A London-based NHS surgeon who has become a TikTok sensation will be opening a virtual health and social care careers fair hosted by Middlesex University tomorrow in partnership with the local Barnet and Enfield Primary Care hubs.
Dr Karan Rajan has amassed a huge following of more than three million people on the social media platform as he regularly posts informative videos to stop the spread of conspiracy theories and misinformation about COVID-19, science, health and medicine.
One recent viral video saw Dr Rajan explain why making your bed is bad for your health, while in another he reveals how coronavirus vaccines have been developed so quickly.
"The road to success can be paved with momentary failures and disappointments but that makes the end goal even sweeter," Dr Karan Rajan.
Ahead of the careers fair, Dr Rajan, a lecturer at Sunderland University, has spoken about his route into the NHS and passion for his work.
Dr Rajan, 30, said: “I went to Imperial College Medical School and as cliche as it sounds I knew I wanted to do surgery from day one.
“I initially wanted to be an spinal surgeon because when I was younger I had a close family friend with a spinal deformity I wanted to help.
“Thankfully she had surgery well before I became a doctor and as I got exposed to more surgery I fell in love with general surgery.
“The best thing about being a surgeon is having the chance to immediately go in and fix something and provide immediate relief to a patient from draining a lowly but painful abscess to removing a burst appendix via keyhole surgery.
“And being part of the NHS family is special, being part of an institution that provides excellent, free healthcare to the masses whilst also pushing the boundaries of innovation, technology and science is humbling.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, applications for Nursing and Midwifery courses at MDX increased by 18% compared to the last academic year.
Asked about whether coronavirus outbreak has increased interest in career in the NHS, Dr Rajan replied: “I really hope so.
“Now more than ever there is a greater spotlight on science and healthcare and for all the right reasons.
“Science is ‘cool’ again because we are relying on it to save the world and lead us out of the darkness the pandemic has cast.”
On his best advice for students looking to join the health and social care profession, Dr Rajan added: “ Don’t let anyone set a limit for you.
“The road to success can be paved with momentary failures and disappointments but that makes the end goal even sweeter. Keep going.”
The free of charge careers fair, available to anyone aged over 15, will see qualified professionals from the NHS and Middlesex University discuss their job roles in careers panel style events and Q&As afterwards.
More than 45 speakers in nine virtual sessions will be sharing their experiences of a wide variety of jobs in the NHS including nurses, doctors, psychologists, neuro physiologists, pharmacists and radiographers.
The planned schedule is as follows:
Dr Sinead Mehigan, Head of the Department, Adult, Child and Midwifery at Middlesex University, said: “We are all so pleased to see the rise in numbers of students considering careers in the NHS as healthcare workers.
“We believe that our students have shown, over the last year in particular, the valuable role they play in supporting the work of the NHS.
“We want to build on the work we currently do to continue to support our healthcare professionals who contribute to making a real difference to people’s lives. We hope you will consider joining us.”
Barnet and Enfield Care Primacy Care hub said: “There are 350 careers available in the NHS.
“Some will give you direct contact with patients, while in others you are part of a vast support network vital to delivering healthcare. Some roles are in hospitals, others are based in the community.
“Some require the highest academic standards, while for many positions, employers are looking for enthusiasm, keenness to learn and the ability to work as part of a team.
“We are delighted to be working with Middlesex University to offer local students the opportunity to discover the wide variety of NHS careers available to them and help them plan their futures.”
Students can sign up via this web page where they get the schedule and Zoom links for relevant session.
Find out more about healthcare and social work courses at Middlesex University