Patricia S. Wu, MB ChB, FACE, FRCPE
Endocrinologist, Professor and Diabetes Advocate
(MGC 1979 Leaver)
Of my MGC experiences, Dr. Hetty Bardsley’s Chemistry class stood out as the most memorable. Dr. B. ignited my interest in Science with her lively illustrations of how the elements C, H and O combine in infinite configurations to write the manuscripts of life. I was mesmerised watching her chalk dance between formulae on the board, transforming equations into meaningful cellular processes. Undoubtedly this experience persuaded my career choice in Endocrinology, the study of hormones (chemicals that effect cellular signals) and their roles in human health. Both my A Level Science teachers were women with PhD. Having role models who showed women can successfully study Science to the highest level encouraged many students from my class to pursue higher education in scientific fields. My experience with the MGC music programme was similarly life changing. Being a choir member taught me the importance of team work and time management while learning to balance between academic work, rehearsals and weekend performances. The countless hours I spent practising piano in the attic music rooms were, in retrospect, my way of managing the stresses of living away from home and the academic pressures. I learned to find time in a busy day to unwind, be it doing something I love, or just meditating, so that I can be refreshed.
After graduation from Medical School, I joined a university training programme with rotations through different subspecialities. I worked with Dr. Judith Steele, MBE, a diabetologist who specialised in caring for pregnant women with diabetes. Despite choosing to work part time to balance family life and career, Judith was one of the most prolific clinical researchers and innovative clinicians in her field, advancing safe obstetric care for women with diabetes. She was generous with her time to mentor trainees. Our collaboration in clinical research propelled me to study molecular endocrinology and into the role of a medical educator.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my career is that I have been able to positively impact the lives of many people through my roles as a clinician, researcher and educator.
What is your best piece of advice?
Have courage; follow your passion. Be curious and open to learning new ideas. Seek mentors to support you. Know that there is no limit to your achievement if you focus and work hard.
What does success look like?
Success is when you or your work has positive impact on others and you live a balanced, happy life while doing it.