Monday, September 16th 2019. 5pm. That date and time seemed like the distant future when I first started on the scheme all the way back in September 2016. However, time has a nasty habit of progressing linearly, and now with less than a month to go, I find myself thinking back on my experiences these past few years. Here are some of those thoughts loosely arranged in a human-readable chronological form.
Haroon Chughtai (3rd year Clinical Bioinformatics – Physical Sciences STP, Clinical Bioinformatics – Physical Sciences & Health Informatics Trainee Representative, Co-Chair London Healthcare Science Trainee Network)
We heard earlier from Sarah Green about the role of trainee representatives in the STP, and how these included those from specialisms as well as regional networks. Whilst it is very true that a lot of the work of the regional trainee networks involves representation at local and national levels, there is also a lot more to it.
As the end of my training hurtles relentlessly towards me, I’m taking a moment away from MSc project and competencies to reflect on why I think that regional trainee networks are vital, and why every trainee should be involved with them in some way.
It’s national coding week! To celebrate I wanted to talk about how important coding is in healthcare and put it into perspective for those of you that might read that and think “Coding? How could that possibly influence my healthcare?”
It’s true, I may be a little biased as I am a bioinformatician, so a large part of my job is – you guessed it – coding. However, I really don’t think it will be long before coding will be an essential part of all healthcare science jobs!
Last week we received a message from a reader:
As an STP applicant and interviewee for the last three years on my chosen programme I have been left with a sour taste in my mouth regarding the credibility of the interview process for STPs. Unfortunately I don’t think I am the only potential applicant who feels this way, yet our voices continue to go unheard with the feedback we provide to the school of healthcare science. It would be great to see current STPs in post displaying a balanced view of the application process, interview process and training programme to potential applicants rather than a rose-tinted view. It is quite unconvincing when we see a page promoting the STP from such a light when we have seen that year upon year, excellent candidates are slipping through the net, becoming increasingly demeaned and disheartened while less experienced candidates who are able to charm at interview get recruited.
Please let me know your opinion on this.
Firstly, we just want to say thank you for getting in touch, we really value the opinions of our readers and hearing from you helps us to know what to write about. We wanted to share what you’ve written so we can fully address what you’ve spoken about in a way that can help everyone.
…But the start of a new one!
Hello everyone! Earlier this week was the STP induction day in Birmingham for all the new trainees. So I thought, as so many people are starting their scientist training journey, what better time to share a look back from someone who is coming to the end of theirs. I asked Verity Fryer, a third year clinical bioinformatics trainee (and now also a fully employed Healthcare Scientist!) in my department some questions about her past 3 years and this is what she had to say:
How do you feel coming to the end of the STP?
Relieved, happy and proud of what I’ve achieved. I can’t quite believe I’ve done it and it’s finished (I submitted and had approved my last competency this morning!).
In honour of the new season of the Great British Bake Off starting last week, I put together a tongue-in-cheek list of 5 ways the STP and the bake-off are basically the same process. Read on to find out how.
Hello! Hopefully there’s a lot of new STP trainees that have found this page since this one is especially for you. Since most new trainees join their trusts at the beginning of September, Adriana and I thought we could put together a little post just before then, to address some of the key skills we think you’ll need, and top tips for smashing your first year of training! So we decided on our top 10 things and made them into a fancy infographic because who doesn’t love a good infographic? But do read on for an explanation on each point!
One of the things I love about bioinformatics is how relatively new the field is. Bioinformatics; first coined in 1970’s correspondence between Hesper and Hogeweg as a term to describe “the study of informatics processes in biotic systems”1 has since evolved into an invaluable skill in a biologist’s skillset. As a multi-disciplinary field with a delicate balance of biology, computer science and statistics, it is well-known as the method used to deal with “big data” particularly in the field of genomics. But this isn’t how it started.
Continue reading “Bioinformatics: back in time”