The Turner-Warwick lectures: the trainees’ platform

The Turner-Warwick lectures are probably best known for celebrating the life and achievements of its namesake – Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick, but for trainees, the scheme is a platform for showcasing research at the national level.

Dame Turner-Warwick not only was the first female president of the RCP but was also a reforming and collaborative president who always focused on what patients want. Improving patient care was her driving force and a touchstone engrained within the RCP, its members and its outputs. We’ve adapted this mindset with the scheme to support and outline the valuable contributions trainees are making within healthcare.

The Turner-Warwick lecturer scheme is a platform for the brilliant work and research being conducted by medical trainees around the UK. It’s a national scheme, run at a regional level – each year showcasing the outstanding work of one trainee in every region, where the winners are invited to present their lecture at the RCP Update in medicine conference held in their region.

The Turner-Warwick lecture has provided me with a platform to develop collaborations and networks with other clinicians and researchers with similar interests.

Dr Stephen Lim, 2019 Turner-Warwick lecutrer for Wessex

Dr Stephen Lim was awarded the 2019 Turner-Warwick lecture in the Wessex region. He recently shared his journey with us on his experience of being part of the scheme for trainees:

‘I was delighted to be able to help raise the profile of academic geriatric medicine, a specialty where research activity often lags behind the scale of clinical activity. It also helped my fellow colleagues and trainees within the region to better understand the research that I am involved in and the opportunities out there to participate in research. I saw it as a great opportunity to disseminate my research findings among those within my specialty and to other medical specialties. I was also keen to get out of my comfort zone by taking up the opportunity of delivering such a prestigious lecture,’ he said.

Annually, trainees at IMT, CMT, ACCS-AM or ST3-7 level can submit an abstract for the Turner-Warwick lectures.

I saw it as a great opportunity to disseminate my research findings among those within my specialty and to other medical specialties.

Dr Stephen Lim, 2019 Turner-Warwick lecutrer for Wessex

Abstracts are judged by a panel of clinicians based in the region. The winning trainee is invited to present their lecture at their regional Update in medicine conference – the largest conference held in each region which boasts a diverse audience spanning the medical specialties and career stages.

Presented as an evidence-based overview of a clinical topic for a general medical audience, lectures can focus on a trainee’s work in clinical research, a successful quality improvement project, or achievements in medical education. Topics in the past have included dietary supplementation; the artificial pancreas for diabetes patients; thrombectomy; drug-free remission in autoimmunity; health engagement; pollo and much more.

‘The hardest part of the lecture was deciding on the structure and content of my talk, ensuring that it was also relevant and interesting to other medical specialties. I found the easiest part of the process was delivering the lecture, as I have had several opportunities to talk about my study in great detail; particularly during my transfer and final viva for my PhD. I gave myself plenty of time to prepare and rehearse my talk with colleagues and friends. My harshest and most helpful critic, my wife (non-medical), was instrumental in ensuring that my lecture was concise and succinct, and that key messages and findings were clearly presented,’ said Stephen.

I would highly recommend that you put yourself forward to deliver this prestigious lecture. This is a fantastic opportunity offered by the RCP for trainees to promote and disseminate their work to a wider audience.

Dr Stephen Lim, 2019 Turner-Warwick lecutrer for Wessex

Becoming a Turner-Warwick lecturer brings cross-specialty and national recognition to a trainee’s work and research, in addition to the prizes outlined on the scheme’s webpage. The Turner-Warwick lecturer scheme brings about a variety of personal and professional development opportunities beginning with the decision to submit an abstract, to beyond presenting a winning lecture, with the support and encouragement of the RCP throughout.

‘The Turner-Warwick lecture has provided me with invaluable experience in building my confidence and in improving my presentation skills. It has also given me a platform to develop collaborations and networks with other clinicians and researchers with similar interests. I would highly recommend that you put yourself forward to deliver this prestigious lecture. This is a fantastic opportunity offered by the RCP for trainees to promote and disseminate their work to a wider audience,’ said Stephen.

On presentation day, the RCP president gives the winning trainee a commemorative plaque. The lecturer receives an invitation to the Harveian Oration and dinner as well and the opportunity to take part in a yearbook promoting the Turner-Warwick lecturers across the UK. An overall winner is selected at the end of the annual scheme; this person is invited to present their lecture at the RCP annual conference the following year.

This February is the halfway point for the 2020 Turner-Warwick lectures. Entry is still open in eight of the UK regions where trainees can submit expressions of interest or completed applications.

More information can be found on our bespoke Turner-Warwick lectures webpage or by contacting Gill Brown, deputy head of UK regions by phone on +44 (0)1858 465944, or email at gill.brown@rcplondon.ac.uk.

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