I have really enjoyed my time as an academic foundation doctor in Bristol. The mix of brilliant research teams, a good mix of clinical rotations and excellent location have made for a thoroughly enjoyable and productive 2 years. The dedicated research time throughout my second year has enabled me to get significantly more out of the experience than I would have doing a sole 4-month research stint, allowing me to help others in the research time with their work as well as pursuing my own projects.
The academic foundation programme was a great way to start my medical career and give me a flavour of what working as an academic clinician might be like. From a research perspective, I was able to gain skills in "Big Data" analysis, choosing and running my own research project, and presenting my findings at conferences. From a clinical perspective, it was great to have quality rotations all in the same hospital and to be able to concentrate on improving my clinical skills rather than moving around the region. The F2 structure with 'day-release' on each of my rotations was a great way to ensure I never lost touch with either world. Being part of the academic foundation programme also gave me another 'community' to be part of as well as the general foundation programme and I made friends whom I will keep in touch with even as they move around the country. I am now an 'F3' doing a mixed research/teaching/clinical fellow post. I have absolutely loved the variety and can't now imagine doing anything other than a mixed clinical/academic role and I'm excited to see how my career progresses as I try to balance these two equally interesting and demanding elements of my job. Due to start an Academic Clinical Fellow post in Primary Care in Severn in August 2018.
I completed the Academic Foundation Programme in Psychiatry between 2014-2016 at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust. During the two years I participated in a variety of research projects relating to suicide and self-harm, which allowed me to work with a range of inspiring academics and identify the types of research I found most interesting. As part of the AFP I was also able to present my research at conferences in both the UK and abroad and teach on the Global Health BSc.
From my experience foundation years can often be quite relentless, therefore the designated research time within the AFP provides an invaluable opportunity to reflect and develop a deeper understanding of clinical experiences through research. The flexibility, training and support available in Seven allowed me to make the most of this opportunity. I enjoyed the programme so much that I have since undertaken an Academic Clinical Fellowship in Severn and am due to start a PhD at the University of Bristol in August 2018.
I chose the Severn Academic Foundation Programme because I wanted to work with world class academics in clinical and epidemiological research during a dedicated research block. I also benefitted from a set of Foundational clinical jobs which were aligned with my career aspirations. The Programme provided the skills and opportunities I needed to secure an Academic Clinical Fellowship in Anaesthetics in Severn.
"The concepts were easy to grasp because of the engaging and entertaining teaching."
"Interactive and flexible in terms of what we were interested in and wanted to learn."
"We used our own projects to work out different ways to disseminate them."
"I liked that the session was based on a group discussion."
"Truly great teaching, well planned and well executed."
"Examples were current and interesting to us specifically."
"Lots of chance to discuss and participate."
"One of the best yet."
"This should be given to all doctors not just AF2s!"