Inadequate Medical Care
The Junior doctors years, were a massive learning curve, as responsibility levels shot up and suddenly we were accountable for all our actions. I worked for two years, in a haze of night shifts, high drama, death, new life, sorrow, joy and delirium - all the time whilst trying to recover from a head injury without any adequate medical guidance - as my scans were normal and therefore I was discharged and told to “get on with it.”
This lead me to apply for psychiatric training and after 3 years of working in psychiatry in 2008 I passed my membership exams to the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
At this time I was working at The Priory – The NHS contracts doctors out to the private sector sometimes, and I ended up with a fascinating post on the addictions ward in Roehampton, London.
Dr Tamsin Lewis has overcome a series of health problems and childhood adversity to perform at the top level in endurance sport. The journey has not been a smooth one - and there were very dark times. Pulling through a severe head injury/coma in 2004 in her final year of medical school had lasting implications on her physical and mental health. She was on the verge of suicide back in 2005.
In 2004 I qualified as a medical doctor at Kings College London, UK (MBBS HONS LON) and completed a BSc in Neuroscience and Anatomy as the brain was always fascinated me - and this was prior to me learning or indeed being taught (as its only now that research is supporting what many medical thought leaders have known for decades - that the brain and body are inextricably interwoven - and focusing on one without addressing the other is inevitably fruitless.
My triathlon journey began in 2007 at Blenheim Triathlon, inspired by a friend. The London Triathlon 2008 was my first Olympic distance and I came 7th in the sub 2.30 wave and was picked for the Herbalife Triathlon Academy run by Bill Black. This started an exploration of alternative healing and interest in the power of nutrition/nutraceutials and lifestyle to impart lasting changes to health and wellbeing.
Encouraged by some a friend and staff members I wrote to the CEO of The Priory explaining my amateur success as a triathlete (I had just won the World Age-Group Championships) and would they consider supporting me to take time out of work as a doctor to pursue life as a professional athlete.
Ironman UK in July 2014, was a day I will never forget - filled with so much emotion and elation - years of frustration culminating in a performance that I could be proud of.
Winning Ironman UK has opened doors for me that perhaps I never would have known existed. But above all the journey has taught me that we are capable of far more than we ever thought possible and as a consequence I have developed a deep resilience and sense of purpose.