THE GENERAL PRACTICE ISSUE
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Editorials A Note From The Editors RUMS MSA President Foreword The Director’s Medical School Update RUMS Committee Exit Reports
RUMS Review, The UCL Medical School Student Magazine. Vol.II No.III Winter Term 2016
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News The Latest From In & Around UCLMS
Research The 100,000 Genome Project: Implications for the Future of Healthcare Roundup: The 100,000 Genome Project
Editor-in-Chief: Beth Gillies Deputy Edtor-inChief: Rebecca Mackenzie
Treasurer: Carol Chan
Out of Hours Kate Ward
Chief Sub Editor: Rebecca Kells
Sub Editors: Emily Hall, Rachel Parker, Ursula Nield, Aurora Wright
Articles Improving student engagement based on a sample of n = 1 = me By Choice: Not By Chance Supporting Medical Students Towards Careers in General Practice Seeing the Light: My Journey to General Practice Licensed to Kill: Priming the Immune System to Kill Cancer CAR Immunotherapy: Driving Research From Bench to Bedside
News Editors: Anamika Kunnumpurath, Emma Lewin, Jerry Su Articles Editors: Melika Moghim, Ian Tan, Otso Pelkonen, Josie Elliott Research Editors: Richard Bartlett, Eng O-Charoenrat, Magda Tchorek-Bentall
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Careers General Practice Special
Demystifying Medical School
Alumnus Interview Editors: Bill Boucher, Charlotte Leigh, Naomi Joshua
Comment & Correspondence
Sports & Societies Editor: Ollie Totham
“Physician , heal thyself!”; the barriers we face to looking after ourselves
Sports & Societies
Book Review Editor: Katie Hodgkinson
A Word From the Sports & Societies VP Sports Ball Awards & HLM Roundup AGM Results RUMS Freshers of the Year: Where are They Now? Beth Jones
Comment & Corespondence Editor: Kirtana Vallabhaneni Careers Editor: Izabella Smolicz
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Email: email@example.com Website: www.rumsreview.co.uk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rumsreview Twitter: @UCLRUMSReview
Demystifying Medical School Editor: Tanya Drobnis Artwork : Karim Chraihi (cover) Nazanin Rassa Kate Alice Mackenzie Design and Layout: Rebecca Mackenzie
The Young Adult Edition
Vice-Treasurer: Augustina Jeyanathan
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors, and do not reflect those of the editors, UCL Medical School or RUMS Medical Students’ Association.
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Next, Out of Hours delves* into the life and career of Dr Kate Ward, whilst our Research section explores The 100,000 Genomes Project. It’s been 14 years since whole human genome sequencing was first achieved and, with precision medicine becoming more prominent than ever, we explore how genomics will influence care on the front line in the primary setting of GP. From the building blocks of base pairs to the top of the ladder, we chat to our Alumnus Interview-ee Clare Gerada, former Chair of the Council of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) and London-based GP. Clare initially trained in psychiatry before joining primary care and wants to advocate for the opportunities and freedom offered within general practice, as well as to debunk the stigma. Similarly, Drs Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein and Ahmed Rashid dispel some myths and give us insight into their personal experiences of the speciality in our Articles. Also in this section, we have a succinct summary of the Wass Report and a collaborative piece on the exciting future
To kick us off, we have a farewell message from our outgoing RUMS President, Raj Pradhan. The hard work of Raj and his committee have made this year one of the most progressive and successful in RUMS’ history; we look back over their achievements in RUMS Reports. As a general practitioner herself, it seems particularly apt to have our usual termly update on the happenings of UCLMS from Professor Deborah Gill, who informs us on the shifting sands of UK medicals schools, while our ever-growing News section fills us in on the many exciting things UCLMS students have been up to.
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ere we are again! Time seems to be flying by: the end of second term, the beginning of the dreaded exam season, and the final push towards the freedom of summer. The temperature is beginning to rise and there’s even the odd day of sunshine – but here at RUMS Review, our team have been working away to bring you our third and final issue of the academic year. Deadlines, revision and a distinct lack of Wednesday night socialising might be getting you down, but we hope to provide some light relief as we discover the ins, outs and opportunities of General Practice (GP).
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A note from the editors...
of immunotherapy in oncology which is sure to leave you shaken, not stirred. Following this, our Careers section – as always – takes a more practical approach and lets you in on all the tips and tricks for exploring a career in general practice, and our attempts to uncover all of the humbling achievements of RUMS students continue as fourth year, Ragav Manimaran, is In Focus. In addition, our Comment & Correspondence section asks why, in a society where public conversation about mental health is becoming ever-prominent, the same conversation seems somewhat muted in the medical profession and how doctors’ wellbeing is crucial to good practice. If all this just isn’t enough for you (you greedy things), we also have our Demystifying section, which unveils the Who’s Who family tree of the medical school and our book reviews. Finally, we catch up on the year’s highs and lows of each of our Sports & Societies before our ‘Fresher of the Year: where are they now?’ feature makes its long-awaited return to our pages. RUMS Review is a culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of different people, and as always we can’t thank those who have contributed enough for their efforts. As the academic year draws to a close, committees rotate and positions change hands, myself (Beth) and the RUMS Review team would like to take this opportunity to say a special thank you to our ship captain as she steps down after two years at the helm. Rebecca has been at the heart of this publication since its conception, and it has been a pleasure to witness her unfaltering enthusiasm and proficiency as I have learned and worked alongside her. The progress made by – and the support gained for – RUMS Review is a testament to Rebecca’s dedication and I suspect we won’t be able to get rid of her entirely – or, at least, I hope not, because I heard the person taking over still has no clue what she’s doing! Wishing you all the best for upcoming exams and a lovely summer.
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Photo by Harriet Hall Photography
dent Asso tu
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and held the forces of evil at bay for another year. Sports Ball exceeded all expectations, maxing out the capacity of the National for the first time in living memory, and was without a doubt an appropriate finale to his work this year.
For the final time before RUMS’ inevitable, catastrophic descent in my absence, hello. I hope you have enjoyed your Easter breaks. I’m not too sure when this will go out, but I trust that exam revision has been as stressful as always and that you are slowly clawing your way out of the abyss. It’s not long now till the sweet, sweet freedom of the summer; remember that when you look back you will realise your gruelling efforts have been worth twice their weight in gold. We have elected our next council of seven, and I wish them all the best with the year ahead - they seem like a very capable group. From those of us stepping out of our roles, we wish you all the best with these demanding yet rewarding positions. Given that this is my last editorial I will try to keep it short – I trust my committee members will outline our achievements in more detail, but suffice to say each and every one of them has worked hard enough to command respect from staff and students alike.
In terms of academic representation, we are simply the best. We are recognised by UCL itself as comfortably better than any other department here and the other London medical schools look up to our student-led model. In fact, even though we don’t always agree, the staff and administrators also seem to like us and appreciate the work we do. That’s not to say our education is perfect (sorry, Deborah), but we have strong mechanisms in place so that when students speak up – through their representatives, through feedback, or even through strongly worded emails – people listen and changes happen. Tay and Carol have somehow not only maintained our vast feedback system but have developed and utilised it further, and every staff-student meeting seems to record additions to the plethora of successful changes that are being implemented.
So, in the closing days of this academic year, how does RUMS look? Well, I’d like to think it looks pretty good.
RUMS socials continue to bring together our community. The classic favourites dominate fresher’s fortnight, the Winter Ball continues to show just enough life to survive another year, and First years continue to have the time of their lives. Under Ozzy, our events have been just as enjoyable yet even more inclusive, and his innovative approaches have brought great success. A series of phenomenal fresher events with a less alcohol-centred approach, together with a community-based approach from medic parents and RUMS societies has resulted in one of the most engaged group of first years we have seen in a long time, and this is reflected in this year’s swell in members across RUMS sports and societies. Not a bad legacy to carry into his presidency next year.
Our sports and societies continue to go from strength to strength. UH victories, seven varsity matches, various volunteering opportunities, a series of successful fundraising events; the list goes on. Surgical Society hosted the National Undergraduate Surgical Conference (NUGSC), the Medical Society continue to save those students that slept through their 11ams, and the Sports and Societies Scholarship was once again organised and awarded to talented individuals who, despite their other commitments, continue to contribute to RUMS. Behind the scenes, Shuttleworth has battled for our rights against enemies I needn’t name
Editorials Talking of which, from the start of my presidency I have taken a particular interest in the welfare system. In September, it felt very much like an overwhelming challenge and it seemed impossible to know where to start. However, I have been fortunate enough to work alongside someone equally passionate, if not more so, and her efforts have led to a sense of urgency and commitment to these issues from both staff and students. Nadia’s mammoth task of distilling a huge quantity of individual’s experiences into a series of coherent requirements for improvement, combined with our lengthy conversations with medical school staff, has resulted in some real changes. Some have come into effect recently, such as changes to student support administration and a crisis fund for students in financial need. But the real legacy of this year’s welfare team will be the laying of the foundations and the outlining of the paths for a series of long-term changes – the changes that make the biggest difference. Lastly we move onto the thing that keeps us going - money. Our finances continue to be healthier than ever. The record quantity of sponsorship money has been well spent – it is important to bear in mind that without it and Nabil’s tireless budgeting, none of the above successes would be possible. This organisation turns over £100,000 on an annual basis with barely any room for error. He has made my job so much easier by performing this outstandingly well. I’ve heard some suggest he may even have outdone his predecessor… Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have a few weeks left in office, and we don’t intend to bathe in the adoration of our loving fans just yet (that said, do keep the champagne on ice). In this time we will be officially updating the dusty RUMS constitution, creating a guidance booklet for future committees to improve handover, and working towards restructuring our financial model. We will also be laying the foundations for a consent education and zero-tolerance to sexual harassment campaign, to reaffirm our commitment to the high standards and values we hold dear. I hope it is evident that the work of the Vice Presidents (VPs), both individually and collectively, has had a real impact on student life.That said, the most notable and effective change I have witnessed this year has not been any individual, but rather the collective force of students and staff who have given up their time and effort to improve the student experience. From our publicity officer Sophie, to the finance, events, and welfare subcommittees, to the 50 academic representatives, to the organisers of the Halfway and Finalists Balls, to the Presidents of the RUMS societies, to Tom at the union and the security at the Huntley, and of course the medical school faculty and administrators; a record number of individuals
Lft: Raj Pradhan Rt: Ozzy Eboreime
Lft: Nadia Eden Rt: Nabil Jetha
Lft to rt: James Shuttleeorth, Nabil Jetha, Ozzy Eboreime, Carol Chan, Nadia Eden
have gone above and beyond what is expected of them. One of these, Stuart the bouncer, is leaving us after five years of exceptional service, for which he has been awarded Honorary Life Membership. We thank him for everything he has done and wish him well with his future endeavours. This incredible publication is an important, rare glimpse into their lives, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am to everyone who is involved in its production. Beth continues to work wonders and I look forward to reading next year’s issues. In particular, co-founder Rebecca (who is stepping down as Deputy Editor-in-Chief) should be proud of her invaluable contribution to the RUMS community. Before I finish, it would be remiss of me here not to mention the two members of staff who have been vital allies of RUMS throughout my 12 months.
Lft to rt: Dr Paul Dilworth, James Shuttleworth, Raj Pradhan, Beth Gillies, Rebecca Mackenzie, Nadia Eden, Nabil Jetha, Carol Chan, Ozzy Eboreime, Sophie Bracke
Lft: Carol Chan Rt: Sophie Bracke
Firstly, it is about time I properly thanked Professor Gill. She has not only put up with my persistent queries and proposals but actively encouraged them, outlining the path to successfully navigating the complex systems that can hinder change at the medical school. Our meetings, whilst busy and at times overwhelming, have been turning points for various projects, and in the most difficult times she has proved to be not only our Medical School Director in title, but someone who truly cares for students. Secondly, I would like to give my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Dr. Dilworth. He is the one face who remains a constant in RUMS; he has advised us in times of utmost hardship and kept us on track when the path seemed unclear. Few consultants would give up so much of their time for students. Fewer still would do it for so long, and I can think of no other who would perform his task year on year with such passion and dedication. He is, in many ways, the embodiment of our values, and we are ever grateful for his support. Good luck to Ozzy on what is going to be the hardest and most enjoyable year of his time here. As for me - it’s been a privilege and a pleasure. Now to crack open a cold one with the boys and let Akshay know I can finally play next Wednesday. That’s me done. I’m out. We went large.
