Written by Dr Claire Edwards, RCS Surgical Tutor, Director if Education Core Surgical Training
What inspired you to take the role?
During my training I had the privilege of receiving training and education from some excellent trainers, many of whom are recognised internationally as leaders in their fields. Unfortunately, however, some of my training was not so good. The usual litany of bullying and harassment, poor rota design and no sense of belonging to anything bigger meant some days were quite dispiriting. I trained in the halcyon days of the firm and the 100-hour week when camaraderie amongst colleagues was strong and your consultant would take a fatherly interest in you (yes – they were nearly all men!). I dread to think how current trainees must feel sometimes with no firm structure and only very short time in which to fulfil an ever-increasing battery of training requirements. I decided to become involved in medical education to try and fill some of the gaps in modern training, to embrace the opportunities we now have with simulation and technology enhanced training. I also enjoy the more pastoral areas of my role and like to think I can be approached to guide on most situations trainees might face.
What new teaching developments /programmes running or intending to?
The core surgical training programme offers excellent opportunities for simulation training, preparation for examinations and interviews, portfolio building and hopefully to develop into a good well-rounded surgeon. We embrace new technology and are developing a podcast series to enhance remote learning across the region.
Synopsis of the department?
The original Norfolk and Norwich Hospital was founded in the 1700s and later became the University Hospital (NNUH), a teaching hospital for Nurses, Doctors, Midwives, Operating Department Practitioners and Therapists linked with the University of East Anglia. Today the NNUH is one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country. The hospital moved to its current purpose built location in 2001, a state of the art building with over 1,200 beds. The NNUH provides care to the surrounding population of approximately 825,000 with approximately 90,000 inpatients and 700,000 outpatients being treated each year. Recent expansions have included the Bob Champion Research and Education Centre, housing the postgraduate centre (NANIME), medical school facilities and some health science related University of East Anglia laboratories. This joint capability emphasizes the trusts focus on education and research. The Quadram Centre opened in 2019 and is Europe’s largest endoscopy centre housing clinical services alongside state-of-the-art research facilities for food and gut health.
There are a wide range of busy surgical specialties on site including; General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Urology, Plastic Surgery, ENT, Thoracic Surgery, Orthopaedics and Paediatric Surgery.
There are currently 14 Core Surgical Trainees at the NNUH in all of the aforementioned specialties including the High Dependency Unit.
What it has to offer?
As well as a comprehensive induction programme, core surgical trainees at Norfolk and Norwich benefit from regular departmental teaching opportunities. There is flexibility between departments to allow trainees to attend teaching outside their working department according to their career intentions and learning needs. The regional core surgical training programme is based in Norwich with its simulation suite opening in 2018.
Research and innovation
Many of the surgical departments at NNUH have an international reputation for research or innovation with many collaborations between basic sciences at UEA and NNUH and large numbers of multicenter trials occurring at the trust. The orthopaedic unit participates in many large-scale trials as well as being involved in sift tissue biology and microbiology research. The general surgery and urology teams are amongst the pioneers of robot assisted surgery.
What are the advantages of trainees coming to us?
Top reasons to train with us:
- We are invested hugely in training. We organise and run the regional teaching program and run regular faculty development meetings
- Engaged trainers practicing latest surgical techniques with state of the art equipment. We are an IST (Improving Surgical Training) pilot site.
- Large volumes of elective and emergency surgery
- Simulation room on site with further simulation facilities at University of East Anglia (UEA)
- Research active trust with close links to UEA
- Norwich is a fine city and offers the perfect balance of historic city life with delightful independent shops, coffee shops and restaurants and a vibrant arts scene. The surrounding Norfolk countryside is stunning with broads and beaches.A great place to bring up a family too.
What extra can we offer?
On site training room and library. Engaged trainers with huge clinical workload.
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