About Me

My name is Jenna Burton…Who Am I?

I could tell you the year that I graduated and which hospitals I worked in around the world, but I fear so many of us hide behind our occupation that we never really detail ‘who am I?’ I was considering a career in zoology, maths and neuroscience with equal significance before landing on Medicine (and I hate to admit that medicine may have simply won the race because it outwardly seemed ‘cool’ and I got to wear a white coat with a small air of prestige – though this was far from the reality I was hit with when entering gastroenterology wards and having to perform PR examinations (look it up) and insert female catheters).

So yes, I did graduate in 2010 from Manchester Medical School and I am studying an MSC in Health Policy and I do envisage an ongoing career in healthcare leadership and consulting. But I do not believe this is even a small percentage of who I am.
My name is Jenna Burton. I am an open, honest individual who cares about population health and the nature of our emotional evolution. As it stands, depression and anxiety are flooding our society along with the need to be ‘better’ and ‘ahead.’ As our fast paced lives beget a population of unhappy people, I am in the process of attempting to make some noise to tell us all to ‘slow down’ and accept normality. I also believe exercise is one of the most underutilised forms of treatment we have access to.

I suffered with an eating disorder from the age of around 16 years old, and although largely free of symptoms today, I do believe it will be embedded somewhere in my DNA for all eternity. Again, this does not define me as a person. Yet it does heighten my understanding of people, addictive behaviours and learning the importance of useful emotional outlets.

As a highly emotional being (despite my resistance at being one), I have coined the phrase ‘emotional medicine’ as I believe a great burden of disease is secondary to the inability to express our emotions in our modern day world. Think chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, anger mismanagement, leading on to mental health conditions such as full clinical depression and anxiety.

Outside of medicine, I am a creative and fun loving personality, yet who spends her entire life worrying about the fact that she is worrying. I was often referred to as ‘different’ when I was a child, which was tolerable, yet when more defining descriptions such as ‘weird’ crept in, I was not as keen on standing out. I do think outside the box and believe in our ability to think and dream freely. I feel it is sad that I tried to mask my character to an extent for a large portion of my life.

My favourite past times, bar none, are singing, dancing, acting and general performance. I would love to present medical programmes in the future, though fear that my incredibly asymmetrical face would not be appropriate for our television screens. So I shall continue in the shower, at karaoke and in my dreams, to perform my heart out. This is undoubtedly my true passionate indulgence in life, along with writing poetry and silly little riddles.

I am from a small town known as ‘The Wirral’ and this is where my heart lies. All the people that I love the most (with the exception of my husband who joins me in Dubai, UAE) are based there and I get ridiculously excited about a trip to Asda on the Bromborough Croft or popping over to the Outlet Village with my Mum. Being an expatriate does make you value the importance of nothing more than people and the feeling of belonging. And more so, the feeling of being ‘home.’

I adore animals. Sadly to my detriment. I have walked home with so many furry creatures that it has often resulted in distaste and isolation from the fellow human beings around me. I have had more cats than I can count, gerbils, rats and most recently a little dog (who my cats despise despite her having the cutest face I do think ever existed on a canine.) My husband will not allow me to opt for the billy goat or pot belly pig that I am so keen to mother, but there is still time.

I have been a vegetarian since the age of 12. I keep waiting to grow out of this phase, but I do not see it happening any time soon. It makes me an incredibly annoying person to have over for a dinner party and so I have been known to take around a packed lunch or a few boiled eggs in my bag ‘just in case of emergency.’

With regards to medical training, my most advanced training is actually in cosmetic medicine. I did my American Board in Aesthetics and strongly considered a full time career going down this avenue. I love seeing people excited with your results and seeing their spirits lifted. Yet, as much as I have dabbled myself personally in cosmetics, I believe this is more of a hobby for me. I see people. I see their pain and I understand them. I love people. It would be an injustice to spend my career glossing over the top of human personalities when there is so much more underneath the surface.

I hope that we all live forever. I pray for it every night despite not sitting within a religious house or knowing exactly who I am praying to. So I will continue on my journey to try and make as many of us live for as long as we can and as happily as we can and encourage men and women alike to accept themselves for who they are and not who society prescribes that they ought to be.

With Grandma