I used to visit the local comedy club on Sundays in Nottingham; my brother snuck me in as I was still at school. From then on I was mesmerised by stand-up and loved the craft.

My first time on stage was at that club, Just The Tonic, as an audience volunteer alongside a school pal.

We found out, only after volunteering, that Ross Noble wanted to host a hair-cutting competition, and closest to the skin wins the prize (a whip-round from the audience of about £70 – a lot for us two). So we secretly agreed to split it. After some haphazard snipping, I bailed out first, thinking my mate would win and be spared.

No such luck, he’d won but Ross said the rules (yes, rules) meant he could continue cutting his hair. I remember my friend once had a big wavy bonnet with a centre parting, the following day at school he had a grade 1 cut and was grounded for weeks.

Despite my love for stand-up, I never thought I’d actually do it. My brother and I would always watch comedy and talk about ideas, then one day he booked us onto a writing course whilst I was rickshawing in Edinburgh. From then on I caught the bug, the white noise and numb lips of first gigs turned into a thirst for gigging.

I was studying medicine in Scotland when I first dipped my toe, and I got offered a gig down in London. So attempting to do the right thing, I asked for a day off, knowing that medical school loves applicants with extracurricular activities such as being captain of a national rugby team or playing the harp backwards, so I thought this would be seen as positive. Soon after requesting I got called into a meeting and told it was unacceptable.

Ed Patrick
Ed Patrick

Because of that, when I started working as a doctor, I never mentioned comedy, occasionally moonlighting from a gig to a nightshift. Then I met a consultant who was perusing my CV and saw the mention of ‘stand-up’, and immediately they asked why I never said anything about it. After re-telling the university story and fear of future repercussions, he shook his head and said he’d much rather work with someone who does interesting stuff than just medicine, and from then on I started comedy.

Then I got nominated for the Leicester Mercury Comedy award, which gave me encouragement to keep going. Now I juggle comedy with medicine and supportive rota coordinators.

When I came up with the idea of Comedians' Surgery, the show where I talk to fellow comedians about their health stories and experiences, I initially tried the concept live at the end of a local Saturday night show in Oxford (the superb Jericho Comedy). So, after all the stand-up had finished, the audience were invited to stay (not forced).

Despite the setup and the post-Saturday night show inebriation levels, it went pretty well and from there it flourished and blossomed.

I never initially thought it would be a podcast, but in what I can only describe as an impulsive buy shortly before the Edinburgh Fringe, I bought a podcast recorder, some microphones, various leads, a memory card and set about planning to record the shows. Hence a podcast was born in Edinburgh, in the dark, dank depths of a Scottish cave.

So it's definitely worth following some of your impulses.

Ed Patrick: Catch Your Breath is currently on tour and finishes at The Comedy Store on 6 May. Find more details here.