Kiran Bains is taking a professional Doctorate in Health Psychology (DPsych) and she also works for City’s Careers Service as an Applications Adviser.
Like most people, it turns out, on my undergraduate psychology course I started off wanting to be a clinical psychologist. Then I went into my final year, where we got to choose which modules we want to take and I took one in health psychology, and it grabbed my interest. I wouldn’t say that going into the DPsych Health was like a romance novel, this is ‘the one’ for me, but health psychology was a field that interested me a great deal. It seemed to be ‘global’; the interplay of physical, social and to a point, mental health. It’s also relatively newer, so I felt a greater sense of opportunity to put my stamp on it in a wider context and make an impact. And finally, I was introduced to critical health psychology, which helped me think about how health and identities are constructed, and how the way we make meaning of these topics can feed into social inequalities.
My career journey
I did not rush into this career choice, but my path has been like a series of stepping stones where I decided on each move as it came. I volunteered at university for the Epilepsy Society and , then worked with them as support worker after graduation. I then moved laterally to work with people with learning disabilities (there was an overlap with my clients). I found myself rethinking a lot of what I took for granted, around topics such as their communication and understanding, as this varied so widely. This helped me think critically when I did my masters in health psychology, and have an end purpose in using and applying my knowledge. After my masters I worked as a research assistant in a diabetes screening and prevention project aimed at adults with learning disabilities. I also did some work in LGBT research, and both of these areas informed parts of my training for my doctorate. It’s easier to understand social inequalities when you work with disadvantaged minority groups. Before I applied for my doctorate, however, I went back to the social care organisation I spent a significant amount of time working for on and off for several years, Continue Reading