Dr Sally Zebari is a ST radiologist from King’s College Hospital London. Her enthusiasm to pursue a career in Radiology stems from undertaking a BSc in Imaging Sciences at medical school. She has been an active member of the YPAT SIG since 2016 and is the current Chair for the committee. She has a particular interest in medical education and encourages educational events tailored to a variety of disciplines in the field of Radiology, as well as medical students and foundation doctors.
Find out more about Sally in the interview below.
1. Why did you decide on radiology as a specialism and what is your area of interest?
I am grateful that my medical school offered a BSc in Imaging Sciences and I decided to go for it more from a curious point of view as Radiology was a specialty that was not really known about or much taught at university. Before I knew it, my enthusiasm grew and I ended up applying for Radiology after completing my foundation years. I have spent most of my Radiology training in a trauma hospital. This has taught me an incredible amount, and I really enjoy working with the clinical trauma team and reporting acute scans on a weekly basis. My special interest is in cardiothoracic imaging; mostly inspired by the amazing consultants I work with locally and during my time at the Royal Brompton Hospital.
2. Why did you originally join the BIR?
I attended the BIR Top Tips event when I was applying for Radiology and got a chance to speak to the Chair and co-organisers at that time who were incredibly approachable and motivational. It was great to see what opportunities the BIR was offering and I was encouraged to join the Young Professionals and Trainees (YPAT) Special Interest Group (SIG). Voila… here I am, 5 years on and going strong!
3. What does the BIR offer trainees and why would you encourage your fellow trainees to get involved?
The BIR offers a fantastic and diverse platform that encourages all disciplines within Radiology to be involved while promoting education and research. There are many online resources, yearly educational events/congresses and stimulating committees that allow you to find what suits your interests and passion. The BIR allows you to interact with different disciplines in Radiology from across the country, and also be involved in organising events particularly if you are part of one of the Special Interest Groups (SIGs).
4. What are your plans for your term as Chair of the YPAT SIG?
I am very keen to get more radiographers and physicists involved in the group so that we can tailor events that are relevant to them. The BIR’s multidisciplinary ethos is pivotal and I want to ensure that the YPAT SIG reflect this. I am also passionate about encouraging medical students and foundation doctors to consider a career in Radiology. I hope to reach out to medical schools and hospitals tailoring events for them as well this year.
5. What is the best part of your job?
The variety! In a single week you could be doing a mixture of reporting different imaging modalities, undertaking interventional procedures, running MDTs, and teaching medical students/radiology registrars! Over the years, I have learnt to appreciate how pivotal a role imaging plays in the patient’s journey and your contribution as a Radiologist at an MDT for example can be incredibly helpful for the patient’s management.
6. What was your experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and what did you learn from it?
I remember everything was happening so fast last year and before I knew it, I was redeployed to the very frontline of our healthcare system. Within days of vigorous training from my amazing colleagues in intensive care, I was able to be thrown in the deep end and not drown from the undoubtedly overwhelming situation. Day in day out, I watched colleagues in intensive care put their own lives at risk, selflessly striving to save the lives of others. It was a humbling and insightful experience to say the least. I am grateful that my relationship continues with these colleagues after I decided to set up a weekly joint ITU/Radiology MDT to help with the management of these patients.
7. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My mum – THE biggest influence in my life without a doubt.
8. Which three medical professionals (deceased or living) would you like to spend an evening with and why?
Professor Harold Ellis (retired surgeon & professor at King’s College London), Dr Alistair Hunter (senior lecturer at King’s College London) and Dr Virach Phongsathorn (Consultant Geriatrician) – all three inspired me in different ways for the short time that I did get to spend with them during my journey as a medical student and foundation doctor.
9. When you are not working, how do you like spending your time?
I love being around my family and friends the most but also enjoy playing the violin, trying different cuisines, watching Korean series, learning a new language, exploring London/going for long walk.
10. Who would you like to play you in the film about your life?
11. What might we be surprised to know about you?
I was born in the middle of a war zone, under no electricity!