Greetings Divas! It’s time to meet another Professional Diva! Let’s take a quick journey across the Atlantic to meet the Caribbean Princess. CP, or should I say Dr. CP, is a medical doctor and clinical lecturer from Trinidad and Tobago. She is currently working in the South of England where she specializes in Public Health and Epidemiology. She is also the author of a fabulous blog entitled “Musings of a Caribbean Princess,” and the Queen of Filofaxes! We put Dr. CP in the “Haute Seat” to learn more about her and her career. Here’s what she had to say:
Can you give a description of what you do in your current position?
I am a medical doctor and clinical lecturer. My specialty is Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology. Do not confuse epidemiology with dermatology though; the former deals with trends and patterns of disease in human populations, risk factors for disease, etc.; the latter deals with skin problems. My job is varied and very interesting. I have recently started a Ph.D. in Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance, which means I am carrying out studies which focus on the adverse side effects of specific drugs.
Please give a summary of your resume, and how you landed at your current position.
I received my first degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) with Distinction from the University of the West Indies. I have two post-graduate degrees from the University of Oxford (an MSc (Research) in Clinical Medicine/Epidemiology, and an MSc in Global Health). I am a member of the Faculty of Public Health of the Royal College of Physicians in the U.K. Currently, I am on a prestigious National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Ph.D. fellowship worth £251 000. I got both of these positions via really intense interviews! Oh, and I suppose being as amazing and charming during the interview as possible goes a long way. Maybe my Trinidadian accent is helpful?
What professional accomplishment makes you the proudest?
Winning a Rhodes Scholarship in 2003. It changed my life forever and brought me closer to achieving my academic dreams.
What is the one thing you know now that you wished you knew at the beginning of your career?
Not to focus on the detractors/haters, but accept constructive criticism. To not be afraid of failure. Also, to worry less, as with hard work you will succeed and things will work out.
To be themselves, be focused, and be confident, but not arrogant. Also to act as positive role models for women who are coming up the career ladder instead of trying to knock them down. There is room for ALL of us!! Last, dress to impress for yourself! Never look sloppy. Trust me, dressing well sets a good tone for the day.
How do you balance you career with your personal life?
Sometimes I find it difficult to balance both. It helps to be organized and to recognize that fun time or down time is just as important as work deadlines.
What do you do in your spare time?
I have a blog called Musings of a Caribbean Princess, which represents the girly aspects of my character which I may not always be able to show in my work environment. I enjoy blogging and writing helps me unwind from work. I also do scrapbooking and enjoy going out with my wonderful husband and friends. I am a keen shopper and I love all things fashionable and stylish.
Moving away from my home of 24 years (Trinidad and Tobago), and starting a new life in a foreign land (England). It required a lot of courage, which I didn't realize I had. Also meeting my soul mate at Oxford and getting married. My wedding day was one of the happiest days of my life.
Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years, professionally and personally?
Still married to my hubby, possibly with children. I would like to be a well established Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology doing internationally recognized research which makes a difference to people's lives.
|Dr. CP and Her Twin Sister|
I have a slightly offbeat sense of humor from reading too many Mad magazines as a child and training in medicine. I have a fraternal twin sister who has 11 month old fraternal twins, which scares the life out of me! I LOVE FILOFAXES!!
Medical academia is a long drawn out career path and it is important to build a good reputation. It requires very hard work. Although I have to work in a highly pressurized environment I find my career very rewarding.
I don't drink alcohol (gasp!) Sorry. It leaves me with more money for designer handbag and filofax shopping!
I shall leave you with this quote by Theodor Seuss Geisel
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
And my own quote:
“Stay true to yourself, your hopes and dreams and you will be happy.”
Those quotes say it all! Special thanks to Dr. CP for agreeing to be featured in the Diva Spotlight. If you have any question for Dr. CP, please leave her a comment below. Also, be sure to check out her blog Musings of a Caribbean Princess.