Lft: Nabil Jetha Rt: Tay Mohamed
Love, Raj x
Raj Pradhan RUMS President, 2016-17 MBBS Year 4
RUMS Review Lft: Beth Gillies Rt: Ozzy Eboreime
Three of our finest UCL Doctors celebrating after results
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am delighted, as ever, to be providing an update about UCL Medical School for RUMS Review. I am sure you will agree that this publication is going from strength to strength and plays a vital role in sharing information across our large and dispersed school and with our RUMS alumni.
the way existing schools deliver their medical education programmes. The recent Wass Report looking at careers in general practice, together with the need for health services – and thus education – to move into communities will both also influence the focus and nature of medical education and, in particular, placements. Alongside this, the introduction of a National Medical Licensing Assessment in 2022, the approaching update of the GMC Outcomes for Graduates document, and the imminent move of the point of full registration to the end of the MBBS programme will all shape the curriculum and how learning is assessed in a wide range of ways. The impact of Brexit on the number of students from the EU being attracted to study at UCL along with the impending lift on the overseas medical student cap (with a corresponding hike in the cost of an international medical education in the UK) will both impact on the diversity and richness of our student body. We do not yet know the impact of increasing fees on our recruitment of students from less advantaged backgrounds.
A medical school is a complex and dynamic organisation. At its beating heart is its students: our UCL Doctors of the future. UCLMS students are special (But I would say that, wouldn’t I?). Incredibly bright, intellectually curious, independent and self-directed, encouraged to challenge, and with a strong desire to help each other.This makes leading a school like UCLMS rewarding and challenging in equal measure. For me, there has mostly been a great deal of reward this term. We have just finished finals (and had a great party, see picture above), students from all years have contributed to UCL’s convincing win in the 2017 Varsity Series, we have been planning a new and fun approach to how we welcome and support our newest members of the RUMS family in their first weeks at UCLMS, and a group of dedicated and thoughtful students are working hard with us to transform the way the student support services provided by the school are delivered. I have also been visiting the incredible groups of students in the two medical schools overseas that we are supporting in transforming their MBBS curricula. What a great job I have!
Students, staff and alumni should be reassured that the UCLMS senior leadership team, and indeed at times the UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS) and UCL leadership, are ensuring we are at the centre of these debates and plans; not resisting change but ensuring that what is good is not lost as an unintended consequence of progress. We are particularly focused on three aims in the coming years as the impacts of these reforms take shape: ensuring we still produce doctors ready to thrive in the Foundation Programme and well prepared for a wide range of medical and academic careers; maintaining the diversity and representativeness of our students body; and ensuring evidence is used (and where it is missing, generated) to guide developments.
Shifting Sands Medical schools have been through a long period of relative stability in the UK in recent years. Government restrictions on numbers, GMC requirements on curriculum and assessment and the formation of the UK Foundation School have all made our practices and priorities reasonably constant. After years of consistency there are some pretty seismic changes ahead for UK medical schools.
It is certainly an interesting time to be leading UCLMS.
The planned expansion of medical student numbers by at least 1,500 students across England over coming years will see the introduction of new medical schools, including private medical schools, and changes to
Wishing all our students success in the examination period and a huge thank you to staff, our NHS clinical partners and students for making UCLMS such a great organisation to be part of.
Deborah Gill, Director, UCLMS
Follow us on twitter @doctordeborah @UCL_MBBS Some of our student reps (and an unidentified member of the student body) supporting our RUMS Hockey teams at Varsity 2017
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This year has been the first year that RUMS has had a Publicity Officer, and it has been incredibly exciting for me to take on and build this role.The role has mostly consisted of keeping the RUMS social media pages up to date, which has been an important task because our online presence is growing very large. In addition to that, I’ve also been helping societies advertise their events and will continue to do this in the upcoming term, so send me a message if you have any publicity needs! This second term has been particularly interesting due to an insightful meeting with Professor Gill. Together, we have developed a new plan for the RUMS website, which will be partnered with the UCL Medical School website and will be full of new, interesting content. This is due to be developed in the first term of next year, and so will largely be carried out by my successor. As you may have noticed, the position of RUMS Publicity Officer was not part of the recent elections; for the upcoming year, the role will remain selected rather than elected. Information about applying will be released in the upcoming weeks, so look out for this and don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions about the role!
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VP Finance & Operations – Lukon Miah VP Welfare – Iram Hasan VP Events – Dan Ntuiabane VP Sports & Societies – Charlie Travers
Did you know that we are the best course in the whole university for engagement with academic representation? Many other medical schools look up to us as the standard they want to reach - this is definitely something we should be proud of! This term, I have continued to work closely with the module reps from years one and two. We have relayed your concerns to relevant faculty members in a number of different meetings (module meetings, teaching sub-committee meetings and student-staff consultative committee meetings). In response to your feedback, we now have a new study space – the Rockefeller Hub – which is exclusively for medical students! To access it, you will need to use the passcode which have been sent to your UCL email. Soon, we will be installing more computers and a printer.The opening hours are from 9am-7pm (as long as there is security at Rockefeller). With the third years we have raised specific concerns about particular courses and this has been relayed to the respective course leads by Professor Davies. Additionally, we have made suggestions and improvements to the third year introduction and orientation module (IOM) week. Hopefully, you will find the sessions more relevant! I have truly enjoyed every aspect of being your Vice President Academic Representation Years One to Three. I hope you have had a chance to watch the short video that Tay and I made to give you a glimpse of what we do (it’s on the RUMS Facebook group if you haven’t watched it yet). Also, big congratulations to Anush Shashidhara for becoming the Years One to Three Representation for 2017-2018! And last but not least, all the best with your upcoming exams!
Next Year’s Committee: President – Ozzy Eboreime VP Education Rep Y1-3 – Anush Shashidhara VP Education Rep Y4-6 – Aayushi Gupta
This year’s dedicated RUMS Executive Committee really have earned their spurs. The tireless efforts of our President and VPs to improve RUMS have been clear right from day one and, thanks to them, we are sure the incoming committee will have an excellent platform from which to leap into their roles. So, with our exit reports, we say farewell to what may have been the sassiest committee in RUMS history, and welcome our new incoming committee with great anticipation.
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For a word from the Sports & Societies VP, head to page 44!
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We’ve heard the Fifth Years’ feedback on the Patient Centred Pathway (PCP) and we have held a focus group, giving specific feedback on how to improve. This has been taken on board and the PCP team are heading back to the drawing board to make it a more useful experience for the next Year Five cohort. Our Year Six team surveyed their year group, asking how much we’d like to have new accommodation at Barnet hospital (turns out very much). The medical school have listened and the data seems to be very persuasive in the push to get accommodation built in the coming years! Unfortunately, this may mean bye bye “doctor in the house”. Finally, you guys have asked for some clarification with regards to your transcripts.The faculty have emailed you information on end of module sign offs and how this translates into grades on your transcript. Rest assured, this has very little impact on employment since NHS trusts do not routinely look at transcripts. If you have any questions, just ask a student representative. My team are very happy to answer any questions. As ever, hope you are well and fill in your end of module feedback forms please! Lots of love,Tay
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Hello guys! Time has flown by – I can’t believe it is already the end of term two! I hope you have all had an enjoyable and productive term. The RUMS Academic team have been very busy working on the feedback you have given. Here is a quick rundown of what we’ve been up to:
This year has been so eventful for RUMS events - if you’ll pardon the pun – that it is hard to single out specific moments. However, to me, the RUMS Transfer Curry, Fresher Pub Crawl and RUMS Dine With Me particularly stand out. At the Transfer Curry, I was impressed with how the presidents of RUMS Sports and Societies put their best foot forward to welcome the transfers and represent RUMS. I was also really impressed with how the freshers got stuck in at the boat party; I particularly admire that, despite hardly knowing each other, they had a really great night together. Lastly, at RUMS Dine With Me, I loved watching friends from different years, sports and societies meet, mess around and generally just have a good time together. It made me happy to see that RUMS is a place where people can integrate and that I was doing something to help facilitate that. When I first started the role, I wanted to preserve some of our longer standing and more traditional events. However, I also wanted to introduce a few new events to the RUMS schedule. I think I accomplished the former and I am personally relieved that with no hospitalisations or police involvement, the RUMS Fresher Pub Crawl will likely go ahead next year. Although some of our newer events did not go as planned, our RUMS Pyjama Party and Survivor’s Ball both went better than I could have imagined. The single best part of my year was getting to meet and know so many of you. My year would not have been as successful or unforgettable without you guys, so thank you very much for turning up and taking part! Until next time, keep calm and party on!!
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This year, RUMS organised the largest event in its recent history with the RUMS Sports Ball. The Finalists’ Ball is also set to be one of the largest to date with over 230 of our newly qualified doctors attending. Equally, our Freshers’ events have seen really high engagement and attendance this year and we’re looking forward to ending the year on a high with the Summer Ball in May. We also restarted the tradition of having a Halfway Ball for the Fourth Years who had just completed their iBScs. Finally, we continued our other annual events such as the Fifth Year show, Fresher’s Fayre and Mums and Dads, for which we almost doubled the financing. Taking all of this into account, RUMS has had an incredibly successful year and has found itself hosting over £100,000 worth of events and socials. Overseeing this has not been an easy task, but I have to say a huge thank you to the RUMS Committee and the organisers of these events for their amazing work, especially Ozzy Eboreime, James Shuttleworth and, of course, Raj Pradhan. I also must say a huge thank you to my subcommittee for making this year so enjoyable; I do hope they consider running for the position in the future. Though our budget and the way it functions is not perfect, it has allowed RUMS to host some incredible events and allow for some much needed subsidisation. We have made good progress in securing more money on more flexible terms and I hope this work towards a more ideal financial system for RUMS that will be continued next year. I wish my successor the best of luck in what truly is an incredibly rewarding and principal position in RUMS.
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Having the opportunity to be a part of the RUMS committee this year has been one of the most rewarding, challenging and memorable experiences. Going into the role as Welfare Vice President (VP) was slightly daunting, especially when welfare at RUMS can be a somewhat contentious issue. However, this year I’m very proud of what we have achieved and what we have set up to achieve in the future. The three Mums and Dads events held for transfers and first years were more successful than ever and moving Mums and Dads part two to post formatives was also a welcome change and was very well received. Concurrently, the main aim for the year was to set up the first welfare subcommittee: Matt Kinsella, Lauren Day, Henry Sergeant and Aisling O’ Sullivan have all been absolutely fantastic this year. We wanted to collate information from students who had used the welfare system at the medical school in an attempt to identify any consistent issues that students had faced. This was a long process and took many months but when all the information was collected, Raj and I presented it to the new Student Support lead, Holly Riches, who was excellent in discussing with us what problems were feasible to fix and how. This was probably the highlight of my whole year, as we saw that all the work we had done was making a change. Changes are already starting to manifest themselves at student support and we’ve had a positive influence in changing the accessibility and promotion of the welfare system on the website and Moodle, as well as ensuring the approach of the nine student support tutors is appropriate. A full document with all of the details will be released soon. We have expanded our focus to address personal tutors, and I’m very excited to continue work with the new Welfare VP Iram Hasan on this.
