Since the STP applications are opening relatively soon, I thought it would be good to help potential applicants decide if it’s the right path for them. Every other resource tells you- it’s a graduate scheme with a work-based and MSc component, but what exactly is it like to be on the STP? And what are the challenges you can expect to face on your STP journey? We’ll tackle these questions over a series of posts, using our experiences over the last 15-ish months to provide a real insight to the highs and lows of the STP and exactly what you’re signing up for. A big part of the STP is the fact that you are employed by an NHS trust, so for the first post in this series let’s unravel what it’s like to work for the NHS as a healthcare science trainee.
How many bioinformaticians knew they wanted to specialise in bioinformatics when they were 18 and sitting their A-levels? Probably not a lot.
Considering that bioinformatics is such a specialised and multidisciplinary field, sometimes I think about how I ended up choosing this as my career path. Initially, I went to the University of Kent to study Biomedical Science with the ultimate goal of getting into Graduate Medicine, like the majority of my classmates. When did I decide that medicine wasn’t for me? Probably when I decided I really disliked pharmacology.
But… don’t pathologists just look at dead people…?
I’m well aware that here, at STP Perspectives, we bang on about “healthcare scientists” a lot. That’s because we want our readers to be as passionate about it as we are! However, this week, as it is National Pathology Week, it’s only right that we bang on about pathologists. So what exactly is a pathologist and why should you care about them?
Emily Plimmer, 1st year Clinical Pharmaceutical Science trainee in Staffordshire talks about her role.
Clinical Pharmaceutical Science (CPS) is one of those specialisms that always seem to make trainees in other areas pull a confused face – they’ve often never even heard of us! Yet the work we do is absolutely vital for patients. In simple terms, we make medicines. However, that really doesn’t do it justice; we are involved in not only making medicines, but ensuring standards of safety, efficacy and quality are met for all patients, and that is no mean feat!
Let’s start at the beginning; what is infertility?
Infertility means not being able to conceive a child. Many people face problems with conception, this can be attributed to a number of contributing factors, but not all can be diagnosed. In 25-30% of cases a cause cannot be identified even after the most thorough investigations. This is due to the fact that some of the factors cannot be assessed. Common causes of infertility include problems with ovulation (whereby the body does not release eggs naturally), issues with the tubes, or for male partners this would include problems with the quality or ability of the sperm. For these issues there is a range of treatments that are offered through the assisted reproductive pathway.
So you want to apply for the STP 2019 intake? Read on to hear our top tips for making that application stand out. These tips are tailored purely for the written application and we will do another post later on to tackle the interview process.
Editors note: These tips were valid for the 2019 application process and might not be accurate for future years.
If you’re not sure about the process for the application there are basically 2 parts:
– Aptitude tests: Mathematical and logical reasoning.
– Personal Information and short written answers to 4 questions.
Artwork by Joe Mahon
I feel like I talk a lot about things being scary on this blog.
Blogging is scary. Blogging is putting your writing, reflections and opinions on the internet and totally opening yourself up to criticism. If you don’t think that’s scary then can you come and write a blog post for us please?!
On the 21st-22nd September, at a swanky venue in the centre of London’s financial district, AI and deep learning experts gathered to network and share their research and developments in the field. My colleague, Adriana, and I were lucky enough to win tickets from One HealthTech to attend this event.
Last year I attended the Manchester Academy for Healthcare Scientist Education (MAHSE) research day, where STP trainees and other speakers gave various talks and presentations. It was a very useful day, learning about other trainee’s research projects and receiving lots of useful advice. One of the keynote speakers, Dr Elaine Cloutman-Green, gave a great talk detailing her journey to becoming a clinical scientist and beyond. One point that particularly stuck with me was “Step out of your box” and the idea of saying “YES” to any opportunities that may come your way, no matter how much out of your ‘box’ they are. As a previous genetic technologist and current trainee bioinformatician, I consider myself firmly in the ‘science’ box. It’s nice and comfy, and feels pretty safe…
A few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to attend the European Conference of Computational Biology (ECCB) in Athens, Greece. As a proud greek, the moment I saw there was a bioinformatics conference in my home country I really wanted to go, but also it was an excellent opportunity for me to network, create new contacts and ideally find potential elective opportunities. Every trainee, depending on the trust, has a budget allocated by the school to cover the expenses of going to university. If you are not too frivolous when booking your university accommodation, you might end up with some leftover budget that can be used to attend conferences like this one. Don’t be afraid to ask! If you find an event or a conference that you think might be interesting, ask your TO if you can go. Obviously, don’t find the most expensive conference on the other side of the world cause there’s so much your budget can stretch to.