What the Turner-Warwick lecture scheme provides for trainees

The 2020 Turner-Warwick lecture scheme is now well underway with applications coming in from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The scheme celebrates the life and achievements of the RCP’s first female president, Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick, by shining a spotlight on the outstanding work of our trainees.

In 2019, the Turner-Warwick lectures were presented at 15 regional conferences across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Dr Stephen Spencer is a core medical training (CMT) trainee and the winner of the 2019 Turner-Warwick lectures in the South West region.

'I applied to the Turner-Warwick lecture scheme because it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to present my research to colleagues in the region which I work and to raise awareness about a topic I am passionate about — neglected tropical diseases. I set aside a few days to write the lecture and over the days preceding the presentation, practiced with close friends and family. I found this very helpful as it led to small edits and alterations in the talk’, said Dr Spencer.

The Turner-Warwick lectures became a popular addition to the regional ‘Update in medicine’ conferences, where the work of trainees is showcased and celebrated. Dr Spencer’s lecture was titled ‘Tackling schistosomiasis in the remote rainforest communities of Madagascar’ and was presented at ‘Update in medicine — Bristol’ in April this year.

‘My lecture involved showing lots of pictures and videos of a series of medical research expeditions in Madagascar. The easiest and most fun part involved looking through all the pictures taken by the team over 5 years of medical research in the rainforests of Madagascar. The difficulty I had was making and producing videos. I wanted to use videos to demonstrate the working environment as well as the impact of schistosomiasis on the children I work with. I had never edited videos before, so this ended up being an extremely long process and took many more hours than I had anticipated,’ said Dr Spencer.

Through presenting their work, many trainees who take part in the scheme gain a wealth of professional and career development skills such as networking and public speaking, as well as receiving constructive feedback and reaching a broader audience than they’d usually have access to. 

‘Presenting the Turner-Warwick lecture at the 'Update in medicine — Bristol' conference was a fantastic experience. It was a great honour and privilege to have been awarded the opportunity to present to many esteemed colleagues in the region. I have made contacts with many renowned academics and clinicians’ said Dr Spencer.

Turner-Warwick lecturers also receive a plaque from the president of the RCP and an invitation to the Harveian Oration and dinner.

When all the lectures from the 2019 scheme have been presented, one will be chosen as an overall winner, who will be invited to present at the opening plenary session at the RCP annual conference, Medicine 2020.

For more information, or to apply, visit the dedicated Turner-Warwick lectures webpage. Applications as well as declarations of interest are welcome. Follow the excitement on Twitter by using the hashtag #RCPTurnerWarwick.