Dr Alice Bunce – Intermediate trainee

I have thoroughly enjoyed my core anaesthetics training in the East Midlands so much so that I’m continuing my speciality training in the area.

Dr Alice Bunce, intermediate trainee, EMSA

Tertiary centres provide the opportunity to acquire and develop specialist skills in major trauma as well as regional and bariatric anaesthesia, and demonstrate the wide variety of training opportunities on offer in the East Midlands.

Trainees are actively encouraged to participate in non clinical aspects of the curriculum and opportunities are provided to undertake and showcase this work. With the FRCA exams a key feature in early training years,

I’ve benefited hugely from the revision sessions and support networks offered by senior trainees and consultants within the region. In addition, in-house teaching offered by the majority of hospitals is supplemented by the regular deanery teaching.

Overall, the East Midlands is a fantastic place to train and I’m excited to continue with my training in this area. 

Dr Brett Doleman – Core trainee

Dr Brett Doleman is an Academic Clinical Fellow currently at the Royal Derby Hospital and the University of Nottingham. He is currently CT2. He was a graduate entrant to medical school having graduated with a 1st class degree in Biology. He graduated from the University of Newcastle with distinction and honours and won the Philipson Scholarship for the highest marks in the medical school final exams. He returned to the East Midlands (he was born in Derby) to undertake foundation training. He then completed a PhD in statistics and pain at the University of Nottingham before entering an Academic Clinical Fellowship in Anaesthesia. He has numerous peer reviewed publications, has presented at national and international conferences and is a junior editor for the journal Techniques in Coloproctology. He was also a PhD assessor for the Danish study PANSAID which was one of the largest multimodal analgesia trials conducted. 
  

Personally, I find the training scheme at Derby of a high standard. Module leads are approachable, friendly and supportive when it comes to getting modules signed off. The EMSA regional meetings have informative content including practical workshops and offer an opportunity for trainees to present posters on audit and research. There is regular regional teaching sessions including helpful preparation for exams. There is also local teaching to complement this which are mapped to the training curriculum.  
  

Dr Brett Doleman, Core trainee, EMSA

A major advantage of the East Midlands is the excellent combination of picturesque countryside, large inner city areas (good for social life) and cheap housing. This means the quality of housing per £ is much higher than elsewhere in the country and has meant I could afford my forever house during CT2 which would not be possible if I was training in the south of England. In addition, transport links are excellent with regular train and bus services between the major cities whilst from a central base most training hospitals are commutable within an hours drive which would not be case in larger regions.  
  

For me personally, my reasons for choosing the East Midlands to train were numerous. I knew the area well from growing up here and knew it was an excellent place to live and train.

There are a good variety of hospitals from large trauma centres (QMC) through to smaller DGHs (Chesterfield, Kings Mill) with hospitals somewhere in between (Derby). But for myself, the region offers an excellent base for research. There are large anaesthesia research departments at Nottingham, Leicester and Derby which offer an excellent opportunity to undertake research for those interested. The local trainee research group MERCAT are always looking to support trainees with research ideas or help those wanting to get involved with research. Overall, the East Midlands offers an excellent training programme, a cheap but beautiful environment in which to live and regional research opportunities which is hard to rival in other training regions. I am extremely happy I chose the East Midlands and look forward to my future years living and training here. 

From South Wales originally, I came to Leicester to study medicine, ended up undertaking an intercalated degree in anaesthetic pharmacology and staying on to undertake Foundation training, including a 4 month placement in anaesthesia and intensive care. My exposure to anaesthetics in the region via my iBSc and foundation placement made the East Midlands an ideal choice for core and subsequently specialty training.

The East Midlands School of Anaesthesia has a strong track record in offering flexible training, affording trainees opportunities to undertake fellowships, in- and out- of program experiences alongside clinical training. I’ve been fortunate to take up these, as part of an innovative academic ACCS program, twinned with a MMedSci in Medical Education at the University of Nottingham, and latterly a clinical lecturer post and PhD at the University of Leicester.

Colleagues are undertaking similar experiences in management, leadership and quality improvement alongside their clinical training. The clinical training is excellent, and throughout the region offers the full range of anaesthesia and intensive care placements from our specialist areas of ECMO and neuro anaesthesia to the broad range of district general hospital experience. Trainee wellbeing is well and truly on this region’s agenda – we have an active trainee body (East Midlands Group of Anaesthetists in Training), representing the voice of anaesthetists in training at school, hospital and national levels.

