Name: Dr Vincent Yip
Institution: University of Liverpool
Connection to the Academy: Mentee
I graduated in Medicine from the University of Liverpool in 2008 with an intercalated BSc (Hons) in Pharmacology. I completed my foundation training and was successfully appointed to an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship post. As part of the North West England MRC Fellowship scheme in Clinical Pharmacology I completed my PhD in 2016.
My thesis focused on hypersensitivity reactions, specifically the relationship between genetics, metabolism and the immune response. Following my PhD I completed a one year secondment in R&D at GSK, working at the interface between pre-clinical and clinical drug development. I am currently an NIHR Clinical Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool and a Specialist Trainee in Dermatology in the North West Deanery.
Why did you want to find a mentor?
Initially, and most importantly, I chose a mentor for clinical academic career guidance. The opportunity to select a mentor through the Academy programme meant that I could discuss career choices away from supervisors in my own institute, giving me a completely different perspective. Also, in nominating a Fellow of the Academy I knew I would get impartial, honest and professional views from someone who has been involved in extensive research but also has excellent clinical skills.
What would you recommend to others starting a mentoring relationship?
While choosing a mentor I was helped by Academy staff, who offered valuable advice after I’d narrowed down my choices to three or four candidates based upon their clinical specialty. The resources provided by the Academy after pairing with my mentor helped us to work together to understand the boundaries of the relationship and what we could both expect to gain from it over time. My mentor and I meet roughly every six months, which I feel is the right amount for me, and the right amount to ensure that the relationship is beneficial.
How have you found the mentoring experience?
Meeting with my mentor has helped me to clarify my own views regarding my career choices, and they have given me the motivation to continue to pursue an unusual training pathway. I am undertaking training in two different specialties that are not usually combined and, with the advantage of an outside perspective, my mentor highlighted how my experience and achievements support this route. This support and reinforcement has provided me with the confidence to go forward.