Student editors: what happened next?
They take a year out of medical school to edit the magazine, but what happens when they put the pen down and pick up their stethoscope? The second in the series is Deborah Cohen.
“You’ve gone from being amongst the most respected members of society to the gutter,” my mother informed me when I announced my intention to quit clinical medicine for full-time journalism. But I rather enjoyed the gutter—a point not lost on my journalist friends at university whose careers I was far more interested in than my own. I had finally found a career where you were paid to talk on the phone.
So I persuaded the medical school dean to allow me to intercalate in journalism, finished my medical degree, and then edited the Student BMJ for two years (2003-5) rather than one. Although I enjoyed commissioning and editing, it was the opportunities that came from working for the BMJ that were particularly exciting.
As well as work experience on BBC’s Horizon, I managed to wangle press trips to the West Bank to report on Palestinian healthcare and Northern Kenya to