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This week students in the High Achievers Academy were visited by Jane Anderson, who works as a Consultant Physician and Director at the Centre for the Study of Sexual Health and HIV.

Jane attended Cirencester Grammar School before becoming a part of the first cohort of comprehensive students at Cirencester Deer Park School. With a view of going to medical school, Jane studied A-levels in Physics, Biology, and Chemistry.

Jane said “We had a ball; it was a very happy sixth form. We had an open invite to the Royal Agricultural University’s discos.”

After initially being rejected from medical school for failing A-level Physics, Jane re-sat her A-levels at Cheltenham Tech.  By the time Jane was accepted into medical school, she had completed a BSC in Human Nutrition and a PHD in Vitamin Metabolism at Queen Elizabeth University.

When she qualified in 1981, Jane quickly became immersed in the world of HIV and Aids. “It was a really interesting experience; a lot of doctors were really scared of it.” Said Jane, “So I found that I was meeting a lot of wacky and interesting people because they were the only ones not afraid, it was a good experience.”

Jane gave the High Achievers Academy an inspiring talk about her route to medical school and her extensive career; focusing on the work she has done for the HIV and Aids pandemic, and whether it had an influence on the Covid 19 pandemic.

Jane said “I would tell students of today to go with what they’re interested in, what gets you out of bed in the morning. You need to be doing something that makes you happy, it’s so important. Also, to look at the wider picture, do your research because you can take your interests into any area, it’s all about finding those connections. Being inquisitive is also so important, I can’t imagine anyone ever refusing to answer a question, so have the confidence to ask.”

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