The latest from in and around UCLMS
By Emma Lewin (EL), Jerry Su (JS) and Anamika Kunnumpurath (AK)
Annual Sports Ball is Epic Success
National Undergraduate Surgical Conference held for the Fourth Time
The UCLU Surgical Society hosted the fourth National Undergraduate Surgical Conference (NUGSC) at UCL on the 28th January. This year’s conference saw as many as 200 attendees and 40 surgeons from a broad range of disciplines, including orthopaedics, plastics and cardiothoracic surgery. Practical workshops were interspersed between talks, as was the classic staple of suturing workshops. A Snapchat geofilter was made available to add a personal touch to the event, which concluded with a drinks reception. By Jerry Su
Sports Ball, a success-defining moment for the RUMS Sports & Societies and Finance Vice Presidents since time immemorial, will see James Shuttleworth and Nabil Jetha go down in the RUMS history books. An annual event, this year held on the 24th March at the Royal National Hotel, celebrates the end of a terrific year for RUMS sports and societies, with this year being no exception. Last year’s record guest total was greatly superseded by 530 ball goers, who enjoyed an evening of fine food, music (supplied by MDs very own band, the Ectopic Beats), snapchat filters and awards presented by RUMS President Raj Pradhan, Honorary President Dr Paul Dilworth and host for the night, James Shuttleworth. For a full list of awards, winners and a comprehensive report, including the esteemed Fresher and Sports Personalities of the Year, please see our Sports & Societies section. RM
UCL Holds Mental Health Awareness Day What Do You Think? – A UCL Mental Health Awareness Day was held at the UCL Institute of Education on the 11th February this year. A UCL ChangeMakers project, the free-to-attend event aimed to push attendees to question the way they feel about mental health and think about the reasons why, exploring people’s perceptions of mental health problems and how that may make it difficult to have candid and meaningful discussions on the subject. Around 100 people attended the event, which opened with a mindfulness rave in Tavistock Square and concluded with an open panel discussion. Guestspeakers touched on a wide variety of subjects, ranging
from autism to schizophrenia to being a carer for a loved one, and attendees were given the opportunity to try new ways to manage stress and anxiety in interactive workshops on creative writing, mindful origami, yoga, and meditation. Speaking to RUMS Review, co-organiser Aisling O’Sullivan said, “I was so happy with the enthusiasm people had for mental health, people wanted to talk about it and that’s what the day was all about! I hope that it runs next year and the year after there is still so much more mental health we can talk about and I would like to be a part of it!” By Jerry Su
Congratulations to the 2017 Final Year Students A huge congratulations to the finalists, who have now finished their exams and received their results on 22nd March. The celebrations involved a special sports night and drinks before Sports Ball, but their time at UCL is not over quite yet. They are currently enjoying themselves on their various electives and “preparation for practice” self-selected components. They will celebrate their graduation in July with a ball and, after a well-deserved break, they will then start their first jobs as doctors at the beginning of August. It is going to be an exciting few months for the finalists and we would like to wish them luck for their Foundation jobs. EL
Five School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS) Subjects in Global Top 10
Men’s Football Take the Lumsden Cup On the 21st March, RUMS sport once again descended upon Somers Town Sports Centre for the annual Lumsden Cup. Hosted by RUMS Netball, it was an evening of hotly contested netball matches between each RUMS sport in aid of charity. Judging from the standard of play, it was clear from the outset that each sport had fielded teams composed of their finest athletes; despite some dubious footwork, each team played stellar netball whilst also managing to play by the rules. As the evening rambled on, many a fine cake baked by RUMS netball girls (and the nice bloke in the Sainsbury’s bakery) were consumed, comical photos were taken and fun was had. Match after match went by until only two teams remained. Even in the face of all the enthusiasm that Tennis could muster, and varsity players Netball fielded, this year the final came down to Rugby and Men’s Football. Their styles were distinctly different, but equally as effective; whilst Rugby opted for brute force, Football exhibited fine footwork and elegant teamwork. But ultimately, netball is a game of finesse, and it was Football who prevailed, taking the Lumsden 2017 title.The event raised £389.04 for Children’s House of Hope, a charity delivering help and support to communities living in difficult situations in Ghana. RM
The annual QS World University Rankings by Subject have been published and UCL has been ranked as ninth in the world for Medicine. Anatomy & Physiology ranked as fourth best in the world, while Dentistry, Pharmacy & Pharmacology and Psychology have also been ranked in the top 10. With five Life Sciences & Medicine subjects performing well and five other subjects from other departments also in the top 10, this leaves UCL with an impressive 10 subjects ranked as the top 10 globally. Education and Architecture have both been placed at the top spot, further cementing UCL’s place as an international figure of excellence in higher education. AK
RUMS Music Spring Concert On Monday 20th March, the talented musicians of UCLMS gathered to celebrate the coming of spring (and exams!) at the annual RUMS Music Spring Concert. The Haldane Room was host to an incredible evening of live music provided by RUMS Choir, RUMS Strings Ensemble, RUMS Close Harmony female a capella group “Accarhythmia” and RUMS Barbershop Quartet “Chordiac Arrest”. Sprinkled in with the tight knit groups were some fantastic soloists who gave beautiful renditions of intricate compositions, as well as powerful vocal performances. HIVE UCL were also at the event, doing some all-important fundraising and provision of refreshments with a charity bake sale. We look forward to seeing what our gifted musicians have in store for us next! AK
RUMS Dine with Me On 24th February “RUMS Dine with Me”, UCL’s very own take on the Channel 4 series, took place for a second year. With some rare mingling between the various RUMS sports teams (and MDs), each team was grouped with at least two others. Together they ventured to the Indian restaurants of Brick Lane followed by Roxy (as the prospect of £5 ULU entry was enough to dampen anyone’s spirits). The event, which is becoming established in the RUMS calendar, was a huge success and there are plans for it to be even better next year. Well done to the organisers! EL
With 23 million people in East Africa in desperate need of food and water, Abdul’s achievements are not only hugely impressive but also invaluable in the benefit they will bring to those in need. If you want to get involved, Abdul can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abdul Elmi Raises £40,000 for Charity With everything that is currently going on in the world, it is difficult to find out whether we, as students, can make any difference and even harder to know where to start. However, one inspiring student has done just this. Abdul Elmi, in his third year at UCLMS, has helped to raise over £40,000 in aid of the famine and drought in Somalia. Abdul, also Vice-President of UCLU Somali Society, organised and hosted the “Inspire” event at UCL, where attendees were asked to pledge to raise money. The sell-out event also included spoken word performances and a stand-up comedian. On the day, £40 000 was pledged but, with fundraisers already exceeding their targets, it is hoped that even more money can be raised for the good cause. Donations are being sent to Human Appeal, a humanitarian and development organisation which provides aid and development programmes to the countries most in need. Abdul himself has already exceeded his pledged amount of £500 through a number of challenges, including living as a vegan for a week. He also recognises the importance of raising awareness and continues in his journey to help others and make a change.
To help, you can donate at the Somali Society Go Fund Me page www.gofundme.com/ucl-somalia-drought-appeal EL
Photos by Harriet Hall Photography
Photo by Jonathon Au Photography
RUMS Holds Refreshers Ball 2017
RUMS’ new favourite band?
ollowing a barnstorming performance at Sports Ball, the RUMS Review finds out a little more about The Ectopic Beats. Originally put together to accompany the MDs’ Christmas Show, this band has become an established RUMS name in its own right.The soulful voice of Vivekka Nagendran alongside funky brass drive has made this six-piece ensemble a force to be reckoned with. Taking inspiration from the likes of Beyonce and Ed Sheeran, they performed their music with all the energy and passion of an old-school jazz band. Their strength in depth allows them to explore the most diverse of influences, as guitarist Robin Simpson ably demonstrates, leading a rip-roar-
ing rendition of Chilean party classic “El Conductor”. Much of this versatility comes from their multi-instrumentalists, Daisy Newberry switching seamlessly between saxophone and violin as well as trumpet-player Ben Smith laying down some unexpected ukulele. What can we expect from this exciting band in the future? As well as seeking gigs for their infectious sound, The Ectopic Beats are intrepidly setting off to produce original songs. Unusually for pop setups, much of this creative drive will be coming from the no-nonsense backline of Johnny Tam on Bass and Neel Kapoor on Drums. For more information and event hire go to: facebook.com/MDsEctopicBeats
In partnership with the Medical Defence Union and Wesleyan Assurance Society, RUMS recently commemorated the start of second term by throwing a Refreshers Ball on the 9th January 2017. The £10-a-ticket ball was held at a familiar venue that has hosted many a Winter Ball past – the Ruby Blue Bar in Leicester Square. Organised by RUMS Events VP and incoming RUMS President Ozzy Eboreime, the event provided an opportunity for many students to catch up with each other following the long Christmas break. JS
Medics Involved in SellOut Dance Show On the 9th, 10th and 11th March, UCLU Dance Society took over the Shaw Theatre in King’s Cross to put on their annual show, this year called Humans. In all there were 28 dances, with each dance representing an aspect of what makes us human.The choreographers of each dance chose their own theme, making it a very personal, raw and diverse show. Given the three sell-out nights and the rave reviews, it was a huge success and this would not have happened without the multiple medics involved. Their ability to balance the tough schedule of medical school with the many hours of weekly (sometimes daily) rehearsals is hugely impressive. Dancing medics included Janvi Karia (Y1), Pavandeep Virdee (Y1), Manpal Randeva (Y1), Clara Lim (Y2) and Aman Singh (Y3). Choreographers included Jackie Wu (Y2), Emma Lewin (Y3, also Assistant Producer) and Charlie Grieco (Y5). Congratulations to everyone involved! EL
UCLMS Student Presents Female Genital Mutilation Study in South Africa Fifth Year UCLMS student Polly Cohen conducted a study in which she collaborated with a fellow student and three Paediatricians to investigate the attitudes and female genital mutilation (FGM)-associated health risk awareness of attendees of FGM Clinics at UCLH and North Middlesex University Hospital. Her collaborators were Martina Larsson (a Fourth Year UCLMS student), Dr Gayle Hann (a Paediatrician at North Middlesex University Hospital), Dr Deborah Hodes and Professor Sarah Creighton (both of whom are Paediatricians at UCLH). The team successfully submitted their abstract to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) World Congress 2017 conference held in Cape Town, South Africa. At the conference, Polly presented their
abstract Pilot Study: Attitudes Towards and Knowledge about FGM/C at London Specialist FGM/C Clinics and she won best oral presentation in the Obstetrics category. Speaking to RUMS Review, Polly said: “We really enjoyed the conference itself - there was a huge emphasis placed on gender based violence, FGM and abortion and Martina and myself found these talks very interesting.We were able to meet the head of the RCOG, Professor Lesley Regan, who was very encouraging! Overall, we had a fantastic time and I’ve come back keen to continue FGM research and work in O&G in the future.We must say a huge thank you to the Institute for Women’s Health, the North Middlesex and MedSoc for helping us financially to present our work.” AK Photo by Martina Larsson
RUMS Boat Club Quiz Raises Hundreds for Charity On the 27th January, RUMS Boat Club hosted their infamous pub quiz - an evening which puts RUMS’ knowledge of pointless trivia to the test while raising money for the Royal Free charity. Nadia Eden and Claire Shadwell’s taxing selection of questions covered a range of topics including RUMS knowledge, music, film and sport, in addition to a challenging picture round. Each team made a tremendous effort, but it was the team Exec Plus Guest (Carol Chan, Nabil Jetha, Sophie Bracke, Jonathan Griggs (guest) and Rebecca Mackenzie) who were victorious, taking home a selection of fine wines and dazzling medals. The winner of the evening’s raffle prize went to Jonathan Au and in total the event raised £286.50 for the Royal Free charity. RM
The Royal Free Association: Notice for Students
he Royal Free Association, which comprises the Royal Free Old Students’ Association, members of the school, consultant members of staff and medical personnel connected with the Hampstead site, has a number of opportunities open to RUMS students:
es each year, with two bursaries of £1,000 each and three of £500 each.These are allocated by the Elective Bursary Committee and application forms can be requested from Molly Lavender-Rose in medical school administration at m.lavender-rose@ucl. ac.uk.
Royal Free Association Student Distress Fund
Royal Free Association Student Annual Clinical Meeting and AGM 2107
Members of the Royal Free Association support a student distress fund, which provides help to students who have difficulty paying for their studies. Each year, up to six bursaries of £500 can be awarded. To apply for the fund please download our student distress fund form (available here), and send completed forms to Alison Crook in medical school administration at email@example.com.
The Royal Free Associations (RFA) annual clinical meeting and AGM 2017 is being held in the William Well Atrium at the Royal Free Hospital on Thursday 16th November. A full program for the day will appear in our annual newsletter which will be circulated in late September/early October. I hope that this year there will be a presentation from a student who received one of our five elective bursaries. I will also be inviting the new RUMS student president to address us. All students are encouraged and welcome to attend the afternoons lectures, which begin at 2pm.
