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The enlightened side
After early training in Cambridge and London, I spent 3 years in research. I was very fortunate to work with Professor Richard Wood who paid much attention to developing his trainees’ abilities. Along with research and microsurgical skills, I learnt the importance of preparation and rehearsal to improve presentations and how to organise meetings and conferences. I was also able to pursue an interest in improving education for junior doctors through the British Medical Association (BMA) Junior Doctors’ Committee where I became deputy chairman with responsibility for education, and through this, I was invited to join the Standing Committee for Medical Education where I learnt about appraisal and about the strengths and weaknesses of the career structure at that time for junior hospital doctors (who remembers the ‘lost tribes’ of Senior House Officers in the early 1990s?).
I completed training in general and colorectal surgery in London and was appointed consultant at the Whittington Hospital in 1996. Shortly afterwards, I took on the post of Director of Medical Education. However, I became frustrated that my influence was limited. After 5 years, I had consolidated my position as a surgeon and moved from educational into mainstream medical leadership. I …
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