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Serving her community

20 July 2023

Shahista Begum

Dentist and doctor Shahista Begum graduates this year (2023) from the Legal Aspects of Medical Practice course (LLM).

Here, she talks about her decision to pursue the course at Cardiff University.

“My journey has been an unconventional one,” says Dr Shahista Begum.

“Growing up in inner city Birmingham as one of six siblings, I was told by a teacher that my options as a female Asian were limited. There was very little educational support either at school or at home. Being the oldest of the girls much of the household chores including looking after five other brothers and sisters fell upon me from a very early age.”

Shahista went on to qualify as a dentist and later at the age of 42, successfully qualified as a medical doctor. Whilst working as a junior doctor, Shahista decided to apply for the LLM Legal Aspects of Medical Practice course at Cardiff University.

“At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, I volunteered to work on the front line in A&E as a doctor,” says Shahista. “It was during this time I was informed that I had been awarded the Master’s Excellence Scholarship from Cardiff University. I was very grateful and humbled to receive this award.”

“The LLM studies were undertaken whilst working as a doctor in A&E and looking after two small children as a single parent. The highlight of the course for me was the support and camaraderie from my fellow students, The Covid-19 pandemic was a challenging time for everyone including students. My fellow students were instrumental in providing the support needed whilst trying to work and study at a postgraduate level and look after a young family, we all supported each other.”

‘’The comprehensive subject modules have equipped me for my future endeavours to work as a medical/dental advisor alongside working as a dentist in practice and a locum doctor in A&E. My dissertation on workplace psychiatric harm in the NHS staff will also help me advise on matters relating to NHS staff mental health and wellbeing.”

“Maya Angelou said ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better  do better.’ I am truly grateful and humble for my career opportunities and feel passionate about contributing back to the communities that helped me achieve my academic success. The skills and knowledge I have acquired from the LLM from Cardiff University, will enable me to work as a dental/medical advisor and thus further serve the dental and medical communities in a new and rewarding capacity.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my lecturers at Cardiff Law School and my fellow students for all their help and support, it has been an honour to have been on this journey with you!”

Dr Shahista S Begum BDS, MFDS RCS Edin, MFGDP RCS Eng, MBBS, LLM

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