Doctor Paige battling COVID-19 on the front line thanks to Coventry University Clearing stepping stone

Paige Kendall Duckenfield

Paige Kendall Duckenfield

University news / Alumni news

Tuesday 18 August 2020

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Paige Kendall Duckenfield thought her dreams of becoming a doctor had been dashed when she entered Clearing but after gaining a place at Coventry University she is now a doctor saving lives in the NHS.

Paige did not get the A level results needed to study medicine in 2012 but after speaking to the Clearing team at Coventry she was offered a new path to keep that dream alive.

Upon graduating with a first-class honours degree from Coventry University in Medical and Pharmacological Sciences in 2016, she was accepted onto the Graduate Entry Medicine degree at Nottingham University.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Paige’s medical career has started earlier than planned and she wanted to let the current crop of school leavers know that A level disappointment does not have to stand in the way of your career goals.

When I didn’t get the grades I wanted at A level I thought it was the end of the world!

But the Clearing call handler at Coventry helped calm me down, reminded me that my grades weren’t bad at all and took me through all of the courses they could offer that could help me towards my goal.

They knew about my interest in medicine and knew that ultimately that was what I wanted to do and so they suggested Medical and Pharmacological Sciences.

I felt like that is what suited me best and they did everything they could to support me and took me step by step through the clearing process in order to provide me with my course offer.

Now I’m doing the job I always dreamed of!

Paige Kendall Duckenfield

For Paige, the three-year study at Coventry and moving away from home helped her become independent and set her up for what has been a challenging start to life in medicine.

My course at Coventry was research focused, evidence-based and taught me how to study. Plus, the university experience gave me room to become my own person, learn to live independently and have plenty of fun at the same time.

It set me up perfectly for life and my medical degree and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Becoming a doctor a few months early has been scary but invaluable as I didn’t have the ‘official’ first day feeling quite as terrifying it was for some of the new doctors.

It is hard and tiring but I’m glad I can help. That is why I came into this job. To help people.

Paige Kendall Duckenfield

She now wants to use her research background to push towards becoming a heart surgeon.

The course itself set me up for a medicine degree really well.

My thesis research project was based on methods to help prevent the toxic effect that chemotherapy can have on heart cells. I had the opportunity to work under the supervision of Professor Helen Maddock, the founder of InoCardia out of Coventry University, which was an amazing opportunity.

For the first time ever, I thought that if I did not get into medicine, I had found a career option I could love which was really comforting. Before then I couldn’t and wouldn’t see any other option, which isn’t a healthy mindset to have.

I want to keep using my skills in research in order to further my medical career and benefit my future patients.

I’m still very much of the mind-set of doing cardiac surgery and I couldn’t have got where I am today without the amazing support I found at Coventry University.

I’d particularly like to thank my then course director Dr Graham Shelton-Rayner and personal tutor Dr Ellen Hatch.

Paige Kendall Duckenfield

If you have been inspired by Paige’s story and want to join Coventry University call our Clearing hotline on: +44 (0)24 7688 8888 or visit our clearing page.