Royal Free Association Student Elective Support In addition to the student distress fund, the Royal Free Association also supports five student electiv-
Electronic Prescribing – a Way Forward Soomal Mohsin-Shaikh, a resident pharmacist from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, has been recruited as a PhD student to head research into the use of electronic prescriptions in hospital as a means for improving quality and safety in dispensed medication. Her research forms part of a collaborative effort between the UCL Institute of Digital Health (UCL IDH) and Cerner UK, a health IT and informatics company based in London. She is currently being supervised by UCL Professors Bryony Dean Franklin and Ann Blandford, as well as Cerner representative Dr Pete Hughes. JS
Dr Peter Howden, Honorary Treasurer RFA
Fourth Year Student Breaks Into South Indian Classical Music Scene Fourth Year UCLMS student Adesh Sundaresan is making waves in the South Indian Classical music scene and his immense talent recently caught the attention of BBC Asian Network and Resonance FM who featured him on their respective radio shows. Adesh has been honing his skills in Carnatic music for several years and has been making appearances at concerts both in India and the UK. He took part in the prestigious London International Arts Festival (LIAF) and his most recent concert was livestreamed on YouTube as part of the “Raga Room” concert series. Following his string of successes in Carnatic music, Adesh is now preparing to host his very own Indian classical music radio show. Starting from the 3rd of May, you can catch Adesh on Resonance FM every Wednesday at 4.30pm. He promises “live performances from distinguished artists, interviews with young upcoming musicians and lots of vintage Indian music” so keep your ears peeled! AK
More Art Appears in the Cruciform Hub
ollowing the installation of six busts of illustrious medical forefathers in December 2016, the Hub will soon be housing another piece of medical-related art: a large portrait of Charles Bell. Charles Bell (1774-1842) is a major character in the history of medicine – a Scottish surgeon, anatomist and neurologist, known for describing (and naming) Bell’s palsy. On 1st October 1828, he gave the inaugural lecture of “The University of London”, which was soon to be known as University College London. In 1835, he returned to found the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, one of the predecessors of the UCL Medical School. The painting is a copy of the original oil on canvas by John Stevens kept at the National Portrait Gallery. It is believed that the portrait came from the office of a retired Dean of the UCL Faculty of Medical Sciences. After being kept in the UCL Culture painting store for a decade, the portrait has now been offered to the Cruciform Hub, and will be proudly displayed in the Quiet Reading Room. A good omen for all our doctors-to-be! By Anna Di Iorio, Librarian, UCL Cruciform Hub and Site Libraries Manager
‘It’s All Academic’ Festival UCL Society Welcomes New Medical Education Christine Ohuruogu to In- “Squid” Programme Arrives On Saturday 10th June, UCL will be opening its doors for the first ever “It’s All Academic” stitute of Sport, Exercise Festival. The festival will celebrate all the great A new, exciting medical education scheme for work being done at UCL and will give attend- and Health MBBS students, known as SQUID (Student ees the chance to get hands-on with some of our most exciting projects. The free festival will bring together talks, workshops, tours and interactive events led by staff and students to offer a unique insight into the variety of research being undertaken across our campus. Quiz leading researchers on their work, get creative with Institute of Making workshops, explore mystery specimens in our museums, try out inventions and innovations created by staff and student entrepreneurs, and much more. At the heart of the day is the flagship event, Back the Future, introduced by the Provost and hosted by TV presenter and UCL PhD student Dr Chris van Tulleken. The fun, fast moving event will feature TED-style talks from leading academics to explore how exciting research happening at UCL will impact on how we live in the future. Speakers will include Nobel prize winner Professor John O’Keefe and Dr Zoe Laughlin, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute of Making and a member of BBC Two’s The Big Life Fix team. All activities will take place between 10am and 5pm. Please visit ucl.ac.uk/campaign/festival for more details and how to book. By Katie Singer, UCL Senior Alumni Relations Manager
Track and field athlete and Olympic gold medallist Christine Ohuruogu MBE was a guest panellist at What Makes A Successful Olympic Medical Team, an event hosted by the UCL Sports & Exercise Medicine Society at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health (ISEH) on the 28th November 2016. She was joined by two other panellists, Dr Mike Loosemore and Ed Mias, both clinicians who have previously worked at the Olympics. Hosted by Dr Bhavesh Kumar, a sport and exercise medicine consultant at ISEH, the panel discussion provided insight into treating sports injuries from the perspective of the physician and the athlete, as well as advice for current UCL students with ambitions of pursuing a career in that field. JS
‘It’s All Academic’ Festival
Quality Improvement and Development), has arrived this year. It is open to MBBS students of any year who would like to undertake a small medical education project.The main aim of this scheme is to improve the quality and experience of education at UCL Medical School. The Quality Assurance Unit encourages anyone with an innovative idea for enhancing medical student experience to apply. There is capacity to fund four projects, with a maximum of £500 available per project.The funds will be available on a first come first served basis to any application deemed suitable and worthwhile. For more information on application requirements see the following website. www.ucl. ac.uk/medicalschool/quality/SQUID EL
Why Become A Doctor? – UCLH Prepares for Re- Find Your Alumni Mentor Dr Kevin Fong Hosts Show search Open Day All UCL students are invited to join an exclusive social network, only for members of the on BBC Radio Four This year, UCLH is hosting its annual research In the current political climate that the NHS operates, what are some of the many challenges faced by junior doctors today, and how do they compare with those of their predecessors? In partnership with BBC Radio four, UCLH consultant anaesthetist and renowned space medicine researcher Dr Kevin Fong presents Why Become A Doctor?, a new three-part radio series that takes a closer look at the roles and expectations of junior doctors and how they have changed with the progression of the NHS to the state it is in today. Dr Fong provides commentary on the series, which is led primarily by short snippets of anecdotes from present-day consultants and junior doctors alike. What was it like working 72-hour weeks and four-day weekends in the 1980s? Do patient expectations square with the dramatic advancements medical science has made in recent decades? And what new pressures are becoming more apparent in the age of digital media and increasing emphasis on patient-driven healthcare? Why Become A Doctor? is now available on BBC Radio four iPlayer. JS
open event on the 4th July. Applications for stalls are now open, and will stay open through April to the 2nd May deadline. With an emphasis on public engagement and celebrating research, the event has enjoyed great success in recent years, with last year’s event seeing 50 interactive stalls displaying the latest and most cutting-edge research, up from 40 in 2015. Attendees will learn about recent breakthroughs that have been made in treating conditions like cancer and osteoarthritis, as well as be given the opportunity to try their hand at a selection of experiments and medical equipment. Stalls will be manned by researchers themselves, who will be at the ready to take questions and explain their work to the appropriate level of detail. Other exciting activities that have been scheduled for previous events include a tour, mini-competitions and an award for the best stall, which can be expected to make a return this year. JS
UCL community. Registration is simple and you can use your LinkedIn account to sync your professional details with your UCL profile. Once you have registered you can search the directory for a potential mentor from our pool of experienced alumni. You can search using a number of criteria, including location, industry, year of graduation and UCL department. You can contact a potential mentor directly and establish a mentoring relationship that works for you both. There is no limit on the number of alumni you can contact or the duration of a mentoring relationship. Make the most of your online community by connecting with experienced professionals all over the world and strengthening your personal network. You can view jobs posted by members of the UCL alumni community or post your own jobs to recruit talented graduates for your company. To register and connect with your alumni community please go to uclalumnicommunity.org. By Katie Singer, UCL Senior Alumni Relations Manager
MORE THAN DEFENCE
MEDICAL PROTECTION GIVES YOU MORE SUPPORT TO BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE FREE student membership Medical Protection is more than defence. We ensure you have the tools and skills to avoid risks in the first place. Benefits include: Guides and tips to get you through medical school Exam support via e-learning and revision resources Up to 25% discounts on medical textbooks Protection for your elective 24 hour medicolegal advice line in an emergency
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR STUDENT MEMBERSHIP
Or if you haven’t joined already visit
medicalprotection.org/uk/studentjoin Or call 0800 952 0442 The Medical Protection Society Limited (MPS) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England with company number 36142 at 33 Cavendish Square, London, W1G 0PS. MPS is not an insurance company. All the benefits of membership of MPS are discretionary as set out in the Memorandum and Articles of Association. MPS is a registered trademark and ‘Medical Protection’ is a trading name of MPS.
he 100,000 Genome Project (100KGP) was launched in 2012 with the ambition of sequencing 100,000 whole genomes by the end of 2018. If completed, it will be one of the largest national sequencing projects in the world, enabling the NHS to offer genomic medicine as part of routine care available via general practices (GPs). The structure of the NHS – a fully-integrated, universal healthcare system – provides a unique research opportunity for correlating individuals’ genomic data with medical records collected over a lifetime. The 100KGP will include the genomes of 25,000 patients and their tumours, as well as ~17,000 genomes from patients and associated family members with rare disease. In total, the project will include ~40,000 patients, in addition to 75,000 patient relatives. The 100KGP aims to build on the work of the largest ever international collaboration of scientists – the Human Genome Project. This consortium succeeded in sequencing the full human genome in 2003, after 13 years of work and over £2 billion of investment. However, due to cost, the application of DNA sequencing to the clinic was delayed. Nonetheless, in 2017, a full human genome can be sequenced in a few days and for less than £1000. This progress has facilitated new initiatives such as the 100KGP.
How does genetics relate to genomics? Genetics – the study of how particular traits or diseases are inherited with genes passed from generation to generation – is a field that is relatively well-understood by most of us. As genetic research has progressed, it has become increasingly clear that genes interact with - and can be influenced by - each other. Non-coding portions of DNA (often referred to as “junk DNA”) may also be important. Environmental factors also play a part, and indeed they may determine whether particular genes are expressed or switched off. Therefore, to fully explain the genetic contribution to phenotype (the observable characteristics of an organism), it is necessary to take more than just individual genes into account. The complete set of genes present in each cell, along with non-coding parts of the DNA sequence, is referred to as the genome. The comprehensive study of the genome, as well as the techniques used to investigate genome-scale information, is called genomics.
THE 100,000 IMPLICATION FUTURE OF The Aims of 100,ooo Genome Project The 100KGP focuses on patients with rare disease and their families, and patients with cancer. Why choose these areas, when there are other diseases equally in need of more effective treatment? Whilst different in most ways, cancer and rare diseases both share a common denominator: abnormal genomic changes. Therefore, focusing genetic technology on cancer and rare disease is most likely to bring significant benefits to the NHS as a whole. Tumour cells originate from normal cells that acquire mutations, enabling uncontrolled growth and eventually metastasis. By comparing the genome of healthy and abnormal cells, genetic changes that lead to cancer may be better understood. In turn, this may highlight novel therapeutic targets. The overwhelming majority of rare diseases are caused by genomic abnormalities. About half of rare disease diagnoses are made in childhood, but these can often take years. Pooling thousands of genome sequences may accelerate this process, hopefully providing insight for new and innovative treatments. Including the genomes of both parents and their affected child in the 100KGP will increase the accuracy with which genome architecture can be captured – this is crucial in disorders where the abnormal genetic variant is very rare.
Around one in three of us will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives, yet this figure is only like to increase along with the ageing population. By focusing on cancer patients, 100KGP attempts to address this future challenge. Individually, rare diseases – affecting fewer than five in 10,000 individuals in the general population – account for relatively small proportions of disease burden. However, because there are so many of them (between 5,000 and 8,000), the total number of people affected with a rare disease reaches three million – or a prevalence of up to seven percent in the UK.
Genomics in Clinical Practice: The Benefits So Far 100KGP will translate the results of over a decade of research that builds on the Human Genome Project. It will likely translate to improved patient care across clinical practice – from oncology to immunology, right through to general practice.This means more effective treatments tailored to each patient, known as “precision medicine”. An individualised strategy enables the pre-emptive discovery of patient groups likely to be responsive to treatment. Perhaps the greatest progress made so far with this approach has been the stratification of breast cancer treatment according to HER2 status. The drug Herceptin (trastuzumab) is only effective in HER2 positive tumours, and so genetic testing is now routinely performed prior to treatment to determine HER2 status1. The influence of genetic variation on radiation response can also be investigated to optimise the number of radiotherapy sessions each patient will need, thus limiting treatment toxicity2.
GENOME PROJECT: NS FOR THE HEALTHCARE Screening for genomic variants known to contribute to risk – before the onset of pathology or symptoms – can inform patients’ lifestyle decisions and enable preventative therapy. This is particularly pertinent for conditions with well-described genetic risk variants, such as colon, breast and ovarian cancer, or familial hypercholesterolemia.
What are the Implications for General Practice? Genomic technology will, with time, affect all medical disciplines, and general practice is no exception. GPs are usually the first port of call for patients with a rare disease or cancer,
Genomics is also relevant in pharmacology. For example, genetic variation can predict adverse drug reactions. Carriers of the major histocompatibility complex class I allele HLA-B*5701 have been found to be at increased risk of life-threatening allergic reaction to the antiretroviral drug, abacavir. This discovery has introduced routine screening for the hypersensitivity risk variant prior to abacavir prescription in HIV positive patients, allowing for the safe use of the drug in a larger population.3 Microbial genomics – sequencing the genomes of pathogenic microorganisms – has facilitated the discovery of resistance genes and provided the possibility of developing new antimicrobials.4 For example, HIV sequencing is already used to select optimal anti-retroviral drugs.5 Antigen “libraries”, developed using pathogen genomic data, can aid vaccine production through the discovery of previously unknown antigens which do not elicit an immune response during natural infections.6 Additionally, Public Health England has established a service that uses microbial whole genome sequencing to track the spread of Salmonella infections in the community. A similar approach is now being developed for tuberculosis.
