From GP to F1

Published on 2 August 2020

Our graduates go on to do some exciting work once they graduate. For Robin Kerr, he has been able to combine his day job with one of his great loves – motorsport. We spoke to him prior to the start of the Covid 19 pandemic.

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Halfway through completing his MBChB at the University, Robin chose to study the BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology at the University of Dundee’s Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery (known as UDOTS). Although not sure about the programme at first, he went to a lecture hosted by then department leader Professor Rami Abboud which proved he could not have been more wrong. “It turned out to be a fantastic year in the TORT centre and I am grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me during the BMSc and since.”

Thinking back on the rest of his time at Dundee, Robin remembers second and third year lectures at Ninewells particularly fondly, as well as the camaraderie of the year group – something he “took for granted at the time but missed once we were spread all over the country on clinical placements.”

Most of Robin’s professional career sees him as a partner at Teviot Medical Practice in the Scottish Borders. He has spent a lot of time looking at ways to improve the practice’s appointment system and patient access with many of their strategies being published in BMJ Innovations to benefit other practices, but he has also been able to gain a lot of variety outside of his General Practice by providing medical cover to sports events – primarily Formula One.

Having been a passionate fan of F1 since the age of 10, Robin was able to get the opportunity to work at the Singapore Grand Prix through fellow University of Dundee alumnus and friend Barry Schyma. This had led to him working at the British Grand Prix for the last decade as part of the F1 medical team. “That my profession affords me the opportunity to get far closer to the action than I could ever get as a spectator is a massive buzz.” Robin very much sees himself as a “small cog in a big machine that is the biggest annual sporting event in the UK” but each member of the team plays a crucial role in maintaining the safety of the drivers who take part in this thrilling sport.

Robin has been able to take what he has learned from his time during the BMSc with everything he has done in motorsport and pass on this knowledge to current students by delivering his annual lecture on ‘The Biomechanics of Motorsport’ – having an audience to educate about Formula 1 is something Robin’s wife says is a dream job for him! “We look how a racing driver can be injured in a crash and ways to prevent injuries happening again through understanding the biomechanics and designing safety solutions.”

an image of Ribin Kerr in a racing suit
“Dundee gave me a lot and so it’s nice to give something back. When I arrived, I was a 17 year-old wee boy with a lot to learn. By the time I left I had two honours degrees, friends from all over the world, a broader outlook on life, memory banks rich with great experiences, and a platform to go on and forge a professional life of my choosing. I will always look back on my time as a Dundee student incredibly fondly”

Robin Kerr

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