Dr Ashley McFarlane joined the Amos Bursary as a Year 12 student in 2010 shortly before embarking on a six-year journey at UCL Medical School. In 2017 he attained his MBBS degree, with an intercalated BSc in Psychology, to become the first Amos Bursary student to qualify as a doctor.
Upon graduating, he successfully applied to the London North West Foundation School, the most competitive in the UK, and spent two years expanding his experience in different specialities at various hospitals across Central and West London. Following this, he chose to pursue GP specialist training, securing a direct pathway to offer as a high scoring applicant in the Multi-Specialty Recruitment Assessment and being awarded his 1st choice: the Guy’s and St Thomas’ GP Training Programme.
After being redeployed for a year to provide support to acute medical services during the Covid-19 pandemic, he is now a qualified GP who splits his time between working at a GP Practice in London and working at two busy Central London hospitals. On his decision to become a GP, he explains that “General Practice is the only speciality that allows you to support people over their entire lifetime. It provides a unique opportunity for innovation and flexibility while placing you at the very heart of your community – there is nothing else I would rather do.”
Outside of Medicine, Ashley runs an athletics based YouTube channel which has more than 40 thousand subscribers. He plans on broadening this interest and embarking on a more focused career in Sport and Exercise Medicine. He also works closely with Sterling Academy Youth as an external facilitator delivering sessions on mental health to the children and young people.
Ashley cites Tommy Smith, a now-retired American sprinter as one of the people that inspires him. “Tommy Smith is known for raising his fist on top of the Olympic podium at the 1960 Olympics in what’s now known as the black power salute alongside his teammate John Carlos. And the reason why that inspires me so much is I am a huge fan of track and field. I have always followed it, so I was familiar with his story. He was actually the first person ever to run under 20 seconds in that final. So not only did he win gold, but he won gold in a world record. It would have been so easy for him to just sit back and enjoy the praise, plaudits and money that comes along with an accomplishment like that. But instead he used his platform to speak out against racism and injustice, sacrificing everything to do so and I think there is an incredible amount of courage in that from which I draw great inspiration.”
When it comes to the Amos Bursary, like his award-winning counterparts, Ashley has nothing but gratitude and pride, “ The Amos Bursary played an integral part in my journey through Medicine and I have drawn so much inspiration over the years from mentors and students alike, so it gives me great pride to pass on a message that others may themselves draw inspiration from.”