Image by Kate Mackenzie
and are involved in the long-term management and follow-up after referral to a specialist physician. Therefore, GPs play a central role in recruitment to 100KGP and subsequent patient care. Integrating genomics into clinical care improves not only post-diagnosis treatment, but also disease prediction and prevention. Individualised screening
Even when 100KGP is completed, it is not guaranteed that NHS staff are sufficiently trained to incorporate genomics into routine care in the long term. The 100KGP will not ultimately succeed and have the impact it potentially could without significant long-term investment as well as governmental and NHS-wide dedication to the incorporation of genomics into clinical practice.
strategies for cancer and other disorders depending on the patient’s genomic profile could lead to significant financial savings, as well as reduce the number of unnecessary diagnostic tests performed in general practice. GPs will inevitably be involved in delivering key aspects of 100KGP, as well as future genomics-based innovation. For this reason, it is crucial that a strong foundation in genomic medicine is part of GP training and education.
What are the Ethical Challenges Involved? Understandably, the 100KGP raises many ethical challenges. For instance, who will have access to the 100KGP data and how can we ensure it is used for the right purposes? There are concerns surrounding whether companies should be allowed to commercially benefit from using the 100KGP data. After all, data has been contributed on a notfor-profit and voluntary basis. To address this, patients entering the 100KGP are explicitly asked whether they consent to the use of their data by commercial companies.
What About Ensuring Data Security? Confidentiality is a pillar of medical practice and the utmost must be done to ensure that the vast amounts of highly sensitive data accumulated for the 100KGP is appropriately handled to protect participant anonymity. On a more interpersonal level, how should it be decided what information a patient should receive about their sequencing results? As well as facilitating novel therapeutic opportunities for currently untreatable diseases, the era of readily available whole genome sequencing technology also brings with it a previously rarely encountered dilemma – that of information excess. An independent Ethics Advisory Committee has been established to oversee that Genomics England, the company responsible for delivering 100KGP, adheres to strict ethical standards throughout the project. However, ethical questions need to be considered by all those involved in the 100KGP, including medics, researchers, managers and patients alike.
What are the Challenges and Limitations of the Project?
Finally, genomics can usually only offer insight into risk, rather than definitive detrimental outcomes. Many factors contribute to a disease phenotype, including environmental factors and lifestyle choices. It is important that the medical community avoids overstating the benefits of this technology.
Conclusion There is no doubt that the 100K Genomes Project, if delivered, will have wide-ranging impact in all clinical specialties as well as medical research. The project needs to be seen in the broader context of a fundamental shift in medical practice, into an era of clinician-researcher collaboration and genomics-driven personalised treatment. Despite the obstacles still to be overcome, the 100K Genomes Project is a promising step in the right direction, potentially enabling translational research on a new scale and opening up the possibility of an NHS that offers truly personalised medical care. By Magda Tchorek-Bentall, Research Editor References: 1. 2.
Accurate whole genome sequencing on a huge scale is one of the first challenges of the 100KGP. The project is the first UK attempt to sequence whole genomes on such a large scale. To be able to draw meaningful conclusions from the generated data, the patients’ genomes need to be compared to a reference and individual variations noted. Next, these differences must be interpreted to discern whether they are harmless genetic variants found in all humans, or in fact pathogenic abnormalities involved in disease. Given that the whole human genome is approximately three billion base pairs in length, interpreting and then storing this vast amount of genetic data is an enormous challenge. Additionally, even though sequencing technology is faster and more affordable than ever before, significant development needs to occur before diagnoses and treatment using such modalities are accurate enough to be universally available in primary care.
A possible shortcoming of the 100KGP is that it is not aiming to address the genomics of common diseases. Genomic factors may play a substantial role in sporadic, as well as familial, disease, and these factors can involve the non-coding DNA that is precisely what whole-genome investigation focuses on. High-burden diseases of sporadic origin, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, could arguably benefit quite significantly from inclusion in a project such as 100KGP. Indeed, most human traits are influenced by many, sometimes thousands, of genomic variants of small effect, and understanding how they can interact to cause disease will be instrumental in explaining the genomic component of most commonly occurring sporadic diseases.
Paik S, Kim C, Wolmark N. HER2 Status and Benefit from Adjuvant Trastuzumab in Breast Cancer. N Engl J Med. 2008;358(13):1409–11. Available from: http://www.nejm.org/doi/abs/10.1056/ NEJMc0801440 West CM, Barnett GC. Genetics and genomics of radiotherapy toxicity: towards prediction. Genome Med [Internet]. 2011;3(8):52. Available from: http://eutils.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/eutils/ elink.fcgi?dbfrom=pubmed&id=21861849&retmode=ref&cmd=prlinks%5Cnpapers2://publication/ doi/10.1186/gm268 Mallal S, Phillips E, Carosi G, Molina J-M,Workman C,Tomazic J, et al. HLA-B*5701 screening for hypersensitivity to abacavir. N Engl J Med [Internet]. 2008;358(6):568–79. Available from: http://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19553774%5Cnhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16758424%5Cnhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18256392 Bakkali N, Fenollar F, Biswas S, Rolain JM, Raoult D.Acquired resistance to trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole during Whipple disease and expression of the causative target gene. J Infect Dis. 2008; Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Guidelines for the Use of Antiretroviral Agents in HIV-1-Infected Adults and Adolescents. Department of Health and Human Services. 2009. Pizza M, Scarlato V, Masignani V, Monica Giuliani M, Aricò B, Comanducci M, et al. Identification of Vaccine Candidates against Serogroup B Meningococcus by Whole-Genome Candidates Against Serogroup B Meningococcus by Whole-Genome Sequencing. Science (80- ). 2000;
ROUNDUP: THE 100,000 GENOME PROJECT Genomic England’s “100,000 Genome Project” is an ambitious national program, aiming to sequence 100,000 whole genomes in order to help researchers and clinicians study a wide range of diseases. UCL is playing an active role in this project through research groups at facilities like UCLH and the Royal Free Hospital. In this round-up, we look at how some of UCL’s institutions have been involved in the project since its launch in 2015, and some of the ways that the research may benefit patients in the future. UCL Institute of Ophthalmology (IO)
UCL Cancer Institute (CI)
Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) As of September 2016, over 3000 samples have been sent from GOSH to the 100,000 Genome Project. An initial pilot study in 2014 was conducted at GOSH. In this study, researchers compared the genome of a young girl who suffered from seizures and epilepsy with her parents. Despite being previously told her condition was undiagnosable, genome studies later revealed that she had GLUT-1 Deficiency Syndrome. Since then, the patient has been started on a specialised diet, reducing both the frequency of her seizures and the amount of medication that she must take. Her condition is now much more stable and she is able to take part in more daily activities.
Using results from the 100,000 Genome Project, cancer researchers hope to be able to construct “life histories” of patient tumours from individually sequenced genomes. This data will help identify key stages of cancer development and map out important stages in tumour evolution. One project currently being undertaken will look at whole genome sequences collected from 500 patients affected by sarcoma. These will include several rare types of sarcoma, such as synovial sarcoma, myxofibrosarcoma and leiomyosarcoma. The project will involve identifying genetic mutations that recur and establishing a correlation between these genetic patterns and presenting clinical features. Tumour subgroups will be stratified based on these genetic signatures.
The IO specialises in treating patients with rare or genetic conditions involving the eyes and retina. As such, it is uniquely positioned to offer valuable samples for the 100,000 Genome Project. About 100 patients are currently being recruited each month by the IO for the project, with the aim of recruiting around 2,200 patients overall. The IO has already seen several successes from whole genome sequencing, and these have led to the diagnosis of new diseases. A paper published in March 2017 details how a mutation in the SRD5A3 gene may contribute to retinal degeneration. SRD5A3 is a gene linked to glycosylation disorders. Using whole-exome and genome sequencing in a cohort of seven patients, the area of mutation was successfully identified. This has allowed for a more focused approach to searching for causes of retinal dystrophy, by checking for mutations in any of the glycosylation disorder genes.
It is hoped that this project will produce classifications and sub-groups for genetically distinct tumour types, and this will inform both prognosis and therapeutic targets in the future.
Her parents are now also able to access forums and patient support groups, and this newfound social support has enabled them to make additional lifestyle adjustments to help their child thrive. These results give a glimpse at how the 100,000 Genome Project can make significant differences to individual patients.
Dr Clare Gerada, MBE, is the former Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). After studying medicine at UCL, she continued her training in psychiatry at the Maudsley and Bethlam Hospitals, motivated by a fascination with Freud and the “unconscious reasons” behind patient behaviour. She began working as a general practitioner in 1991 but has maintained her passion for improving mental health and addiction services, arguing that the role of a GP offers a unique opportunity to pursue diverse interests and a develop a wide range of skills. Here she explains the influences that have shaped her career, why she believes general practice is “the best profession to go into”, and what she sees as the future of GP surgeries and the NHS more widely. care psychiatry, children’s psychiatry, chronic psychiatric illnesses, or liaison psychiatry. I specialised in alcohol and drug misuse towards the end of my rotation, but after going back after having a baby I realised that I had become a big fish in the very small sea that was primary care substance misuse and addiction. I went into general practice from there.
RR: How did you become interested in psychiatry, and why did you become a GP? CG: I originally trained in medicine. After qualifying I did A&E and then a medical rotation at the Whittington. They used to have a library, and in the library were all these psychiatry journals. I was fascinated by Freud and I read all the penguin versions of his work. So, rather naively and probably rather arrogantly, I thought I’d go to the Maudsley and do psychiatry. The Maudsley only took neuroscientists and they didn’t do analytical treatment there, but I just loved psychiatry and the idea that there were unconscious reasons behind the symptoms people were presenting. I was so fortunate that I was taken in at the Maudsley to do their rotation, and I enjoyed every job I did; whether that was elderly
RR: Do you think that general practice is unique in allowing you to have a sub-specialty? CG: Yes, it is! Tomorrow morning I will do a surgery, which is the job I trained for in 1991. It is unusual in any specialty for you to still do the job you trained in 30 years later - you will either be in full time
Alumnus Interview management, or teaching. Not only that, I can diversify. Every three to five years I change what I do within the framework of general practice. For example, I became an expert in drug use and pregnancy as a GP. I then ran a homeless service for drug users, then moved into mental health and became the head of a commissioning organisation. As a GP, you can have your own interests and be involved in them as much or as little as you want. That is why I encourage all of you, unless you are really hooked on a specialty, to become a generalist first, because you have something to fall back on.
social problems, the whole body rather than the individual left toenail. I’m proud of those skills and I think it’s about communicating that. I think the least skilled person is the one with the narrowest range. I think we should stop calling them specialists and subspecialists and call them generalists and “narrow-ists”.
RR: How do you think that general practice as a career has changed whilst you have been working in it?
CG: My proudest achievement was standing firm against the Health and Social Care Act. I was absolutely right at the time. I was vilified, I was told I was catastrophising, I was told I was just a little girl and that I needed a man to tell me the right thing to do, but I stood firm because I had spent seven months researching before making my decision. I’m very proud that my college supported me and that I’ve been proven right. It sounds strange, but I think I’m also proud that I put the college into the public eye so that people had heard of us. I’m not sure they’d heard of the RCGP before unless they were a GP.
RR: What was your proudest achievement as Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners?
CG: Like many areas of medicine, it has become more accountable and more bureaucratic. However, compared to the hospital specialties, we still have the most freedom. Hospital medicine has become so boxed in you can’t breathe without someone coming in to ask you to tick a form. Moreover, it is now nearly impossible to just do clinical practice as a GP. I know many GPs who say that they just work part time. But they don’t, they do five clinical sessions a week and five other things. Medicine has changed and being a doctor has changed.
RR: Recently, the Prime Minister said that she wants GPs to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week. Do you think that’s possible?
RR: How would you encourage medical students to pursue general practice?
CG: The problem is that people don’t understand that 50% of all hospital doctors are junior doctors, so you have a lot of slack. There are no junior doctors in general practice, and only about 10% of us are trainees. So, the idea that this essentially consultant workforce can work seven days a week as well as run everything else is ridiculous. There is no capacity to work seven days a week - there are not enough people, unless the Prime Minister is going to 3-D print new versions of me. The public don’t want it either, even if you ask them: they don’t want to go on a Sunday for their routine cervical smear. It’s also a waste of money. Do you want to pay tax for somebody to have an appointment on a Sunday? Though we don’t get paid extra, others will have to be paid. You will have to have a security guard, this, that and the other, for what? It will waste the already precious few resources we have in the NHS.
