Learning Cardiovascular MRI in London

Hello, I am Natallia. In 2019 I have graduated as a doctor of medicine and surgery from the University of Pavia, in Italy, where I moved in 2013 from Belarus to study medicine. My thesis project was performed in the department of diagnostic radiology; those who know me also know how radiology was my sole fascination ever since our first radiology lesson, and that a huge part of my medical school journey was dedicated to it, including undergoing numerous trainings and electives both in Italy and abroad. Now that I am graduated (and having finished medical school with honors) I am very positive this is exactly what I want to do as a doctor and where I will have the most to contribute; this is a choice I can really stand behind and am proud of making.

This spring - March to May 2020 - I have been offered an elective with the St Thomas Hospital and King’s College London to learn about Cardiovascular MRI - which is an imaging technique that uses powerful magnetic fields to visualise heart and blood vessels; this in many ways have revolutionised the way heart pathologies are seen. Being a relatively new and a highly specialised technique, it is done - and can be taught - in dedicated centres, and this means that being trained at St Thomas is a really special opportunity for me - as it is a renowned research and clinical center equipped with state-of-art facilities that provides more than 4,500 patients a year with cardiovascular MRI. As such, this elective is a chance that, in all probability, will help to define my future as a radiologist.

The extent to which I am thrilled by this opportunity is hard to describe. 

That being said, why am I here at gofundme?

On the 22nd of January I have been asked to pay a bench fee for my 3 months long traineeship programme, and the fee includes:

500 pounds to the King’s College London (that the hospital is affiliated with);
250 pounds - to the Guys & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust.

This amounts to 750 pounds - which is an unexpectedly high fee that I only was informed about a month before the elective was scheduled to start, and which took me quite aback. As a foreign (non-EU) resident in Italy I can’t be applying for loans (which would otherwise be my first option) neither in Italy, nor back at home in Belarus. I also can’t work just yet as a doctor despite having graduated, as this requires passing a state exam in Italy, the first available date for which is the 28th of February 2020.
In the meanwhile I’m working part-time, and have also received a monthly merit-based scholarship that will support my living expenses throughout the elective. However, London being the 3rd most expensive city in Europe, the scholarship just barely covers the accommodation, and even with my part-time job I will be just barely covering the living costs. This is why the 750 pounds that I now need to pay to the hospital to be able to participate in the elective are above my capabilities.

It takes a village to raise a child - and, apparently, a radiologist, - and I now found myself in need of help from my village. I would really appreciate it if you would consider supporting me with this one last academic effort by any contribution whatsoever. 750 pounds are 750 people donating 1 pound, which is roughly the price of one espresso in an Italian bar - or 125 donating 6 pounds, which is an average price of fish & chips in London.

By any donation you would be bringing me one step closer to the specialty of my dream - to learning - to being a better doctor and having more to contribute to the care of my future patients. I pledge to use this money as outlined above - to cover the bench fees at the KCL and the St. Thomas hospital - and to make the most of this opportunity.

I would also like to give back to the community that supports me, and I can’t think of a better way of doing it than supporting education and making sure that money is a mean to education rather than an obstacle to getting it. I would thus like to take a commitment to donate 50 euro monthly for a year and a half towards similar fundraisers after I will start working myself - so that medical students and young medical professionals too can get the most out of the educational opportunities they are presented with. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this exceptionally long letter and considering being a part of my journey!

Best wishes,


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  • Anonymous 
    • €20 
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    • €50 
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Natallia Khenkina 
Pavia, LM, Italy
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