Well done to Philip on being a runner-up in the ‘Zeshan Qureshi Award for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education’.
Philip Stather is currently an ST6 Vascular Surgery Specialty Trainee, having graduated from Leicester Medical School in 2007. Since then he has become widely involved in education of the next generation of doctors and says his key message to junior doctors is “to add at least one thing to your CV from every job”. Throughout each stage of his own career he has made extensive contributions to medical teaching including through www.teachmesurgery.com and publishing two successful books.
Starting out as a Foundation Year Doctor
Phil became formally involved in education of medical students through both lecture and bedside undergraduate teaching programmes at Kettering General Hospital.
“This began his experience of teaching and training, enabling him to understand the difficulties that medical students have, and inspired him to begin undertaking work on a broader level.”
This led to Phil writing a revision book for medical students entitled “Complete SAQs for Medical Finals”. This book, published in 2009, covers all medical specialties, as well as surgical specialties, paediatrics, orthopaedics, and obstetrics and gynaecology, to provide a fully comprehensive revision and study tool for medical school exit exams. In addition to this, Phil authored an interactive online tool for the e-learning for health programme (Getting the Most from a Case Based Discussion (CBD) Assessment. Foundation eLearning Project (000_1106). Department of Health e-Learning for Healthcare. 2010). This is designed to prepare junior doctors for work based assessments, and highlights good example cases and areas to focus on.
Continuing as a Core Surgical Trainee
Phil set up rolling surgical teaching for medical students in both Northampton and Kettering General Hospitals, as well as a free basic surgical skills course for medical students. In 2010-11 he led a team of Foundation year doctors, and authored his second book entitled “Cases for Surgical Finals: SAQs, EMQs and MCQs”.
“As well as providing a comprehensive surgical text for exam preparation for future students, he also taught several junior doctors how to write exam style questions, and worked with each individually to improve their writing technique, and subject knowledge.”
As a core surgical trainee Phil also completed three educational projects, which were presented at the Association for Medical Education 2011, entitled: 1 – Training opportunities on the surgical wards: The patient’s perspective of medical students; 2 – Patient attitude to medical student experience in General Practice; 3 – Laparoscopic or open surgery: the educational benefit to medical students (which was published in Medical Science Educator. 2012;22(3):83-5).
Undertaking an MD
During this process Phil volunteered to mentor a medical student through the University medical student research scheme. He developed a project for the 2nd year medical student, and successfully mentored her to 2 publications (PMID: 26145754, PMID: 24368205), as well as national presentations at the British Society for Endovascular Therapy meeting. This process required training on critical appraisal, statistical packages, and writing up the studies, which the student has developed in her career.
Teaching whilst a Vascular Registrar
In addition to teaching on basic surgical skills courses, and regular lectures for students and core trainees on vascular topics and surgical training, over the past 2 years has helped to design and develop the free, open access website www.teachmesurgery.com, which is an online resource for medical students and junior doctors.
“The teachmesurgery website is designed to be a fully comprehensive online tool covering a wide range of surgical practice.”
The authors have developed surgical skills videos in basic suturing and simple surgical procedures, utilising Google Glasses and Go Pro for a surgeon’s perspective. In addition, standard pre-operative care, and post-operative complications are outlined, along with management plans, surgical examinations, and a comprehensive overview of general surgery and vascular topics. In addition there is a lecture series by junior doctors on common issues on the surgical ward. Ongoing and future work for the website is to provide an online compendium of consent details for procedures, key operative steps, highlight key papers for specialties, and provide a free database of exam questions for medical students and the MRCS.
President of the Vascular and Endovascular Research Network
Although this is primarily set up for vascular trainees, several national audit projects have been undertaken, which have enabled medical students and foundation doctors to become involved in well-designed national projects, which are in the process of publication at present. These studies can often be used as an entry into clinical audit and research, and teaching these skills to doctors in the early stage of their career can help them to learn the audit process, and develop their own studies.
“Education of the next generation of doctors is key for the continuing development of the medical profession. In the modern era of online learning, and multicentre national collaboration, Phil has embraced these concepts, and delivered a wide spectrum of educational tools, which he will continue to do throughout his career.”