STP Specialisms | Andrology

Hi, my name is George and I’m a second year Andrology trainee at the Shropshire and Mid Wales Fertility Centre. Andrology is a relatively new specialism so there aren’t currently many trainees or fully qualified Andrologists, and it may not be as well-known as other specialities, so hopefully I can give a bit of an insight into what the role involves!

What is Andrology?

Andrology is the branch of science relating to male reproductive health, so the clinical scientist role covers working with male patients struggling with infertility, preserving male fertility for those who may become infertile in the future, and dealing with sperm donation, which is a vital resource for those who cannot produce or use their own sperm. It is a varied role, so tasks may be different from day-to-day and different clinics may place difference emphasis on each of the areas within the field depending on their clinical workload.

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STP Specialisms – Embryology

What is Embryology as a clinical field?

Fertility treatment has been an established medical specialism for over four decades, yet many people are unaware of what it entails, and the role clinical and non-clinical staff play. An IVF clinic combines the skill sets of consultants, specialist nurses, and scientists to assist couples trying to conceive. The latter is where I come in. Hi! My name is Laurie-Anne, and I am a second-year Embryology trainee (Reproductive Science) at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust. I’m going to show you what a day in the life of an Embryologist is like and how we contribute to fertility treatment.

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Preparing for your IACC

It has been such a long time since I wrote a blog here it feels a bit surreal. Thank you to everyone that has kept STP Perspectives alive and thriving. I was hoping this could be published earlier but work and annual leave have significantly delayed it. I am still including the IACC write up tips in case it would be useful insight for second years. If you are just interested in interview tips please skip further down. 🙂 

What is the IACC?

The IACC, another STP acronym for your collection, is the Independent Assessment of Clinical Competence. It was introduced in 2020 to replace the OSFAs due to the constraints of the pandemic but it may be here to stay. My STP year was the first cohort to sit the IACC as their sole final assessment and I must say it has definitely improved since then. In my final year we got a flavour of the OSFAs as we had our mocks just before all the lockdowns. I am not sure I enjoyed the OSFAs but I was determined to practice and be ready for the real ones. The school came up with this alternative assessment which didn’t need 12 different stations and everyone gathering in London, which might be a bonus for our environment as whole. Since then after passing the IACC and finishing the STP I was also given the opportunity to assess some IACCs so in this post you will get both a perspective from someone who has written it but also assessed it. 

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International Women’s Day 2022

Tuesday 8th March 2022

International Women’s Day (IWD) evolved from the universal suffrage movement that originated in New Zealand, and was the catalyst for movements in North America and Europe in the early 20th century. It is recognized throughout the world in a diverse range of ways, however became ‘official’ in 1975 when the United Nations began celebrating it. To commemorate IWD in 2022 we are shining a light on some current and past STP trainees. We asked them a range of questions to find out what inspired them to pursue a career in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

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Adapting to Covid-19 – Experiences & Advice

When we were told that the entire clinical patient facing service will come to a halt, I was initially relieved as we were taking the right steps to be safe. I also thought that this would be a great opportunity to complete a lot of written one file submissions as the practical aspect had come to a stop.

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STP Support | Training Support – A National School of Healthcare Science Perspective

This post has very kindly been written by Louise Ayers, Head of Programme Support at the NSHCS

So, here I am, the Head of Programme Support at the National School of Healthcare Science (NSHCS), trying to write a blog post (my first one ever!) that will have meaning and purpose to trainees and training departments out there, trying to get through their programmes and further their careers in healthcare science. I want to reach out and I want to tell you how we can help and how important it is that you understand our purpose and why we do want you to talk to us when you are having problems. 

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STP Support | A guide for dealing with STP training issues

Problems occur in every area of life and workplaces are no exception. In my career, I’ve had to deal with several different problems at work: from unrealistic expectations and demands from management; bullying; lack of (or poor!) project management; lack of delegation or being set unclear goals. Knowing how to deal with work-related problems effectively and professionally is an essential skill, which will improve job satisfaction, increase personal happiness and ultimately help you to become a more productive and effective employee. 

I have developed a strategy for dealing with problems at work; these steps have been applicable to most of the problems I’ve faced at work and will hopefully help the reader to deal with their own problems effectively. I will start by breaking down the steps to take when facing a generic problem and close with an example describing how to deal with training plan issues.

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The Role of Regional Trainee Networks

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.

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