25 November 2015

On the other side of the fence!

By Dr James Gill

WMS Alumnus and Academic Clinical Fellow

Being at WMS is a bit like having a virus… where you spend four years fighting as the medical curriculum infects and finally takes over your life. You are constantly buying tissues to try and stem the flow of knowledge that seems to pass into your ears before seemingly running, unhindered, straight out of your nose.

Simultaneously you are trying to get your exhausted body to jump through the hoops and requirements for progressively more difficult clinical examinations. The ordeal, the hardest four years you could imagine, finishes, when you finally rally and break the fever that is Medical Finals. With your graduation, and your immunity to the medical school complete, you move out onto the wards as an FY1.

The problem is that, a bit like having recovered from chicken-pox, you seem to have cleared the infection, but there may still be a few viral remnants lurking in a dormant ganglion! Viral remnants that begin to awaken as you battle the stresses and strains of being a junior doctor.

19 October 2015

Pro Dean Education... What does that mean?

Lesley Roberts, Pro Dean Education

Hopefully everyone is settled into the new year and our new students have been fully welcomed.

Last year we trialled use of a blog style approach to inform you a little more about the School and some of the behind the scenes workings. We saw an interesting student-authored blog about the experience of being one of the panel members for the quality assurance monitoring visit to UHCW and you learnt a lot about Professor Mark Pallen, including the fact that he is a previous winner of University Challenge!

This year I am really keen to use the blog to better inform you of the various research ongoing within the school and the special interests of some of our academics. So in forthcoming editions I hope we can get some insights from recent media stars (well local media stars at least) about work they are doing.

23 June 2015

Great Expectations

Joint Monitoring visit to UHCW

By Alan Kan, MB ChB student

We live in a time of digital media and high speed connectivity. The ideas of an individual can quickly become the knowledge of the masses, and the voice of the quiet minority can be amplified through all levels of society. It is through such a medium whereby the intricacies of complicated processes can be better understood, hopefully through a transparent lens.

The new curriculum is now ending its second year, and within the melting pot of student emotions are those of the 1st years, currently sitting their summative examinations. Ahead of them is the prospect to mingle, learn, and work within the frontline of the NHS, alongside the professionals who are dedicated to patient care.

Whilst the students receive some guidance on what to learn, how can there be reassurance that consultants and others are following the curriculum and offering high quality teaching, whilst also supporting Joe/Jane Blogg’s growth in confidence and competency as an aspiring doctor?

24 February 2015

Behind enemy lines: a medic goes native among the scientists (Part Three)

Professor Mark Pallen

In my previous post, I talked about how I entered the world of laboratory medicine, first as a clinical academic gaining my MD at Barts, and then doing my PhD at Imperial College.

In this, my final piece, I'll talk about my focus on basic research, the challenges faced by clinical academics and how advances in technology eventually led me back to translational research.

Making a living from basic research

In late 1998, my fellowship finished and I returned to my old job at Barts. The first year back was very exciting, as I got stuck into analysing bacterial genome sequences that were being sequenced at the UK’s new genome sequencing centre, the Sanger Centre.

17 February 2015

Behind enemy lines: a medic goes native among the scientists (Part Two)

Professor Mark Pallen

In my first post, I talked about my experiences as a medical student and a junior doctor, my growing interest in clinical research and how I decided I wasn't suited to front-line medicine or surgery.

This week, I'll be talking how how I progressed from being a house officer to life in laboratory medicine.

Specialist training in Medical Microbiology

I decided to look at laboratory medicine as a career choice—an option often termed “Pathology” within the UK system. When I asked for advice from the local microbiology professor, J. D. Williams, I was surprised to be offered a job as a temporary lecturer in Medical Microbiology at the London. And so, without much forward planning and a heavy dose of serendipity, I embarked on a career in microbiology.

10 February 2015

Behind enemy lines: a medic goes native among the scientists (Part One)

Professor Mark Pallen

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Professor of Microbial Genomics at Warwick Medical School and I have been here since April 2013.

Although I was once, like you, a medical student and then a medic, I am now a full-time non-clinical academic. I thought I might share my academic journey, highlighting some of the pivotal points in my career, illustrating how I made a living behind enemy lines, as medic going native among the scientists, while also showing how I had some fun along the way.

Learning points (some of them tongue in cheek) are highlighted in the boxes below.