NATASHA King is swapping her telephone manner for a good bedside manner after clinching a coveted place to study medicine.
The Peterlee single mum is one of six foundation students to gain a place on Durham University’s five-year course to study medicine.
The former call centre worker joined East Durham College in 2011 on the one-year Access to Higher Education course.
After completing it with distinction grades, the 27-year-old secured a place at Durham University to study on its one-year Medicine with Foundation course.
Now, she is one of half a dozen of the foundation students to win a coveted place on the Russell Group university’s medical degree course.
Natasha said: “I can’t believe I am now a fully fledged medical student at Durham University. I keep pinching myself to check it’s not a dream.
“I joined the Access course at East Durham College because I knew I wanted more than to be stuck in a call centre the rest of my life.
“My mum works for the NHS, so I thought I’d try and get some qualifications to work in the healthcare profession as I know from mum how rewarding it can be.
“Without the staff at the college, I would not be in the position I am today.
“I can’t thank them enough for encouraging me to aim higher., the continuous support they gave throughout the course and their willingness to help whatever the problem.”
Natasha, who aims to become a GP, said: “My son Isaac, who’s about to turn four, is one of the main reasons I’m doing this, so we can have a fantastic future together.”
Alan Taylor, one of Natasha’s former lecturers on the Access course, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled for Natasha.
“She has proved that with ambition and hard work, anything is possible, and I’m thrilled to have been able to help her at the start of this amazing journey.”
Steve Leech, teaching fellow and admissions manager at Durham’s Foundation Centre, said: “Natasha is a shining example of how adult learners and other non-traditional students can excel at university if they are given the opportunity and the right preparation.”