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Samar Babiker

Medical student, St. George's University of London 

 

And - Founder, VR:Calm

Set yourself a goal, be passionate and be fearless.

What do you do?

I'm currently on my clinical attachment and if I had to describe the life of a doctor its, 'never a dull moment'. I'm compelled by peoples' stories and what brings them in to see a doctor. Not just the physical, because often people seek solace and reassurance for an emotional component of their lives. Being able to support someone in that way too is what makes being a doctor a one-off career. Some of the best days are seeing a person come in and go from a sense of vulnerability to a feeling of empowerment. 

Why did you choose this field?

"Medicine extends beyond one-to-one interaction, I hope to extend my support to a wider audience through a more interconnected and globalised platform -health tech."

In retrospect, I can say my reasons for wanting to pursue a career as a doctor have changed along my journey. I think its natural for most medical students to not know why they wanted to become a doctor from a young age, they just knew it was for them. The reason usually is under the umbrella of 'wanting to help people'.

 

However, I can say with age and every milestone in my academic life, it became clearer to me that I wanted a career which provided lifelong mental stimulation. I also wanted a career with versatility. From the plethora of specialities you can pick from teaching to clinical research; all were in line with how highly ambitious I am.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

"Stop overthinking and just create."

I worked in clinical research for 9 months which meant I had more time to explore how I could make ripples of change in other ways.

 

I met my current co-founder (of VR:Calm) at an EY event. The startup idea hopes to leverage virtual reality incombating loneliness and other symptoms that patients with dementia may have, and naturally I was inclined in joined her team, shortly after becoming the medical lead. This led to the birth of VR:Calm and since then we have had an incredibly fast paced journey, which have opened doors to many new achievements. We are still in early development stages and I have already learnt an immense amount from her work ethic and passion. She has essentially taught me the sky is the limit. 

Why do you love working in STEM?

I wake up with gratitude. Not everybody gets to do what they want to do, but knowing I get to meet a cocktail of different people every day from different ethnic backgrounds, religions, genders and ages makes me feel as though my day has been worthwhile. It's fun, you get to challenge yourself every day. There's always something interesting you didn't know before.

Best advice for the next generation

We need more powerful women filling positions in medicine, life sciences, engineering and the other STEM careers. They aren't easy subjects and traditionally are male dominated, but we are in a pivotal transitioning era.  I would say set yourself a goal, be passionate and be fearless! If we can carry a child we can be on par in the industry! 

Inspo quote

We are in an era where women are making statements and challenging others.