Medicine, Law, Education – the achievement of obtaining qualifications in just one of these areas is impressive enough. But the lifelong journey of learning of DMU alumnus Dr Ram Seth has meant he is trained in all three.
Alongside his studies in Law at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), Ram has earned his medical degree, undertaken an MA in Education at Brighton University, been called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn – and was recently named DMU’s Alumnus of the Month.
When Ram arrived at DMU he had already enjoyed a long and successful career as a consultant psychiatrist and Director of Services in the NHS.
But it was whilst dealing with complaints and medico-legal issues that it was suggested to Ram that he might find legal training to be a useful addition to his skillset. He was recommended the DMU Law course as it offered the opportunity to undertake the Post Graduate Diploma in Law part-time, allowing him to continue to working in the NHS alongside his studies.
So at the turn of the millennium he enrolled at DMU.
It was the ease with which he felt DMU had facilitated his return to education which Ram deemed particularly praiseworthy.
He said: “The assistance and flexibility of training delivered by the DMU Law department has to be commended for accommodating a variety of postgraduate students from various backgrounds and professions.
“The terms were really well organised, and the lecturers and tutors were fantastic – they were always available when you needed them and they offered great pastoral care too. I think just being in that environment made it stand out too, it felt really great being in that culture of learning.”
Ram graduating from Southampton Medical School, and qualifying as a Barrister at Gray's Inn
Ram qualified from DMU in 2003 and was motivated to undertake further training in law. His interest in advocacy led him to enrol on the Bar Vocational Course at Gray’s Inn in London. As part of his training, Ram took the opportunity to explore different working environments through ‘mini pupillage’ in London, which took him to all the different courts, putting him in a well-advised position to consider a permanent change of career.
He decided to stay in NHS employment, but his legal training motivated him to become a medical member for mental health tribunals for the Ministry of Justice.
Ram was appointed Director of Medical Education for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Deanery up until his retirement in 2011, a position which fuelled his passion for learning and which led him to undertake a further MA in Education at Brighton University.
Ram now continues to sit on mental health tribunals, and often teaches medico-legal courses across England.
Despite his links with many educational institutions, Ram takes a particular interest in staying connected to DMU. He returned for the recent Homecoming event, where alumni from all around the globe gathered on campus for a weekend of talks, tours and events.
Ram visited the new Stephen Lawrence Research Centre during the Homecoming event.
He said: “Out of all the universities I have been associated with, it is without doubt in my experience that the DMU Alumni Programme is the most active and proactive.”
He found the chance to meet fellow alumni inspiring, and enjoyed the chance to talk to filmmaker and fellow alumnus Mark Craig. Mark showed his documentary ‘High Hopes’ at the weekend, in which he caught up with fellow alumni and the destinations that their careers took them.
“The event and the documentary really made me think back on my own journey – what it was like qualifying and leaving and everything that came after.
“Graduates have a lot to contribute and gain from a link with their educational institution. It moulds one’s formative years and continues to do mine, as I have reflected on my career and choices influenced by my DMU degree”
Ram said that despite loving his varied career within the NHS, the highlight has definitely been the opportunity to return to study – and the experience has been one he would recommend to anyone.
He said: “When you train in one area it is very hard to change track or expand your horizons. It is easy to feel stuck, and to stop discovering or learning. You need to force yourself to have a broader vision and think outside of your current career.
“People should also definitely consider studying part-time more. The beauty of what I went through was that I was working and learning at the same time.
“They say education is a lifelong journey - and I completely agree.”
Posted on Thursday 20th June 2019