Dr Roshan Thawale – Experience of an IMG in East Midlands School of Anaesthesia (EMSA)

We international health professional may migrate for various reasons- postgraduate study, money, love or place to broaden the experiences and horizons. Different circumstances and personal preference may affect where one choses to go.  

But you already have made the most important decision- simple or convoluted, long drawn or painful- the United Kingdom it shall be.  

I came to the UK in early 2014 and was put through thorough induction and orientation for 6 weeks in a DGH based in most affluent part of the England- the Surrey.  It took me some time to get used to the dialect and vocabulary though we speak English at home (India) at workplace (well… We do call it English).   While getting used to new place and doing touristy things over weekends and off days, one of my consultant asked me to seriously consider writing Primary FRCA as early as possible. I took it on board and by hook or fluke got it through in very first attempt.  Again he asked to write my CV and consider plugging holes in CV needed for ST-3 job. I followed his advice and appeared for ST-3 interviews. While being on Tier-2 visa, it became apparent that choice will come down at clearing stage of the ST-3 job allocations. While ranking the choice of clearing jobs, I did call one of my mates who were SpR at EMSA and he said that opting for EMSA will be the most right thing I will ever do for near future.  

I started at Northampton and while moving home, I and other half immediately noticed the difference in cost of living- accommodation, council tax, groceries, lesser distance to commute and eating out. I started getting translated into our saving accounts and soon we were on the property ladder. Never ever we thought that we will be proud owner of our own humble abode this soon in life.  

While structure of training is fairly standard but I did find that TPDs, College Tutors and RAs are very approachable and always eager to help. Few of my colleagues with whom I trained in India were also in exact same boat as me with regards to ST-3 interviews and I then urged them to opt for EMSA and make the right choice towards good quality of life. Thus, I inspired 4 of them to be here and all of them are very happy with the choice they made. All 4 are on property ladder and they do retaliate same thoughts as me as- low cost of living, ease to get on to the property ladder, excellent state and independent schools for kids, lesser commute while rotating through various allocation sites in the region and it translating into money savings in real term while being able to enjoy good quality of professional and personal life.  

Finally… Have I fitted in? Have all 4 of my mates also fitted in?    

HELL YEAH…  Superb camaraderie amongst all trainees at EMSA… Very diverse and versatile bunch of trainees from various cultural backgrounds- some literally born and bred here all their lives and some of us still “fresh of the boat”…   

Do we ever fight? Yes… We do…  Because we (fresh of the boat) do not have any other sports to talk about during our trainee social night-outs except Cricket and our know-how of football is akin to Orthopods’ interpretation of ECG.  

None of the past experience should go to waste, so you decide to move and chose EMSA. Amazing how much there is to learn outside medicine when you have time and some money in the savings. You feel proud to be a British Anaesthetist from East Midlands…  

Dr Chris Hebbes – ICM and Anaesthesia

From South Wales originally, I came to Leicester to study medicine, ended up undertaking an intercalated degree in anaesthetic pharmacology and staying on to undertake Foundation training, including a 4 month placement in anaesthesia and intensive care.  My exposure to anaesthetics in the region via my iBSc and foundation placement made the East Midlands an ideal choice for core and subsequently specialty training. 

The East Midlands School of Anaesthesia has a strong track record in offering flexible training, affording trainees opportunities to undertake fellowships, in- and out- of program experiences alongside clinical training.  I’ve been fortunate to take up these, as part of an innovative academic ACCS program, twinned with a MMedSci in Medical Education at the University of Nottingham, and latterly a clinical lecturer post and PhD at the University of Leicester.  Colleagues are undertaking similar experiences in management, leadership and quality improvement alongside their clinical training. 

The clinical training is excellent, and throughout the region offers the full range of anaesthesia and intensive care placements from our specialist areas of ECMO and neuro anaesthesia to the broad range of district general hospital experience. 

Trainee wellbeing is well and truly on this region’s agenda – we have an active trainee body (East Midlands Group of Anaesthetists in Training), representing the voice of anaesthetists in training at school, hospital and national levels.