Inspirational Women: Janine, the consultant oncologist

At HotSquash, we design clothes for the busy, modern, stylish woman, and they don’t come much more stylish, or busy, than mum, dog owner & Consultant Oncologist Janine from @fashionlovingphysician .

Read her fascinating story below, from leaving school with one 0 level, to pushing herself through night school & into the challenging medical profession and more recently coping with Covid-19 whilst home-schooling; she’s a real inspiration!


  • Did you end up with the career you wanted as a child?

As a child I was pony mad and all I wanted to do was work in the horse industry; I was not academically-minded and left school with only one 0 level. At 15 I went on a YTS scheme and trained to be a horse-riding instructor. I achieved this and in my early twenties I ran a busy riding school.

A series of events led to a change in my life and circumstances which resulted in me going back to night school to gain A levels (I discovered an education) and then on to university, where I studied biological sciences. I became increasingly interested in cancer and at that point knew that not only did I want to be a doctor, but that I wanted to be cancer doctor.

I therefore undertook a further 5 years at medical school to become one. I now work as a consultant oncologist with a special interest in breast cancer, renal cancer and melanoma.


  • How do you make your work-home life balance?

Prioritise and structure work tasks.

Delegate – this was something I struggled with when I first became a consultant but it’s so important to implement, my secretary is an absolute gem and she helps me so much in achieving an organised
work schedule. I make use of all annual leave and try to plan it so it’s spaced out evenly throughout the year and when I’m off, I switch off – no checking e-mails.

Tap into technology – use teleconferencing if you can, to save driving to meetings or being there in person.

During the Covid pandemic I have been undertaking mainly telemedicine consultations (caring for patients remotely and undertaking consultations over the phone) with very limited face to face appointments. It has been interesting and challenging to work in this way, but I definitely feel there is a place for telemedicine going forward. It is a practice that I feel was coming but it has just been implemented so much more quickly due to the Covid situation.

It has certainly changed the way we work and I feel as things do begin to return to a new normal we can still maintain it to a degree in medical practice and within our job plans.


  • What’s your go-to fashion item?

Sunglasses; I have so many and even in the winter at the first sign of sunlight the sunglasses are out - I have a pair that permanently take residence in my car.

Also shoes I love; exquisite, fabulous shoes along with statement earrings – the type of shoes and earrings that announce themselves as you walk in a room.


  •  Who or what inspires you?

There are many strong, motivated, successful people that inspire me and who have achieved incredible things I could write a long list, particularly in the field of cancer medicine.

But for me personally, I think it must be my husband. He has been there for me right from the start of my career, he always believed in me, and without him I would not be where I am today.


  • How do you like to spend your time off?

With my family (husband and 11-year-old son) We have a French bulldog and we love to get out of the house for lovely long dog walks.

I also love to get to the Lake District at any opportunity (I love the landscape and the peace and calm) – one day I plan to have a holiday home there, and of course shopping. The lake district is one
of the first places I will visit once we begin to travel again.


  • When travelling with work/your family, what are your fashion essentials?

Sunglasses, cashmere socks and comfy lounge pants for long haul flights and a fabulous cover up for the beach that will take me from pool/beach to beach/pool-bar.


  • What are the top 3 things (not people!) that you’d hate to live without?

1. My phone
2. Music – I listen to it all the time in the car, in my office, at home – I’m a big user of Spotify.
3. Coffee – A costa Americano with skinny milk.


  •  Where do you go to for fashion inspiration?

I used to spend a lot of time using magazines but now I pay attention to people around me – what other people are wearing.

I love Instagram for inspiration and style ideas and for discovering new brands, I have discovered so many brands via social media, including HotSquash, that I would never have known about.


  • What fashion advice would you want to pass onto the next generation?

I think you must be true to your self – find what works for you, find what makes you feel good, always consider paying that little bit more if it’s a special unique item because it is those items that
will bring you joy over and over again.

I see many styles that I love but I know that they will just not work on me and as I have aged I have learned to accept that.