Congratulations to William Bolton on being awarded Runner Up for the Zeshan Qureshi Award for Outstanding Achievement in Medical Education.
Will has developed himself as a medical educator throughout his early career. As an FY1, he taught physician associates their surgical curriculum at a local trust during their placement there. He then became a Clinical Research Fellow and during the last three years has taken time out of his clinical training working as a research in Global Surgery. As well as the research projects he has co-led training courses for junior doctors in Sierra Leone, as well as supervising a number of BSc, MSc and medical students at the University of Leeds.
While he was a medical student in 2015, he co-founded the MedTech Foundation: a national, interdisciplinary collaborative group that connects members from medicine and engineering to other MedTech-related specialties (Figure 1)
The group has Hubs in six universities across the UK. These each deliver an annual educational workshop series called the Innovation Programme, together with a portfolio of research studies, summer internships with industry, and a number of hackathons for a range of unmet healthcare needs (Figure 2).
The Innovation Programme takes participants from an idea, through to concept development, how to enter markets and finally how to pitch their ideas to a panel of dragons. The participants gain several innovation and research skills, as well as insights into healthcare technology business planning and strategy. The key to the Programme is that medical students and doctors get to work alongside people form completely different subjects including engineering, computer sciences, business, physics, biochemistry and more. They seem to really value this interdisciplinary working and it gives them insight into how medtech research and business activity actually happens this way in the ‘real world’ (Figure 3 and 4). They then get to try out their new-found skills during research or industry internships during their summer break, all fully funded.
“I immediately recognised the importance of interdisciplinary working in medtech, but as a medical student I had little opportunity to work with different disciplines outside medicine. I knew I wasn’t the only medical student with a passion for innovation and medtech research, but I faced limited opportunity to engage and learn. This was the start of the MedTech Foundation.
The main challenge we faced was breaking down discipline silos and getting different subjects talking together. Once we found leads in the different specialties, and provided a programme that was relevant to a broad range of subjects, the membership really started growing.”