A productive 2017, and a promising 2018 – looking back at my first year as an RCP tutor 

In our new tutors blog, Dr Thomas Cozens looks back on his experience of being a new college tutor in Wales, what he has achieved in 2017 and what exciting projects are to come in 2018.

The opportunity to become an RCP tutor for the Royal Gwent Hospital rather fell into my lap over the spring. It was not something I’d really considered previously, but on consideration I was rather surprised to see that it was a really good fit for my interests. I like teaching, I like junior doctors (I’ve been in post as an acute physician for a few years now, and I have always found working closely with them a perk of the job), and in retrospect the move was an obvious one. I still regard myself as a clinician first and foremost, but I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with being an RCP tutor.

    I’m currently looking to organise a searchable database of audit/QI projects so that the hard work isn’t lost when people leave the hospital

    Dr Thomas Cozens, RCP college tutor at the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

      At the beginning of my new role I had a list of tasks that needed to be addressed, including:

      • getting to grips with the previous cohort of juniors, as I was taking post just as the fallout from the 2016/2017  Annual Review of Competence Progression (ARCPs) was taking grip
      • organising educational supervision for the new intake of core medical trainees CMTs, and then overhauling the induction (in my opinion the quality of induction processes in hospitals is a general issue)
      • meeting the new CMTs on an individual basis
      • attempting to rejuvenate the medical departmental ‘Grand Round’
      • arranging a local visit from the Welsh RCP hierarchy to discuss the training and general performance of the hospital.

      I’m currently looking to organise a searchable database of audit/QI projects so that the hard work isn’t lost when people leave the hospital, starting to train up a faculty for high fidelity simulation teaching for physicians and hosting the Wales Deanery PACES course next spring.


      One of my highlights so far has been the discovery of the support and camaraderie of the other Welsh RCP tutors. I had no idea there was a network before, and it was one of the many surprising things I’ve discovered during my time in post. When I was invited to the ACT national conference in September I really didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, it turned out to be an incredibly useful day providing me with reassurance that my problems were the same as everyone else’s.

      I gained an insight into how other people had overcome those hurdles and was given examples of best practice elsewhere that we can adopt, alongside new contacts and old friendships. It also gave me food for thought with updates on what’s coming – including presentations regarding the Wales Deanery Education Contract Attendance System as well as the adoption of the internal medicine curriculum following the Shape of Training report; and so it continues.

      Dr Thomas Cozens, RCP college tutor and Acute Medicine consultant, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board