northwick Park Hospital and an Immunogeneticist for the Medical Research Council. In 1994 she decided to leave her microscope and became a Careers Adviser for the University of London. She specialised in working with the students in the Life Science and Medical faculties. She assisted them with their career decision-making and job-hunting techniques. She also organised careers events for students of all disciplines. At UCL she worked with the Medical School to set up a scheme to give the students access to qualified doctors for career discussions. She also gave presentations at careers conferences to ‘A’ level students that wanted to study medicine. She continued her interest in Biology by teaching laboratory techniques to Open University students. In 1998 Frances left the Careers Service to manage the graduate recruitment and development schemes at GEC Marconi at Stanmore and in 2000 she set up Epoc Careers & Training, an independent organisation, to provide the Careers Conferences.


Peter Scott, Conference Organiser

Peter Scott, Conference OrganiserPeter has organised careers conferences since July 2000, in which time over 5,000 students have attended our events. For the rest of the year Peter is a Chartered Surveyor, and runs his own small firm specialising in defect diagnosis, surveys, repair / refurbishment projects and party wall matters. Peter occasionally thinks of himself as a doctor for buildings!
Amongst his other interests are playing guitar, reading about science, meeting and eating with friends.


Laura Barr, Conference Assistant

Laura Barr, Careers Conference AssistantLaura (seen here on the left, with her sister) helps out with the conference administration. She studies psychology at Manchester University.






Medical Students – a panel of medical students



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