Working as a physio in a relatively deprived part of London and at the CSP fuelled Sebastien Baugh’s ambitions to make his mark in his chosen field.
Making an impact in public health
Tell us about your new post
I am a speciality registrar in public health, working towards becoming a consultant. The five-year training programme combines academic training, service experience and skills-based training, including placements with organisations such as Public Health England and Health Education England. I currently divide my time between working with a local authority and studying for a Masters in public health.
How did you get into the field?
Working as a physio really sparked my interest in public health. Following my rotations, I specialised in musculoskeletal disorders and worked in an inner city borough in London borough that had high levels of deprivation, and was sited on the doorstep of some of the most affluent areas in the city. The wider determinants of health were affecting my patient’s outcomes, in some cases more than I could help them, and I wanted to know how I could influence this through preventive work.
Following a year-long stint at the CSP as a professional adviser, I moved to a post with a clinical commissioning group. I worked closely with communities to address some of the health challenges they faced locally. It was fascinating to see the impact these communities and organisations could have on health outcomes. I would like to think that my previous experience at the CSP and elsewhere supported my application to join the public health training programme.
What do you hope to achieve?
Over the next five years, I’d like to establish myself in my new career and develop skills to enable me to make a difference. I’m looking forward to working in a range of public health settings to support this. Ultimately, in the long term, I’d hope to make an impact at a population level, improving health and reducing health inequalities. I hope this in turn plays some part in reducing the burden placed on health and care services.
Should other CSP members seek out new roles?
Yes, I think physios are well placed to move into broader public health roles, especially with our knowledge of working with a wide range of people. Given the importance that the Five Year Forward View places on prevention and public health in England, it’s likely that there will be more and more opportunities for members to seek out such roles over time.
However, whether it’s public health or any other role, I believe that being passionate about your chosen career path is one of the most important factors when looking to move.
How does your physiotherapy background help in your new role?
Having clinical experience is invaluable to be able to contextualise some of the most pertinent public health issues. For example, understanding the impact falls have on people’s lives, through working in hospital wards, gave me an additional perspective when taking into account financial implications to health and care services.
Developing core skills in communication, team working and problem solving, for example, are ingrained in us as physios. These skills gave me the building blocks to seek further opportunities outside the profession. I find that the combination of my clinical and non-clinical experience has stood me in good stead and prepared me well for my public health role.
Did your stint at the CSP help you to think ‘outside the box’?
Working at the CSP prepared me for a career outside of a full-time clinical job. I developed skills and experienced non-clinical situations that I would not have been exposed to without this experience. I think it also helped to assure me that physiotherapists bring value to any role that we take on – even if it isn’t necessarily what we trained for at university.
Any new year resolutions?
I’ve just moved from London to Birmingham for the public health programme. Birmingham is said to have a larger canal network than Venice and hope to explore and make the most of them on my bike. fl
- Sebastien Baugh is a speciality registrar in public health in Worcester
AuthorFrontline and Sebastien Baugh
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