A chance to save lives

Sophie Woodhead


I remember visiting the gardens at Stowe I when I was around 10 years old and asking if my Granny would provide me with food packages if I ever were to attend. This was all hypothetical at the time, and I would never have dreamt that a few years later I would be starting in the Lower Sixth.

I feel incredibly grateful to have begun my medical journey at Stowe supported by an Academic and Music scholarship along with a significant bursary. I believe that my achievements would not have been possible without the opportunities I received whilst in the Sixth Form.

I studied preclinical medicine at Cambridge University graduating in 2016. During my time at Clare College, I was a Choral Scholar and subsequently became Senior Choral Scholar. Applying to be a Choral Scholar was something that Stowe really encouraged me to do. The support they provided in helping me prepare for both the academic interview and choral audition was exceptional.

After graduating from Cambridge, I undertook clinical medicine at Imperial College London completing my medical degree in 2019. Before starting work I embarked on a 2-month long elective to Vanuatu to support the work of one of the hospitals in the capital, Port Vila.

As a doctor, I have worked at Hillingdon Hospital and St Mary’s Hospital in London, part of the most competitive foundation school in the country. My interest in research was nurtured during my time at Stowe and led me to apply for, and be accepted on, an Academic Foundation Programme where I hope to contribute to research on the impact of Covid-19 on surgery.

I am so proud to have worked in the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic and I am part of a fantastic team of people who work tirelessly to save so many lives. Medicine has given me a privileged glimpse into people’s lives at their most vulnerable point and the chance to make a positive difference every day. This is a position that I might not have been in had it not been for Stowe and I will be forever grateful.