In this blog, Dr Alex Phillips – 2020 Turner-Warwick lecturer for Wales – talks about her experience with the lecturer scheme as an internal medicine trainee (IMT) and how it’s inspired her career going forward.
I was only a few days into my internal medicine training when I had an email from our head of school inviting applications for the Turner-Warwick lecturer scheme. I had just finished a year as a clinical teaching fellow for the Universities of Bristol and Oxford at Swindon Academy, which had given me the long-awaited chance to implement a high-fidelity ward cover simulation for our final year medical students. We used a shared online platform and QR codes to maximise the ease and generalisability of implementing such programmes, and thankfully had managed to deliver all but one of these sessions before our students were deployed on their interim foundation year 1 placements at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I felt compelled to share our experience in order to try to broaden access to similar programmes across the UK.
On reading a little more about the Turner-Warwick scheme, I was amazed at the breadth and quality of research carried out by trainees around the UK and – I must admit – felt a little intimidated! However, we had received such positive feedback from our students that I felt compelled to share our experience in order to try to broaden access to similar programmes across the UK. Reading about the educational and wellbeing work presented by Dr Huda Mahmoud the previous year further encouraged me to apply, and with the support of the Swindon Academy dean, Mr Kevin Jones, I submitted my application.
I had never delivered a talk to such a large and distinguished audience with such a broad field of interest, and the virtual nature of the lecture presented an additional challenge in keeping people engaged.
I was absolutely thrilled when I heard that I had been selected as the Turner-Warwick lecturer for Wales, but once the excitement began to ebb away, the nerves and imposter syndrome started to creep in! I had never delivered a talk to such a large and distinguished audience with such a broad field of interest, and the virtual nature of the lecture presented an additional challenge in keeping people engaged.
Thankfully, once I began preparing my talk, my enthusiasm for the topic overcame the nerves. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the whole process, particularly the Q&A session with the inspirational Dr Olwen Williams, whose warmth and advocacy for women in medicine I felt reflected the namesake of the scheme – Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick. It was also an immense honour to meet Sir Andrew Goddard and the late Professor Donal O’Donoghue to discuss my project, together with the other RCP Turner-Warwick lecturers.
I would strongly encourage any internal medicine trainee to apply to share their work, as the scheme can open a lot of doors through personal and professional development, and also acts as a platform to network with others in your field.
I learned a huge amount from the Turner-Warwick scheme. As well as the challenge of creating and delivering a virtual presentation that would engage a variety of physicians, I enjoyed learning about all the fantastic projects carried out by medical trainees in the UK. Most importantly, however, it really has encouraged me to put myself forward for every opportunity, and not to be deterred by imposter syndrome! I would strongly encourage any internal medicine trainee to apply to share their work, as the scheme can open a lot of doors through personal and professional development, and also acts as a platform to network with others in your field.
Since delivering my Turner-Warwick lecture, I have completed my internal medicine training and started specialty training in dermatology. I remain passionate about medical education and I’m looking forward to bringing this passion to a specialty that is under-represented in medical school curricula, making high-quality and impactful teaching all the more important.
Finally, having been bitten by the research bug, and inspired by the work of my fellow lecturers, I’m looking forward to exploring options for clinical research alongside my training.
2023 Turner-Warwick lectures
The flagship trainee lecturer scheme is open for entries from 14 July 2022 until 4 October 2022.
Most people apply to this lecturer scheme because a consultant they know recommended it to them.
The Turner-Warwick lecturer scheme provides a sense of pride, builds confidence and builds soft-skills – all while highlighting the valuable contribution trainees bring to healthcare.