Neuroscience graduate, Abbie Tutt, tells us about her journey to become a Junior Doctor

University of Central Lancashire Neuroscience graduate, Abbie Tutt, has excelled in her field and is now a Junior Doctor, working for the NHS.

After graduating from UCLan, Abbie, who came to UCLan via Clearing, gained a place at a prestigious medical school and completed her studies during the time when the world was going through the Coronavirus pandemic, which she said "gave her vital experience."

Since Abbie read a teenage neuroscience book when she was 13, her love for neuroscience grew. Abbie wanted to find out more about what makes our brains work and how things can go wrong. From this young age, she knew that one day she wanted to treat those with brain injuries.

Abbie gained a place on the School of Psychology course through the Clearing process after deciding to study at the University of Central Lancashire, because she liked the idea of the University being a mix of campus and city centre living. Abbie was also keen to use the brain imaging facility at the University.

Looking back on her time at University, Abbie made the most of her time, actively taking part in campus life. She was a Student Ambassador and got involved in many activities such as the drama society, science outreach, working in the Young Scientist Centre and at the Lancashire Science Festival.

Speaking about her course, Abbie said: “One memorable experience was getting to shadow a neurosurgeon for two weeks in the second year of my degree in which I saw a human brain for the very first time. That moment has stayed with me throughout as I hope to pursue this career. I only managed to secure this as I was studying Neuroscience so I was incredibly grateful to be studying at UCLan at that point.”

Following graduation, Abbie was delighted to get a place at Warwick Medical School to study a four-year course in graduate entry Medicine.

Abbie Tutt, BSc (Hons) Neuroscience
Abbie Tutt, BSc (Hons) Neuroscience

Abbie’s studies and placement were impacted when the Coronavirus pandemic hit. At the start of the outbreak, Abbie was withdrawn from placement and deployed to a local hospital to help out with patients who were Covid-19 negative. Her role mainly consisted of doing cannulas, making cups of tea, taking patient histories and carrying out examinations.

Abbie explained: “It was nice to have the chance to chat with patients who were not allowed to have family members in with them who just needed a bit of reassuring”. Alongside her shifts at the hospital, Abbie took a different approach to her studies and decided to give herself smaller daily targets, which she found more manageable given the exceptional circumstances.

When asked if she has any advice for current students and graduates, Abbie said: “Take every opportunity that comes your way and if none come your way go and find them. Try and seek out opportunities that will help you with what you want to do in life.”

Abbie continued: “Taking a big step can be scary, but when you start you will realise just how far you’ve come and how much better you will make yourself. I would always recommend tailoring your degree to things that interest you by picking the modules you find most exciting.”

Abbie is still close to her friends who she met at UCLan and during lockdown they held a pub quiz in honour of their favourite Preston pub.