A group of doctors having a case meetingHear accounts from previous Academic Foundation year 2 doctors:

Experiences of being an Academic F2

2019 | Dr. Manraj Sura

The Academic Foundation Programme rotation with the Department of Primary Care and Public Health was one of my most enjoyable and inspiring foundation jobs. The academic block provides you with the unique experience of having dedicated time to pursue your research interests as well as develop as both an academic and clinician. 

During the rotation I was able to design my own research projects, attend several courses and teaching and was supported throughout my foundation years by both my academic supervisor and the department as a whole. There were several opportunities to get involved in Medical Education and during the programme I was able to deliver several teaching sessions as well as contribute to curriculum and assessment development. 

Working in General Practice provided me with the opportunity to enhance my clinical skills and the autonomy to review patients and formulate management plans. There were several learning opportunities and I was able to develop as a clinician through mentorship from senior GPs.

Overall, the rotation has been a valuable experience and I have enjoyed being part of the department.

2019 | Dr Geiske Zijlstra

The academic job in primary care is a fantastic experience, giving you the opportunity to not only develop your clinical skills, but also to develop skills in research and teaching that you would not normally get the time for.

My F2 started with my academic job. I am doing clinical work in a GP surgery two days per week and spend the other three days in the department of primary care and public health.

Teaching

During department days I have various teaching commitments, which mainly involve facilitating tutorials for the Year 5 Imperial students. This involved tutorials with actors as simulated patients, teaching on patient safety, and contributing to tutorials with an artist that takes place in part at the Victoria and Albert museum. I have also been involved with the teaching on the Health Inequalities Specialist Choice Module for students, where I designed and facilitated a tutorial that took place at the Wellcome Trust. I was given the opportunity to attend the TACTIC teaching course which is great for deepening your understanding of education theory.

Research

I worked on a scoping review which aims to describe interventions available that improve the mental health of minority ethnic groups in the UK. This has allowed me to work closely with members of the Imperial public health department, and work with colleagues at other universities on a wider work package funded by the NIHR. This has taught me valuable research skills and will hopefully lead to a publication.
Clinical

My GP surgery is located close to St Mary’s and allows you to see a wide range of patients, many from very deprived areas. It is challenging and rewarding, and provides you with a very different perspective to medicine that has been extremely valuable. I’ve dealt a wide range of issues, ranging from difficult diagnoses, mental health, social work and emergencies, all in the community setting.

It has been a very valuable four months which has given me the opportunity to develop many skills, build on my CV and meet fantastic people.

April 2018 | Dr Hannah Wilson

I would really recommend this Academic Primary Care job as an F2 doctor. The past 4 months have flown by and I have loved the combination of teaching, research and clinical work.

Dr Hannah WilsonThe clinical job 2-days per week allows you feel up to date with clinical knowledge which is often what people worry about by coming out of the hospital! I have had fantastic supervision at the GP surgery and have been surprised at how much I have learnt from a clinical perspective in such a short amount of time.

There has been a wide variety of teaching available with the medical students at Imperial College. I have relished the opportunity to explore different types of teaching and my work has included teaching Year 2, Year 3 and Qualified GP’s. The comparison of different techniques and strategies used for undergraduate to post-graduate teaching has been very intriguing.

As regards getting involved with research, I had initially designed my own project from the 4-months but being new to educational research with a background of clinical research I learnt quickly how much time is required to set up your own project. I was given several options by the Department of projects to get involved with and this has led to abstract writing, a publication and likely conference in the summer.

I also underwent a Taster week at the BMJ, which was very insightful for a career in medical journalism and reflected the number of opportunities offered.

Overall this is a really friendly and busy department with a lot going on if you get stuck in! Highly recommend to other F2 Trainees!

April 2018 | Dr Kevin Buell

Dr Kevin BuellAs an F1, I rotated through endocrinology and diabetes (mostly general internal medicine patients), respiratory and general surgery at Northwick Park Hospital, a large busy DGH. In comparison to other DGHs, it is very well supported without compromising your clinical responsibility and opportunities. As an F2, I rotated through Emergency Medicine, Academic Block and Gastroenterology in Charing Cross Hospital. The ED was a terrific learning experience with plenty of opportunities to manage acutely unwell patients and a “right of passage” as a doctor. I have yet to complete my gastroenterology rotation but the other trainees have thoroughly enjoyed it.

The academic block was a unique experience and highlight of the AFP. You are attached to a GP practice for two days per week. Even if you don’t want to become a GP, two days a week gives you great insight into what it is like to provide medical care in the community and the interaction between primary and secondary care. You also practice preventative medicine, see a range of pathology that does not present to the hospital and are expected to manage your own patients. Don’t worry! The supervising GP is next door for questions and even if you don’t have any, he/she will debrief all your patients twice a day.  

Three days per week are reserved for academia. There is a huge variety of research, teaching and QIP projects to choose from. You can organise your own project within the School of Public Health or alternatively, the Primary Care Department can arrange one for you. I arranged my own project and worked with the Infectious Disease Epidemiology team based at Saint Mary’s Hospital on a systematic review of Loa Loa (African eye worm disease). I was involved in all stages of the project from conception to publication and was even able to travel on my first “business trip” to Montpellier (France) as part of the project! There were ample opportunities to teach medical students as a faculty member for a variety of undergraduate courses. In comparison to previous teaching I had done on the wards, I led small group tutorials in the classroom as part of the undergraduate curriculum. Finally, the flexibility awarded to trainees also allowed me to complete a few QIPs I had started during FY1. If I had more time, I would have also spent a week at the BMJ as an intern!

Comparing my experience of the foundation program with my friends, I can honestly say that the AFP in primary care and public health provides trainees a rare mix of hands on clinical training combined with excellent research and teaching opportunities. Even though I knew that I did not want to become a GP from the outset, this was my first choice AFP because it had a tremendous reputation at Imperial College. I unreservedly recommend it to all medical students planning on applying to GP training, core medical training or an academic clinical fellowship. 

Aug 2017 | Dr Clare Reeder

Dr Clare ReederMy academic F2 job in primary care was highly enjoyable. 

Before I joined I had an idea of the area I wanted to research and Anju (Academic Supervisor) was very supportive. I was able to make links with a homeless charity in order to evaluate the care that people who are homeless are receiving at Imperial Trust. 

Having 3 days a week to dedicate time to this project meant that I was able to fully immerse myself in the research and attend MDTs and educational events associated with my area of interest.

On top of this I was offered many opportunities to develop other research skills. I was involved in reviewing articles, writing an article for Pulse magazine and my time at the BMJ gave me the opportunity to pitch my own article. 

Teaching was very much part of the job and it was nice to have time to specifically dedicate to it rather than answering a bleep half way through. 

I think the best part of the job is maintaining the clinical role. I felt like I was able to keep my up with clinical knowledge whilst also having time to explore my academic interests . 

The GP practice I was attached to was very welcoming and after a few nervous initial sessions I began to feel more confident. Both the GP tutors were very approachable and no question was wrong. They were always available to discuss cases either whilst the patient was still there or after surgery. I learnt a lot from them and they showed me how GP doesn't have to be an isolating environment.

This job has confirmed my wish to be a GP but also devote some time improving services by undertaking research.