CG: I am going to say something which may sound paradoxical. I don’t think you should go into general practice straight from qualifying. I know that when you finish you have worked very hard for a very long time, and you want to demonstrate your skills.You want to put on that metaphorical “white coat’” and start treating people - and quite right too, you’ve worked for it! But you’re all going to live to one hundred if you don’t smoke, so I think you should take some time to go and play. Do some accident and emergency, go abroad, go and learn how to do caesareans. Go and learn something you wouldn’t think of doing, and then come into general practice. Coming into general practice at the age of 24, I think you’re too young and you wouldn’t experience the depth of what my profession has to offer. It is difficult because I suspect I’m the only GP you’ve ever met outside your own clinical practice, and everyone talks about how it’s hard work and how we are to blame for everything. But the best kept secret is that it’s the best profession to go into - other than psychiatry! I have to say that because my husband is head of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, although I think I’ve had a better professional life as a GP. He’s a psychiatric academic but I think that I do more psychiatry now than he’s done in his entire working life, because I look after sick doctors. I spend half my time doing psychiatry and half my time doing general practice.
RR: What do you think of the way the NHS is talked about in politics, and will there ever be any meaningful political will to find reasonable solutions, rather than attributing blame? CG: I am part of a ground-up organisation called “Bring Back the NHS”. It’s an apolitical movement run by unbelievably inspiring young people. As Oliver Letman said, I think the NHS is “our religion”. The NHS is part of our social solidarity and identity. I might be an idealist, but I believe that it is what unites us: Muslim, Jew, Christian, new immigrant, old immigrant. The NHS binds us together as well as being the most fantastic way of delivering healthcare, which is free at the point of care and funded by progressive taxation.
RR: What do you think of the stigma and stereotypes surrounding general practice and what do you think can be done about this? CG: Beat the bash. We need to make it illegal for GPs to be the brunt of all jokes. You have probably heard “oh that bloody GP” many times, and that is natural because we interact the most with other specialties. If you go into A&E, you’ll interact with a thousand GPs through referrals and letters. I interact with zero A&E doctors so it’s difficult for me to slag off an A&E doctor. Whereas in a thousand GPs, of course there will be a bad one. I think it’s about mutual respect. My job is the hardest of all jobs; I have the skills to manage 30 to 40 patients a day, from minus nine months to death. I treat physical, psychological and
You lot need to go into politics. You are the future! I don’t know whether they teach you this, but medical students have such power, if you can harness it. You are bright and well-respected, and you will naturally go into positions of power even though you will feel powerless.With a collective voice, you can start to change things. Now in the “post-truth era” if you can speak with authority and honesty, you will be trusted. Join a political movement, start to fight for things, speak truth to power, and don’t be worried – I’ll protect you.
Alumnus Interview RR: What would you say has been the biggest influence on your career? CG: There are so many. My father inspired me to be a GP. He was both the worst and the best of doctors. He was the worst because I don’t think he ran, even then, a very modern practice. He didn’t do any preventative work, and I’m not sure how clued up he was on evidence base even then, in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. But he was the best because of the love he had for his patients and his community, and the dedication he showed to his job. I’ve lived and worked in the same community for 30 years, which is unusual. Growing up with my patients as an equal rather than as their doctor has also been quite important. Drug users are probably the most interesting people to manage because they come in very, very sick and if you sprinkle a little bit of love on them they get better unbelievably quickly. They have taught me a lot about what it is like to be marginal as a human being and how just a bit of care can transform a patient’s life.
RR: How do you think general practice is going to change over the next 10 years? CG: I think it is going to get larger and much more corporate. We are going to lose the small, single handed practices and use a lot more technology pre-consultation. If I have any breath in my body, we’ll retain a personal, continuous relationship with the patient over time, based within their community, but I do think it’s going to get less personal. I also think that in the future we will use a lot more social media
in medicine, but it must be primarily based on an established patient-doctor relationship. Once I’ve built a relationship with a patient, I can then have a social media interaction with them.
RR: What did you spend your time doing at medical school? CG: [Laughs] Throughout embryology lectures I played Space Invaders! There was a McDonald’s on the corner of Warren Street and Tottenham Court Road. Next door to McDonald’s there was a Space Invader place – so my friend showed me what a Big Mac was and we used to go. Aside from that, as a medical student you could take on a psychiatric patient and do psychotherapy with them. It was lovely! In my year, 20 of us became psychiatrists. If you look at the figures we used to have more people going into psychiatry than any other medical school, and it was because of that scheme. I didn’t do a BSc because I was going out with somebody - he was doing a BSc and I wanted to split up, so I remember deliberately not doing a BSc so that I didn’t have to be in the same year as him. He did really well, he’s now a professor of paediatrics! I loved UCL, loved it! When I was 18 and came to UCL it was the first time I’d been to London on my own, so it was very strange. I hope it’s still the same – very free and eclectic. I hope you’re enjoying your time at UCL, it’s a fantastic place to train.
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The Young Adult Edition
A Quiet Kind of Thunder By Sara Barnard
Every Last Word By Tamara Ireland Stone
Holding Up the Universe By Jennifer Niven Holding Up the Universe is evenly split between the perspectives of Jack, who developed proprognosia (the inability to recognize faces) after an accident, and Libby, who was once known as “America’s Fattest Teen”. Covering such difficult topics as obesity, self-diagnosis, self-esteem, and grief, this book slowly recognises each of the characters’ complexities in a way we should hope to emulate as doctors. Libby has to face a lot of criticism for her weight but it’s only slowly revealed how her life’s journey has influenced her eating patterns. In Jack, we see just how much expectation defines our behaviour and how complex life can become when the ability to meet those expectations is stripped away. This book is a must for anyone who hopes to understand why people act the way they do; Holding Up the Universe emphasises why it’s so important we understand more of our patients than just their symptoms or diseases.
Eureka: Obstetrics and Gynaecology By Hannah Kither, Sarah Kitson, Louise Wan, Emma Crosbie Eureka yet again provides us with a colourful, engaging and detailed textbook with everything explained in just enough detail to be clear, but not enough to be considered verbose. With a clear and organised layout, there are plenty of diagrams, pictures and
Samantha has purely obsessional OCD (‘pure-O’), attends therapy, and struggles daily with how to manage her life. Nobody outside of her family is aware of her illness, until she opens up to a new group of friends - only to find out these friends are not what they seem. Every Last Word is a brilliant story of how much can go unseen and how important it is we truly pay attention to those around us.
This book follows the relationship between Steffi, who is a selective mute, and her new friend, Rhys, who is deaf. Faithful to the YA trope of teenage romance, the two begin to fall in love, and soppy sentence after soppy sentence ensues. However, there’s so much more this book explores; the expectations placed on both those who are deaf and those who don’t speak, society’s attitude towards people viewed as abnormal, and how this complicates their day-to-day lives. The plot is a little saccharine, but it neatly explains the spectrum of anxiety disorders and their differences from extroversion and introversion, something that other books of this type don’t tend to do. Refreshingly for a book that combines the experience of mental illness with a love story, there was no implication that a relationship would “cure” mental illness, and an acknowledgement that whilst having supportive people around you is always useful, it can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help.
One of the first young adult books to accurately depict OCD as a difficult, intrusive illness and not just some cutesy little quirk, this book is another that shows readers that everyone has an internal life, and how important it is to delve past superficiality in order to truly understand each other. It depicts the whole spectrum of OCD, anxiety disorders, and the overlap between these much more accurately than normal YA fiction; this is a book not to be missed for those interested in working with young adults or in psychiatry.
flowcharts to accompany the concise text. There are also communication and OSCE tips sprinkled throughout, as well as a thorough single best answer (SBA) section. This book is particularly useful as it has many tips for clinical practice and exam style with regards to Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G), something other O&G textbooks often omit.The book progresses through building a framework to hang knowledge on and then steadily introduces new concepts and ideas without jumping forward too quickly.
This is the perfect accompaniment to anyone wishing to do well on obstetrics and gynaecology in their finals, as well as being useful for anyone entirely new to the topic or wishing to revise more complex topics. It describes not only the conditions you will cover on placements, but the anatomy and physiology from pre-clinical medicine and links to other specialities as well. Being so comprehensive and with practice OSCE, SBA and short answer questions, this really is all you need for O&G!
Kate Ward after receiving her Excellence in Medical Education Award at the
Out of Hours
KATE WARD Dr Kate Ward is a clinician, consultant, researcher and lecturer. Well known to all MBBS preclinical students as an avid lover of the herpesviruses, Kate holds a loved and respected place in LT1. In 2013, her dedication to teaching was recognised with an Excellence in Medical Education Award from UCLMS (Figure), but RUMS Review’s chat with Kate reveals that her true goal was to emulate Prof Delves! Her career has taken her from UCL, around the world and back again, and we thank her for taking the time to talk to us. We hope you enjoy hearing about Kate’s fascinating career and life as much as we did!
opportunity to continue my work on Human Herpesvirus six (HHV-6) and develop an international reputation for it too – it’s just such fun, looking at the science and finding the answers.
Tell us about your career: what did you study and where, what have been the highlights of your career, how did you get to UCL?
I started off at UCL as an undergraduate studying biochemistry. From there, I gained a PhD in cancer research with Cancer Research UK, and then went on to do my post-doc in immunology at Cambridge. However, I found the research to be quite lonely and I also – rather ironically – developed an allergy to mice, which is what I was working on, so decided that maybe pure research wasn’t for me.
One of my highlights was definitely my student elective to Thailand with the Oxford Tropical Medicine Unit. I went there before tourism had developed and I worked in a hospital on the Cambodian border, focusing on the immune response in malaria. Seeing how my colleagues, Thai and British, worked together, studying science in that environment and experiencing the culture all made an enormous impression on me. Much later, another highlight was receiving an NHS National Merit Award for my work as a consultant virologist. These are the things that have shaped my career - now, I do research, clinical work and teaching, which I love. At UCL, I’ve had the
Describe yourself in five words.
1 2 3
Conscientious, dedicated, determined, enquiring, unconventional. 11
Medicine was suggested to me and, at first, I dismissed it but eventually I came to think that it would be a good way for me to continue research whilst also contributing to society. So, I jumped. It was one of those moments in life where you just have to go for it. I became a mature medical student at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge and gained my medical degree. I went on to specialise in microbiology and eventually became a virology consultant, a post that brought me all the way back to UCL.
What first sparked your interest in science and medicine?
George Palade, Nobel Prize winner and the father of cell biology. I read about him in a book in the school library – he did the major work on electron microscopy to identify and characterise cellular organelles. I saw the pictures of mitochondria and the cell and just thought “wow!” 11
What’s the best thing about working at UCL and in London?
I was the first of my family to go to university, back when it was still a rarity. This is why I am very happy to be back here at the end of my career. I walk along Gower Street past where the old Biochemistry entrance used to be and remember being a miniskirt-wearing eighteenyear-old! UCL opened up the world to me, so I love having the chance to give back to my college through teaching and research. Plus, London is great for its culture: all of those wonderful museums, theatres and art galleries!
Out of Hours 11
What are the best and worst things about teaching medical students?
This year I have taken on the challenge of module lead for I&D in addition to my lecturing contribution. The best thing for me is building a rapport with the audience and feeling like you’ve connected with the students and delivered something worthwhile. I have, for several years, organised the year four core teaching weeks, which is a difficult undertaking. I think the worst thing is when tutors you’ve organised don’t turn up, it drives me crazy! 11
Which one person has most changed the way you think about medicine and science?
What are your greatest ambitions that you have left to fulfil?
What is your favourite way to relax after a long day at work?
I am a bookworm. Reading is my de-stress mechanism as I don’t have to remember anything whilst reading and I can just shut the world out! I read novels mainly, my favourites are thrillers - something that can be read fast. Although at the moment, I’m reading a book by Mikhail Sholokhov which is about what happened in Russia in the early 20th century – definitely not my usual thing. 11
Professor John Goldman. I met him at Hammersmith Hospital. He introduced basic science into clinical practice and he was one of the first to realise the importance of Imatinib, a ground breaking drug used for treatment of chronic myeloid leukaemia. He was an eccentric, he facilitated things. He put me in touch with the European Group for Bone Marrow Transplantation (EBMT). Through them I travelled and taught throughout Europe and became fascinated with bone marrow transplants (That’ll be the immunology and virology training kicking in!). John was a very good role model and an excellent clinician. 11
Well now that I’ve taken over as lead for the I&D module, my ambition is to make it even better than it was under Pete Delves, which is probably impossible. I may never be able to fulfil that one!
What are your guilty pleasures?
Dark chocolate. 11
What one piece of advice would you give to your students for their futures?
Medicine offers all sorts of opportunities. Believe in yourself: there’s a lot of competition within medicine but don’t follow the crowd – pursue whatever suits you best. There’s enough room in medicine for everybody and everything!
WESLEYAN CAN HELP YOU BECOME FINANCIALLY SECURE Wesleyan has a proud heritage in providing financial services to professionals. Formed in 1841, we are there to help with your finances from the very start of your career, right through to your retirement. We understand that life as a student is hard work and that planning your financial future is possibly the last thing on your mind. That’s why our team of Student Liaison Managers are on hand to help. They’ll be holding presentations in your school, helping with sponsorship for school clubs, societies and events, such as your Graduation Ball. What’s more, they’ll be co-ordinating your group photo, which we provide to all final year students as a free gift when you qualify. To find out how we can help you, please contact your local Wesleyan Student Liaison Manager.
