Dr Wendy Lowe describes herself as a a mother, health professional and teacher working for the Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. We asked her for an interview when we first heard of the story behind her fundraiser via the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 2018. Wendy can also be found on Twitter.
Tell us more about you
I am inspired by my daughters who I see working to understand their place in the world and how they manage the often difficult terrain of life with beauty and grace. I hope to contribute to improving health professional practice so that I can help all people navigate this terrain in a meaningful, real and practical way. Being really present in conversations can be the start of life changing practices and this approach can start on social media.
What was your dream,
as a child
My dream as a child was that people would care for one another - simple but not always achievable. And although in some ways my dream was simplistic, it was very important to me. I wrote this poem when I was ten years old:
I'd like to write beautiful words
that conjure up a summer's morning,
I'd like to draw stirring pictures,
hoping that love will shine through,
because love is the main essence of life,
without it the world would be sad,
we need it to do our daily work,
and to live our lives to the full.
Love is to be kind to those around us,
and to do what is best for them,
to serve and to help them with their needs,
to give them a place in our prayer.
We cannot live without each other
and to live with everyone we must have love,
so give them all every little bit,
and praise our wonderful god above.
as a teenager
I wanted to understand how the world worked and how I could be of most help in the world.
as an adult
I wanted to explore the world and understand as much as possible why things were the way they were. This is a lifelong quest for me that has never ceased to occupy me. I have explored many different avenues of knowledge in order to be able to understand from as wide a perspective as possible, without limiting my options of what knowledge and skills I could draw from. I have explored arts, creativity, poetry, writing as well as science and education.
My current preoccupation with understanding how the social world impacts on people’s health from a social justice perspective involves exploring this understanding with medical students in a way that is relevant to them. This is a major challenge and a worthwhile one since many social factors impact on people’s ability to take care of themselves, including the impact of healthcare services.
What do you like the most about your job?
I enjoy working with medical students, hearing their perspective and often deep understanding of life which they already have. I like most the meaningful conversations we can have and how these can potentially impact on students’ medical practice and lives.
What have you learnt since your career began?
I have learnt a great deal since my career began since I was determined to provide the best service I could, and I could see that there were all sorts of limitations inherent in the way we were trained many years ago. I have never stopped learning and particularly hope that what I have learned will be able to assist health professionals understand how to better meet people who are marginalised or suffered in some way that is often not fully understood by mainstream healthcare.
What are your goals?
My goals are to be able to live a ‘livable’ life and I wish this for my daughters and for patients within the healthcare system. That no matter what people enjoy or struggle with, they can find a place in the world where they can live the sort of life that brings them solace.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
I get inspiration from my daughters - to be the best I can be, and from patients and students who I see trying to do their best in often very difficult circumstances.
Which people inspire you?
There are so many people who’s work I have drawn on over the years. My main sources of inspiration come from sociology, science, arts, poetry, education and spiritual teachers. It is too difficult to pick out just one or two!
Your favourite quote?
"‘Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a hundred ways to kneel and kiss the ground." - Rumi