Dr Nicola Strickland
MA Hons (Oxon) BM BCh FRCP FRCR
President of the Royal College of Radiologists Dr Nicola Strickland is President of the Royal College of Radiologists and Consultant Radiologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London. Nicola initially trained in natural sciences and toyed with becoming a wildlife conservation worker. Her fascination was such that she had a brush with nature when on holiday with a friend in 1999.
or ‘poison guava’ by the locals was from the manchineel tree, regarded by many as the most dangerous tree in the world. Both lived to tell the tale, and in fact, Nicola published her experience in a letter in The British Medical Journal in 2000. Nicola later qualified in medicine from the University of Oxford and chose a career in radiology, which she describes as a wide-ranging, fast-moving high-tech discipline. She trained at the Hammersmith Hospital in London and was appointed Consultant Clinical Radiologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust with radiological interests in imaging informatics, respiratory and oncological cross-sectional imaging. With extensive board level experience, Nicola has held many national and international leadership roles: she was President of the European Imaging Informatics Society EuroPACS; the panEuropean Society of Radiology; and the Radiological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. Being a fluent French speaker, she was also President of the Anglo-French Medical Society for six years. Nicola was Registrar of the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) and established and Chaired the UK Imaging Informatics Special Interest Group of the RCR. Nicola has organised numerous national, and international radiological academic meetings, and courses. Her top management tip is to limit unnecessary bureaucracy, management speak and pointless administration. “Always advocate what is best ultimately for the healthcare of the patient,” she says. She has learnt that ‘having a go at something’, which is totally beyond one’s capabilities is not just fun and bravado, but can have very serious and lasting adverse consequences for oneself and others. She recounts the time she was going down a black ski run, as a novice skier, and without the faintest idea of how to ski moguls, when the green run she intended to take from the summit was closed. Nicola sustained serious back and knee injuries as a result of a high-speed fall, ruined her holiday and caused herself significant pain and disability for a long time. She eventually had a discectomy and now advocates that “there is no shame in admitting that one has not acquired the skills to do something.” Along the idyllic tropical beaches of the Caribbean, Nicola and her friend found a sweet-smelling green fruit that looked like small crab-apples. Nicola had a bite and encouraged her friend to do the same. Within moments, both experienced a peppery, burning feeling associated with tightness in the throat and eventually, they could barely swallow. The fruit commonly called ‘beach apple’
* Favourite Film: Ratatouille for being superbly animated and has a happy ending * Three objects Nicola cannot live without: My daily disposable contact lenses (& varifocal glasses), Phone, My light, all terrain, cross-country trainers
Nicola’s advice to junior doctors is “Whatever the political environment, or the difficulties in your professional job, doing your daily work to the best of your ability under the circumstances, will help patients and make a positive difference to their lives. This is why you went into medicine in the first place. It means you can respect yourself.”
Published on Apr 26, 2017
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