} Free income protection cover through your final year
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1 Available through Wesleyan Bank Advice is provided by Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd. ‘WESLEYAN’ is a trading name of the Wesleyan Group of companies. Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd (Registered in England and Wales No. 1651212) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Wesleyan Bank Ltd (Registered in England and Wales No. 2839202) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No.165116). Wesleyan Financial Services Ltd and Wesleyan Bank Ltd are wholly owned by Wesleyan Assurance Society which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Incorporated in England and Wales by Private Act of Parliament (No. ZC145). Registered Office for all of the above Group companies is: Colmore Circus, Birmingham B4 6AR. Telephone calls may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes. ST-AD-15B 09/14
This issue’s In Focus sees fourth year student, Ragav Manimaran, come under the spotlight after he was recommended by our previous focus, Ivan. Ragav was recently named Global Winner in the Medical Sciences category of the Undergraduate Awards (but conveniently forgot to mention it to us… don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!). Keen on medical technology, entrepreneurship and encouraging students to get involved in start-up projects, Ragav’s achievements go far beyond his very modest write up for RUMS Review. We hope you enjoy reading about another phenomenal RUMS student!
o me, medicine is one of the most effective ways of using the latest advances in science to have a positive impact on society. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed studying medicine at UCL, especially since living in London allows you to be at the forefront of medical innovation. I can’t think of a better place to be!
I’ve had the privilege of working with an amazing committee to lead one of Europe’s largest student-run entrepreneurship societies. We secured £15,000 of funding in one year whilst establishing partnerships with eight startups and venture capital firms. Helping to manage our society’s venture capital fund to invest in seven UCL startups was a great opportunity to enable other UCL students to make their ideas a reality. The hard work of the committee was rewarded when we were recognised as the ‘Best UK University Enterprise Society’ by NACUE (the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs) in 2016.
During my first couple of years at UCL, I attended every event that caught my eye; from talks about recent advances in medical research to economics (especially if free food was on offer!). I think this open-minded approach allowed me to gain an insight into a variety of industries and ultimately realise my interests. For example, I’m particularly excited by technology and how it can re-shape industries such as healthcare. Last year, I did an intercalated BSc in Medical Physics and Bioengineering and it was one of the most interesting years that I’ve had at UCL. Switching from anatomy textbooks to solving differential equations was a challenging yet enjoyable experience. The course helped me to develop the technical skills needed to innovate with medical technology. My research project was to design an ultrasound phantom (a device that replicates human anatomy under ultrasound imaging) for doctors to practice complex minimally invasive heart procedures. I chose the project because I was excited to use a combination of computer-aided design, data processing and 3D printing to create a novel yet anatomically accurate device.
To address the unmet need for innovative collaboration between students across London universities, I co-founded ‘Kickstart London’ alongside some friends at LSE. This is the first cross-university, student-run pre-accelerator (a programme for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn the basics of forming a startup) active across London university campuses and we’ve had amazing support from Microsoft Accelerator, Chapter London, KPMG and WeWork. Our vision is to connect and educate the best students in London so that they can create meaningful businesses. So far, we’ve launched 16 student startups with ideas ranging from long-distance drones to a subscription-based delivery service for daily essentials. I’m really excited to grow Kickstart even further in the coming years.
Getting involved with the UCLU Entrepreneurs Society (UCLe) has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
Above all, I’d definitely recommend attending events outside of your comfort zone – you never know what you’ll end up liking! Satisfy your curiosity, the effort will be worth it!
medicine made clear
“The starter questions and case studies with each chapter are very helpful. I will certainly be buying other books from the Eureka series.” “This book is an essential for any student. The authors have made it a must have!” “Overall, I found this book to be the only required text for my O&G rotation.” “The layout is clear with lots of tables and clear flow charts. It is immediately obvious that experienced O&G clinicians have written this book.” “One stop, comprehensive book for O&G.”
To order visit www.jpmedpub.com quoting code UMED17 for your 15% discount and free delivery. Offer valid until 31.08.17. www.facebook.com/eurekaJP
including free delivery
Improving student engagement based on a sample of
Photos by Si Ethell
n = 1 = me Early experiences of primary care at medical school solely acted to solidify Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein’s ambition to become a plastic surgeon. However, now a Portfolio RAF general practitioner enjoying her career more than ever, Jodie explains the inspirational chance encounter that changed her path, and encourages others to open their eyes to all possible career options; namely one in general practice.
aving just finished swiping through last night’s magical photos of the aurora borealis, I sit in a medical centre in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, with mile upon mile of perfectly white snow outside of my clinic window, preparing all of the cardiac drugs for the next round of “ice breaking drills”. Before replying to emails about upcoming student engagement events, I get a moment to acknowledge just how lucky I am to do a job I love, in a place I’ve always dreamed of visiting. I was the type of medical student that today I focus on most. Before even starting medical school, I was planning where I wanted to be in life. There was no questioning that I was going to be a plastic surgeon. Before applying to medical school, I volunteered at a local orthopaedic veterinary practice to develop my
surgical skills, and while at university I fought to ensure every self-selected component was surgical-based. In my pitch for a Royal Air Force medical cadetship, I made clear my plans to be a plastic surgeon in the field, highlighting my youthful fervour and determination that nothing would get in my way. I was ecstatic when I found out I would be doing plastics in my foundation training programme, but frustrated that I would have to waste four months doing general practice as a foundation year two doctor (FY2), as is expected of all military trainees. “Who would go to medical school for six years just to be a GP?” I thought in medical school, and the four weeks I spent in my fourth year sitting in the corner of a room belonging to a retirement-planning, self-proclaimed “failed surgeon” did little to alter my pre-conceptions.
What I had not accounted for in my blinkered, headstrong and naïve approach was that the 16 year old (I’m Scottish, not a child prodigy) applying to medical school would be a rather different person from the one selecting a training pathway eight years later. My FY2 general practice placement changed my outlook, plans, way of thinking: it changed my life. I was working with a team of people who enjoyed their job. My supervisor was a young, enthusiastic trainer who split her time working between general practice in the UK and short projects with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) abroad. She wasn’t a failed anything; she knew her stuff, the polar opposite of the stereotypical GPs I had previously encountered. The blinkers were starting to be peeled back. From my very first clinics it became clear that
this was not an easy job.The breadth of medical knowledge required was vast. Patient presentations were often complicated. The level of risk and the chasm of the unknown was something I had neither encountered nor anticipated. I was a 23 year old with my own clinic room (name on the door and everything!) when Ann entered for her appointment. Ann’s presenting complaint was a cold, but it soon became clear that was not why she was here. Ann had three children, a dog called Poppy, a husband who had been made redundant… and a breast lump. A breast lump she had known about for at least nine months, but ignored. A breast lump that following my urgent referral to the breast clinic resulted in bilateral mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. During my fourmonth placement, I was with Ann each step of the way. It gave me a completely different perspective on medicine and humanity. In that one training rotation I had seen a plethora of patients with a spectrum of conditions, from the life-threatening to the sublimely ridiculous. Yes, the days were busy and there was a lot of administration, but I was making a difference. I had purpose, and for the first time in my life as a doctor, I had an element of autonomy in the care of my patients. I was hooked, and didn’t know how to break it to my growing group of surgically blinkered friends that I was stepping towards the cardigan-wearing dark side — I was going to be a GP. That was seven years ago. I am now a qualified GP, with a portfolio career in the military, simultaneously enjoying clinical sessions in
the NHS and Armed Forces, as well as teaching GP trainees, doing contraception clinics and studying for a diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine and MSc in Primary and Community Care.There is plenty on my plate, but my principal project — a personal priority — is to ensure that individuals at varying positions along the training spectrum do not miss out on their opportunity to become a GP. That is why I am writing this article: using my story, research which is admittedly based on a sample of n = 1 = me, to identify three gaps which need closing: 1.
I did not see GPs much as a student. We were not lectured by them; small group work was led by hospital doctors; and the limited exposure to primary care was one of the least inspiring experiences of medical school. As medical students interested in becoming surgeons, we had a society, which gave us a tribe. Nothing similar exists for general practice. When I realised I wanted to be a GP, it felt like a guilty, embarrassing little secret. We are encouraged to reflect a lot as GPs and, on reflection, this was ridiculous. So, now it is time to bang the drum for a career in Primary Care!
Four years ago, at a Royal College of General Practitioners Associate in Training Committee meeting, it became clear that my experience was not unique — so we started an initiative to increase the visibility of general practice as a career in medical schools. Making links with medical schools via visits and many Sunday evening Facebook chats, I found there were lots of students who were interested in being a GP but were not sure where to get information and were not that keen to “out” themselves as potential GPs. A few
medical schools had already developed thriving GP Societies, which provided teaching, socials and access to career advice, as well as working to integrate general practice into their curriculum from day one. Using these trailblazers as evidence, I helped those who were interested in setting up something similar in their own medical schools.The network is growing, and the Royal College of General Practitioners is becoming more supportive: the appointment of a full-time Student Engagements Officer, Chris Bull, is testament to the growing commitment to engage medical students and provide an optimistic, yet realistic, introduction to the profession. We encourage relatable GPs with achievable career plans to speak at medical schools and act as approachable role models. People you can send an email or tweet to and expect a reply. Because if it had not been for Little Miss MSF, I might not have the job that I do today; I would not have been paid to spend three weeks in Norway chasing the Northern Lights on a juiced-up Hummer every night; and I would not be planning medical cover for a climb up Kilimanjaro this summer. I got lucky and I want you to get the career you deserve. If you are interested in GP as a career, get in touch with your local GPSoc, and if there isn’t one, get in touch with us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help get one started. If you just want to ping me an email for a bit of a career chat, feel free on email@example.com.
By Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein, Portfolio RAF GP
By Choice: N
Supporting medical students tow
Professor Valerie Wass, Emeritus Professor of Medical Education at K she briefly explores the need for such an investigation and provides a s
Knowledge, technology and health care delivery advance rapidly. One of the greatest challenges facing medical schools is to ensure their graduates are prepared to adapt to changes in health care over a career spanning 40+ years. It is tough for educators to think that far ahead.
Now, changing patient needs and increasing pressures on health care delivery have highlighted that medical schools must think more about future workforce requirements. As aging populations and complex disease co-morbidities demand an escalation in primary care, Health Education England (HEE) aim to recruit many more General Practitioners (GPs). Across UK medical schools, the current graduate entry from Foundation posts into GP training varies from 10% - 30%2; the HEE target is 50%.
Why a Report? HEE and Medical Schools Council (MSC), therefore, commissioned a report to explore the mismatch between medical school output into training and workforce requirements. Representatives from major organisations (see report), GP trainees and students were invited to join a working group. Professor Deborah Gill from UCL was at the table! Most importantly, focus groups were held with students at five English medical schools selected to reflect different curricula and GP outputs: Birmingham, Cambridge, Imperial, University of East Anglia and Warwick. The student voice across the schools was amazingly consistent, honest and powerful. We formatted the report using their perspective.
So What Did Students Say? Tensions and the primary secondary care interface “There is an anti GP rhetoric in medical schools” Students confirmed that they witness tensions between hospital consultants and GPs, stating that a “tribalism” exists between primary and secondary care doctors. This risks general practice being perceived as of lower status than hospital medicine. Yet students who had spent time with general practitioners, especially early in the course, appreciated that it is a complex and challenging specialty. “Tell consultants to stop putting GPs down. It makes students feel as though it is a less valued career” Students felt they should be able to defend general practice when consultants were critical but this is not easy to do. We became
aware of a “hidden curriculum” where culturally it was easier at times not to declare any ambitions of becoming a GP. “If a surgeon asks, I tell them that I haven’t chosen a specialty yet so they don’t treat me differently.” At the same time, because NHS morale can be low and GPs are stressed, students experienced a “negativism” towards general practice as a career. On placements, some were discouraged from considering it by GPs themselves. “We do not have any real lectures from General Practitioners” Yet students met some excellent enthusiastic GP role models who should be more visible. They wanted more GPs teaching them in hospital as well as in the community.
