RCP regional updates in medicine – a trainee’s experience

Dr Louise Finch, an ST6 in geriatrics and general medicine at Ipswich Hospital, discusses her experience attending the recent Royal College of Physicians (RCP) Eastern regional update in medicine.

The RCP's regional updates in medicine offer an opportunity for those of us based around the UK to hear what’s new in the ever-changing world of medicine and engage with the college through networking and open forums with college officers. They are always popular events and last month's Eastern update in medicine was no exception.

The programme centres around recent practice-changing updates and advice on management of common challenges that we face as general physicians, which makes it particularly relevant to medical registrars leading the on-call medical team. Sian Coggle discussed the recently revised national guidelines on sepsis, and focused on the use of the qSOFA (quick Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) score to help identify those at greater risk of complications. Craig Parkinson discussed whether the 60-minute cortisol measurement of a short synacthen test is in fact superfluous to requirements, whilst Brian Gordon gave an interactive update highlighting the NICE guideline on the use of indwelling devices in heart failure management.

Andrew Clegg’s discussion on identifying frailty as a predictor of poorer outcomes in the older population resonated with all specialists given the increasing age of those accessing the NHS. I was also interested to hear Dr Rachel Limbrey, from Southampton, discuss how her ambulatory service has streamlined the care of patients with pulmonary emboli, highlighting the importance of close teamwork with nurse specialists and early educational interventions to avoid unnecessary patient anxiety.

Andrew Clegg’s discussion on identifying frailty as a predictor of poorer outcomes in the older population resonated with all specialists given the increasing age of those accessing the NHS

Trainees from the region also presented, and Arjun Kingdom and Marika Reinius won the poster competition for their work on the use of quality improvement methods to support the implementation of multidisciplinary discharge summaries for older people which improved communication between primary and secondary care.

In the afternoon’s open forum RCP president, Professor Jane Dacre, took questions from the floor in a wide-ranging discussion which covered the implementation of shape of training, the new 'capabilities in practice' method of trainee assessment and how to inspire new doctors to take on the somewhat onerous role of medical registrar. We also heard from Andrew Goddard, college registrar, who had cycled from Derby that morning as part of the RCP Charter Cycle: 2018 for 2018 in aid of Physicians in Africa.

Next year promises to be a celebration of 500 years of the RCP with plenty more opportunities for trainee involvement. In 2018, the RCP will appoint a trainee in each region as the Quincentennial Lecturer to deliver a lecture at their Regional Update. Applications are still open with more information available on the RCP website.

Dr Louise Finch (@louisekfinch), ST6 in geriatrics and general medicine, Ipswich Hospital