Univ Dates: 2003-2006
Degree: BM BCh (Hons) Medicine
Degree Level: Undergraduate
Occupation: Anaesthetist, Royal United Hospital, Bath
Biography: Ben Ballisat completed his clinical studies at Green Templeton College between 2006 and 2009. Following this, he remained in the Oxford region working as a foundation doctor at the John Radcliffe Hospital, High Wycombe and Wexham Park hospitals. He has spent time working for a medical charity in Belize in 2011 and after this worked for the health service in New Zealand. Upon returning to the UK, Ben decided to undertake postgraduate training in anaesthesia and worked for two years at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital before moving to Bristol for his registrar training. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Anaesthetists and currently works in Bath.
Did you have any particular preconceptions of Oxford before you started here?
Being offered a place to study at one of the most prestigious universities in the country was a great honour, however, this also came with a fair amount of trepidation. I recall wondering if I was smart enough and whether I would be able to live up to the expectations of my tutors. Once settled in it became apparent that as long as applied myself and engaged with tutorials everything would be fine and, ultimately, immensely rewarding.
What do you remember about your first day at Univ?
After moving a few too many boxes from my parents car parked in Logic Lane to my room in Durham Buildings I remember setting off to explore the college and meet a few of my contemporaries. Everyone was incredibly friendly and after the standard formalities of finding out which subject they were studying and whereabouts in the college they were living, conversation soon moved on to exciting stories from the long summer break.
Was there anyone at Univ who really inspired you?
The collegiate system creates a mixing pot of young talent and ambition, this is a powerful motivator and it’s easy to learn a lot from your peers both academically and about the wider aspects of life. I am also indebted to my tutors who endeavoured to keep tutorials interesting and entertaining. In particular, Dr Dorrington whose Physiology tutorials still underpin my knowledge of how the human body works.
Do you have one outstanding memory?
The rollercoaster that was the last few days of term! This usually started with a tutorial (often preceded by an ‘essay crisis’) and followed by finding or making a suitable fancy dress outfit for the end of term bop in the college bar. Always guaranteed to be a great night with everyone from College making an appearance. I certainly won’t forget packing up the contents of your room whilst nursing a hangover the following day!
How do you think Univ shaped you?
Early adulthood is such a formative time in one’s life and I was very fortunate to be surrounded by so many kind, outgoing and intelligent people who ultimately help to shape you. Univ developed my appreciation of the sciences and, through the tutorial system, taught me to have confidence in my ability.
How important is a project like this?
Whilst at Oxford it’s very easy to live in the moment and I hope this project will help students realise the many and varied opportunities that are on offer within both the College and University.