I am a trainee clinical bioinformatician working at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust. I am passionate about increasing awareness and discussion about healthcare science and particularly the routes into the field.
The ‘independent assessment of clinical competence’ is a critical reflection of our training experience and how it has prepared us to practice as clinical scientists. Since earlier this week I shared my thought piece on the IACC, I thought it might be more useful to share some tips I’ve gathered from various resources on critical reflection. I am going to tailor this post to applying critical reflection to the IACC, but please note: I don’t have any more information about it than what has been shared by NSHCS! So, when I offer my opinion on what the examiner might be looking for, please don’t take this as gospel; it is just my opinion.
Acronyms. The STP is full of ’em: DOPS, OCES, CBD, NSHCS, OSFA.
If you haven’t heard of the IACC by now, have you been living under a rock?! (I wouldn’t blame you to be fair- it’s probably better than everything going on in the world right now). But for those of you who haven’t, the IACC is the ‘independent assessment of clinical competence’ and the official replacement of the 2020 OSFAs. Yes, an essay- but not just an essay- a critical reflection. If you’d have told me 6 months ago that I would be writing an essay instead of facing the OSFAs in July 2020, I would’ve laughed in your face and said something like ‘Yeah, I wish’. But now that I’m really not sitting the OSFAs next month I feel a bit like I’ve had something taken away from me. I’ve got a lot of thoughts about the cancellation, our replacement assessment and the altered STP completion requirements, so bear with me while I apparently work my way through them on a public blog post.
I never in my life thought I would be writing a post about working from home because we’re in a national lockdown. But life takes some funny twists and turns and here we are. Before I begin I just want to preface this post by saying that I am incredibly grateful to be in a position where I can still do my job from home, and I know this isn’t the same for everyone, and even those who can may be in very different circumstances, so I’m just trying to lighten the mood a little and share some advice that you might find useful.
It sometimes seems like the only two things people were talking about in 2019 was Brexit and climate change. And since I can’t do anything about Brexit, and quite frankly, am sick of discussing it, I felt that we could start the year by talking about the other hot (literally) topic: the climate change crisis- and the role healthcare scientists have played in it. Whether your New Year’s resolution is to reduce your carbon footprint, live more sustainably or neither of those things I hope you give this post a chance to find out a little more about the impact of healthcare on the environment! So, what do healthcare scientists have to do with climate change? And even if we are contributing- surely at least the work we do is helping people so it’s worth the small environmental impact?!
The STP applications have opened again for 2020! They really snuck up on us this year but that’s not going to stop us sharing some of our top tips for writing up your application. So without further ado, here are 20 tips from us to help you nail your application!
The good start I was hoping for on Monday morning didn’t quite come into fruition. But, it wasn’t a total disaster. The job hadn’t failed or been killed, it just hadn’t finished running yet. Which was fine… except I wasn’t sure exactly how long things were allowed to run until they were killed by the job scheduler. I’d heard ~2 and a half days, and as the clock approached almost 3 days of run time I started to get very nervous, especially since the log files were indicating that the jobs were only about 65% complete (turns out it took 5 days but it was allowed to continue running so I’m taking that as a win).
When I say that coming in on Monday morning to find that all 12 of the jobs I left running over the weekend had executed perfectly brought equal amounts of surprise, joy and relief, you may think “you should have more confidence in your abilities”. But I think most bioinformaticians will know the suspense of checking the log files for a job that has been running for 20+ hours and not wanting to get our hopes up too high- just in case. But of course, there was no time to linger on that success as it was only the first stage of a multistep pipeline.
Throughout your 3 years on the STP you will undoubtedly see and hear about many professional bodies or societies related to your specialism who are eager for you to sign up and can seemingly do little more than take hard-earned money out of your wallet.
The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, Sydney, Australia. This is where I’m lucky enough to be doing my elective placement for 6 weeks as part of the STP. The Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics (KCCG) is part of the Garvan Institute, a prestigious medical research facility, and as the name suggests- specialises in Genomics diagnostics and research.