As many new trainees will have just completed or shortly be starting their first stint at their respective universities, Ang Davies, a senior lecturer on the clinical bioinformatics teaching pathway, takes a look at that pathway and how clinical bioinformatics as a profession has developed over the past 7 years. From the first year of training where the entire profession was practically founded, to the breakthrough that is routine genomic testing across England, who better to reflect on that journey than someone who helped pave the way?
First things first, if you are going to take on the wonderful world of clinical microbiology as an STP, you need to be okay with things that smell. Sometimes they smell nice, certain species of Streptococcus smell like caramel; sometimes not so nice, I dread opening the fridge at work where we store all our C. difficile culture plates. If you can get past the smell, you’ve jumped the first hurdle of microbiology! Well done!
So other than invest in a lot of clothes pegs and Vicks vapour rub, what do I do as a Clinical Microbiology trainee?
When people ask me what I do, I always need to take a little time to think. Partly because STP is a mix of so many varied experiences that every week is different to the previous one, and partly because my own understanding of my specialism keeps evolving as I move through these experiences. When I first applied for this course, I thought I had a reasonable understanding of what cancer genomics was. But now I see how naive I was and that three years is not anywhere near enough time to fully comprehend this very diverse and quickly developing area of science. So summarising it all in a few paragraphs will be a challenge but… let’s give it a go!
When we interact with the health service, we leave a footprint. Imagine scrapyards, filled with old metal filing cabinets, retired from their jobs as keepers of our health records. Letters, tests, scans and treatments are still archived by law but today they occupy a digital space.
Have you heard other STPs and training officers mention electives and not sure what they are? The elective rotation or just elective is a fantastic opportunity to leave your department for 4-6 weeks, go learn something new, experience a different environment and broaden your horizons. This can be anywhere in the world ( might depend on department and your finances) or it can even be down the corridor in a different department. The world is your oyster as they say. Last week I started my elective and decided to share my experience with you. Hopefully, I can give you a weekly roundup of what I’ve learned and some cool pictures of all the new places I visit.
Haematology – something to do with blood.
When I tell people that I am training to become a clinical scientist in haematology and transfusion science, the reply I often get is; ‘Haematology – that’s something to do with blood, right?’
Well, to put it simply; haematology is the medical speciality responsible for the diagnosis and management of a wide range of benign and malignant disorders of the blood and bone marrow (the spongy interior of bone where blood cells are made). So yes, you could say that haematology is something to do with blood…
One of the first posts I wrote for this blog a little over a year ago was a reflection on my first year on the STP. Another year has flown by, so I’m taking some time for my annual reflection on everything that has happened on my STP journey in the last 12 months; the good, the bad and the ugly.Continue reading “STP reflections | Year 2 | Jes”
This week, I can officially call myself a third year STP. This calls for celebration, excitement and possibly panic that there’s just a year of training left, a year left for the OneFile progress dial to reach 100% and less than a year till the OSFAs. But what it also calls for, is time for reflection.
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.
When I received my offer to the STP, believe me, I was ecstatic. When applying to the program, I never dreamed I’d be accepted, let alone get one of my top choices in locations. But here I am, based in the Clinical Genetics department in Cambridge, about to start into my second year of the Genetic Counselling program. When I got that email, I jumped around, I hugged my family, I definitely didn’t cry (jokes) and then, it hit me – I know NO ONE in Cambridge. Here we go again, another new city, another new start.