World News TV

Working Lives UK: Neurosurgeon

Jake Timothy is the consultant neurosurgeon at Leeds General Infirmary. Having been born and raised in Leeds, he is now pioneering new techniques in spinal repair, right here in his home city.

His parents, both doctors, came to Yorkshire from India in the 1960s. Dr Timothy attended the local comprehensive school and remembers being one of the only non-white pupils. "I would do anything to fit in, I played rugby and I would frequently act the class fool." Today he is one of the world leaders in his field.

A turning point in his life came in 1974, when his mother suffered an aneurism and nearly died. Her life was saved by a surgeon and Dr Timothy believes this gave him the impetus to go on and study medicine.

He now specialises in using minimally invasive techniques to correct spinal problems. Using only small incisions he hopes to improve outcomes for his patients and radically reduce recovery times. He's achieving great results, with some patients finding themselves back on their feet the day after major spinal surgery, he says.

Despite recognising the importance of innovation, he is wary of being proclaimed a pioneer. "You know what they say; you can always recognise the pioneers because they're the ones with the arrows in their backs."

Dr Timothy earns around £60,000 (US$93,000) after tax from his NHS work but is adamant his work is not about the money. He says it is about giving something back to people who have been in immense pain.