From physicist to physician
Mark Howson radically changed career, to general practice
I was lucky in that I managed to move on in my career as a physicist fairly quickly. But when I became a professor I found that the job changed from actually being the one doing the research to more of a leadership role, bringing in grant money, generating ideas, and supervising others. I found it quite difficult thinking about 30 years in front of me in this more strategic role. I wanted to make a big change and take on a new challenge, and doing medicine with its emphasis on working with people, helping others, and learning new skills seemed an attractive option.
At Sheffield there was a group of older students from all sorts of backgrounds— professional musician, vet, ex-paratrooper. For me, in one sense it wasn’t so different—as an academic you’re based in the university, so going to the library, learning with others, being in the lecture