Warwick Medical School
PRESENTING AWARD TO WARWICK MEDICAL SCHOOL’S HIGHEST ACHIEVING STUDENT
Dr James Sweatman has been presented with a prestigious award by the WPH Charitable Trust after being named the highest achieving graduate at Warwick Medical School this year.
James received the H Singh Award after gaining the highest results across the board in his medical degree.
It comes despite James making a conscious decision to graduate early so he could join the national effort against Covid-19. The 32-year-old now works full time at St George’s Hospital in London where he is working in acute medicine on rotation as part of his foundation course.
James said his winning of the H Singh award came as a great surprise.
He learned of his success while at home with his parents in London during lockdown. The family were watching TV when messages of congratulations started to pour in from friends.
James said: “I couldn’t believe it. I was terrified when I joined medical school. My background was in history and I had no A Levels in science at all, so I had been worried I wouldn’t even pass the first year exams.
“Every step of the way through medical school I’ve always been pleased to simply pass my exams, so to then go on to win the H Singh award was the icing on the cake. I am immensely honoured and particularly proud as the prize is for overall performance rather than focusing on one particular area.”
After graduating in history from the University of Warwick in 2006 James worked in various roles, including marketing, PR and management consulting.
James said although historically there had been no plans to go into medicine, he eventually ended up following in his parents’ footsteps. His father was a consultant who earned a scholarship to study at Barts in London while his mother moved to the UK from Malaysia to work as a theatre nurse.
Having become dissatisfied with working in the City, James asked his medical father if he could do a day’s work experience.
James said: “Working alongside my father changed everything. I think he saw that I could be good at this and I started to fall in love with the job itself.”
He added: “I am delighted to have come so far. I met a lot of great people who I know will make exceptional doctors – not just because of their knowledge but also because of their empathy and compassion. To study alongside them and then to receive such recognition through this award has been a real honour.”
The WPH Charitable Trust sponsors the award in memory of Harjinder Singh – a former trustee highly regarded by his peers.
Harjinder – or ‘H’ – first came to the UK in 1960.
Upon his arrival he was unable to speak English, but with sheer hard work and determination he learned the language fluently and excelled in his academic studies.
Harjinder was interviewed to study biochemistry at Oxford University and went on to achieve a Masters degree in biochemistry at St Peter’s College.
Harjinder was invited on to the WPH Charitable Trust’s board of trustees after quickly and efficiently resolving an investment issue. He remained a member until his sudden death in 2015.
The WPH Charitable Trust provides funding for individuals, groups and organisations which work to prevent, relieve and cure sickness in Coventry and Warwickshire.
As well as three financial bursaries a year to Warwick Medical School students, the Trust provides grants for medical research, buildings, equipment and other forms of medical care for residents of the region. All applications are made via the Trust’s website and are assessed on a quarterly basis.