Not By Chance
wards careers in general practice1
Keele University, is the Chair of the By Choice – Not by Chance report. Here summary of the task force’s findings and recommendations for the future.
students that a career in general practice did not offer research opportunities: a myth that needs dispelling urgently. The academic profile must be raised. UCL is well placed to drive this change. Raising the Status of General Practice “There’s an element of pride regarding a specialty – people want to be seen as achieving or winning.” As Sir Bruce Keogh said, “It is a really hard job. It requires a lot of intellectual flexibility and people have to be really tolerant individuals. It is one of the hardest jobs in medicine”.2 Recommendations The influence on students of “tribalism” and “negativism” must be addressed. The report made 15 practical recommendations, some of which are based on student ideas. I have selected a few for which you at UCL can become actively involved, but I do strongly recommend you read the report.1 Understanding General Practice Before Medical School Entry “There is a need to demystify what a GP actually is.” Much can be done to improve students’ understanding of general practice before medical school entry; the media are too hospital focused. Medical students are doing valuable work in schools, raising aspirations among pupils to enter medicine and become GPs. There is a real need to widen access to medicine and include GPs on medical school selection processes.
Increasing Exposure to General Practice and Raising the Quality of Placements “There’s a lot of responsibility on a GP placement. You are one person with one patient. It’s kind of empowering in a way” Nearly 300 international papers were reviewed. We found strong evidence that length of exposure to general practice has a positive impact on career choice, provided that the placements are of high quality. Medical schools must work on both quality and quantity of exposure. Students told us that not all placements are beneficial and that they are stuck there with no escape route, thus improving quality is an essential aspect on improving student experience. You Can Be a GP and Do Research “There are no research opportunities in GP” We identified a strong perspective among
One of the attractions of the flexibility within general practice is the opportunity to follow portfolio careers combining clinical practice with education, research or global health, something which students very much appreciated. Professor Gill is just one example of how successful this can be! Not everyone is cut out to be a GP, but at UCL, as all over the country, this report aims to make everyone aware that general practice is not “second best.” It needs the brightest and best of medical students to be able to say, with pride, that they want to become GPs.We are one step nearer to achieving this.
By Professor Valerie Wass OBE Emeritus Professor of Medical Education Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Keele University References : 1. 2.
Wass V, Gregory S, Petty-Saphon K. By choice – not by change. Health Education England. 2016. House of Commons Health Committee. Primary Care HC 408. 2016.
Seeing the Light:
My Journey to General Practice Dr Ahmed Rashid speaks of his personal experience in general practice, an important area of medicine that has recently been thrust into the spotlight.
Foundation year one (FY1) is an odd time. After endless years of jumping through academic hoops and revising for increasingly difficult assessments, you finally get to make that satisfying phone call to your bank asking them to change your debit card to include those two magic letters – “Dr”! That’s not the only change you’ll experience during this year. You have a full-time job and a commute to work. People treat you like a grown up and expect things from you. At the end of the month, you even get paid - not loads but enough to go out on weekends and
give yourself a well-deserved break. The other FY1 doctors are all in the same boat and you get to share the journey together. You find even more friends among the nurses on your ward; friendships which often continue for the rest of your career.
met a number of truly inspiring healthcare professionals and was frequently in awe of their brilliant diagnostic and procedural skills. There was, however, one particular academic physician whom I remember with great fondness to this day.
It all sounds like rather good fun, doesn’t it? Well, it really is. It is easy to focus on the scary bits and the steep learning curve, but in reality, the FY1 year is the most enjoyable year in most doctors’ careers. It is also a time when they are often deeply influenced by the characters they meet as they fully immerse themselves in the medical world of work. I
Despite the high pressure environment of a busy teaching hospital, she always found the time to talk to people. She regularly punctuated her long ward rounds with conversations with patients and their relatives, displaying an interest in social and psychological nuances that I would never have thought to explore. Her kindness and warmth wasn’t just
“The medical world is full of individuals who use their skills to traverse career boundaries and buck trends.”
directed toward patients; she also took a genuine interest in her junior colleagues, using her coffee breaks to listen to their concerns and share advice. One thing she said to me in particular has stayed with me ever since, and I think all medical students and junior doctors could stand to benefit from hearing it.
Reflecting on the fact that she had ended up training in a specialty different to the one she had in mind initially, she felt that doctors dwell far too much on early career choices. No matter which specialty you train in, she said, you’ll find your own niche within it. Back then, choosing the right specialty seemed like the most momentous decision in the world and I could not, for the life of me, understandwhat she meant. Fast-forward a few years and having come to the end of my own training journey, I realise that she had been absolutely right.
further extended my training by spending a year on the National Medical Director’s clinical fellow scheme, which involved a 12-month placement at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).As a trainee, I had the chance to work with distinguished cardiovascular researchers, deliver seminars and lectures about cardiovascular risk to medical students, junior doctors and GP colleagues, and develop guidelines and implementation products for cardiovascular diseases at a national level. More importantly, I have met countless doctors who have managed to defy the stereotypes of their specialty. From orthopaedic surgeons with a special interest in health economics to oncologists doubling as hospital chief executives, the medical world is full of individuals who use their skills to traverse career boundaries and buck trends.
When I was working for her, I was certain that cardiology was the specialty for me. I simply couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. I enrolled on an MSc in Cardiology and, to my surprise, discovered that I was far more interested in other aspects of the course such as epidemiology, risk, and patient experiences of heart disease. I was on a foundation year two rotation in general practice at the same time and often found myself being steered towards holistic preventive medicine, among various other things. Fortunately, I saw the light just in time and got accepted into a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded academic clinical fellowship in general practice, allowing me to combine clinical training in primary care with research training in the public health department at the University of Cambridge.
So I urge medical students to avoid obsessing over career choices. Until you are exposed to working in the various specialties as a junior doctor, it is hard to see what each one truly entails. As a medical student, I would never have believed anyone who told me that I would become a GP but as it turns out, I cannot think of any specialty that better suits me. Sure, everyone’s journey in medical training is unique, but no matter which path you take, there will undoubtedly be opportunities to develop new skills that lead to a varied and rewarding career. Work hard, play hard, but also be sure to seize any of these opportunities that come your way. Last but not least, do not forget to choose a foundation year job that includes at least one block in general practice. Like me, you may never look back.
Having taken up this academic training fellowship, I
By Dr Ahmed Rashid
Licensed to Kill:
Priming the Immune System to Kill Cancer The following is a two-part collaborative piece by Dr Alexander Gray, Chief Medical Officer for IDEA Pharma and UCL alumnus, and Gordon Weng-Kit Cheung, a researcher at the UCL Cancer Instite. The article highlights the promise and potential of immunotherapy in the fight against cancer, featuring the early pre-clinical development happening right here at UCL.
n the article that follows, Gordon WengKit Cheung outlines the evolution of one of the most exciting developments in cancer treatment: immunotherapy, specifically CAR T-cell therapy. Back in 1989, as a fresh-faced medical student starting at UCL, the idea that you could transplant targeted immune cells into patients seemed both exciting and unlikely. In the following two years, I became increasingly fascinated in the study of the immune system with all its marvellous intricacy, and the way in which it utilised multiple, parallel approaches to limit the harm that pathogens can do to the human body. This led me to an intercalated BSc in Immunology, at which point I became interested in primary immunodeficiencies such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID). Little did I realise at the time that unravelling the underlying causes of these rare but devastating conditions would have a significant impact on our understanding of the function — as well as the dysfunction — of the immune response, and for the development of anti-cancer therapies. An example of this is X-linked agammaglobulinaemia (also known as Bruton-type agammaglobulinaemia after the paediatrician who originally described it), a disease that stems from the failure to generate mature B lymphocytes and manifests as recurrent infections in childhood. It was not established until 1993 that mutations in a tyrosine kinase encoded on the X chromosome were responsible for the disorder. Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK), as it was named, is of critical importance in B cells: it is required not only for B-cell receptor signalling, but also for co-stimulatory signals that are essential for their maturation and differentiation. While this detailed understanding did not lead directly to a treatment for Bruton-type agammaglobulinemia, it did aid the recent development of BTK-inhibiting drugs that have proven to be of high clinical value in the treatment of B-lineage leukaemias and lymphomas. This story is a great example of how unravelling the complexity of one
disorder can ultimately lead to the development of a different but highly useful anti-cancer therapy.
(“immune excluded”); and others have significant immune cell infiltration, but the cells are largely non-functional (“inflamed tumours”).
Back in the 1990s, little work was being done on cancer immunotherapy. Common misconceptions were that the immune system was uninterested in cancer cells, because they were “self”, or that the immune system failed to target cancer cells because it had become “tolerant” to the antigens that they express. Intensive research in the last few decades has largely put paid to the idea that the immune system doesn’t recognise tumour cells as “foreign”. It is now evident that the immune system is indeed able to recognise tumour cell antigens, many of which are derived from the aberrant expression of mutations that arise within the tumour cells. Recent research on the range of tumour antigens expressed during cancer development found that tumours with high neoantigen expression, but with a lower number of different antigen types, are associated with significantly longer times to cancer progression than those with low, but more heterogeneous, expression. In other words, if a patient’s cancer expresses a small range of antigens in large amounts, the immune system seems to do a better job of keeping it under control.
This brings us to the work being done by Gordon under Martin Pule’s team at UCL, which aims to re-galvanise the immune response against tumours. While these promising chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies (discussed in detail below) represent a major hope in the fight against both solid and “liquid” tumours, it is evident that we need other immunologic tools if we are to be successful in limiting cancer growth and metastasis. To that end, there has been an explosion in our understanding of the pathways of stimulation and suppression of the immune response to cancer. When interacting with tumour cells, tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes have their immune responses downregulated through the programmed cell death protein (PD)-1/PD-L1 pathway. Nonsmall cell lung cancers (NSCLC) expressing significant amounts of PD-L1 have been found to be amenable to treatment with monoclonal antibodies targeted against either PD-L1 or its binding partner PD-1. These antibodies — now available to prescribe to patients with NSCLC — have demonstrated significant benefits in prolonging survival with a relatively low toxicity burden. More classes of these so-called “checkpoint inhibitors” are being investigated, as there are several different protein interactions that inhibit immune cells from being activated to target cancer cells. Many of these are in the early stages of clinical development, where some are used alone but others in combination with other checkpoint inhibitors or anti-cancer strategies. As some tumours are “immune deserts” or “immune excluded”, the immune system needs to be boosted in its response to tumour antigens. This can be achieved using tumour vaccines, several of which are currently in development. They are also being looked at in combination with checkpoint inhibitors; effectively removing the brake whilst flooring the accelerator on the immune response.
Why then, if tumour cell antigens are recognised by the immune system, are they not killed before they develop into clinically meaningful disease? Tumour cells are adept at evading the immune system by mechanisms including impaired tumour antigen processing and presentation by tumour cells, dysfunction of antigen-presenting cells, and defective co-stimulation and/or co-inhibitory pathways related to immune checkpoint blockade. Tumour cells are therefore able to “put the brakes” on the immune response. Different tumour types have different patterns of this effect: in some, few immune cells ever make contact with the tumour (an “immune desert”); others have a halo of immune cells that do not penetrate the tumour
Articles In the 2 0 years that I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry, I have never felt so optimistic that we can make a big difference to the outlook for cancer patients. The current revolution in immunotherapy goes well beyond targeted drug therapy: by utilising the power of the immune system, we have the opportunity to develop multiple approaches to cancer therapy that could not only dramatically extend the lives of some cancer patients, but also deliver this promise to a much broader range of patients and tumour types, and for longer periods of time. Back in 1989, I had no inkling that my early forays into understanding the immune system would lead me down the path of cancer treatment. As you sit in one of the many teaching sessions throughout medical school, just remind yourself that what you learn today may end up being far more valuable than you ever envisaged.
Image by Karim Chraihi
By Alexander Gray Chief Medical Officer, IDEA Pharma
Driving Research from Bench to Bedside
he history of cell and gene therapy is not one without its peaks and pitfalls. This novel type of therapy promised to treat and cure almost any disease by inserting a corrective gene into the cells, with an important caveat: the molecular pathogenesis of the disease had to be properly understood. This year marks the eighteenth anniversary of Jesse Gelsinger’s death, the first directly attributed to gene therapy treatment. Gelsinger had ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a metabolic disorder that prevents the body from breaking down and eliminating the build-up of ammonia. The gene delivery vehicle — a recombinant adenoviral vector — provoked an immune reaction, causing brain damage and organ failure. Gelsinger died a few days later in the autumn of 1999. His death rocked the gene therapy community and resulted in increased regulatory control in gene therapy trials. Since the 90s, the field of cell and gene therapy has progressed by leaps and bounds with the refinement of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy. The aim of CAR T-cell therapy is to harness the body’s immune T-cells, which normally target and kill infected cells, and genetically modify them to recognise and target tumour antigens. We can achieve this by endowing the T-cell with a CAR, which is a synthetic protein that combines the antigen-binding domain of
an antibody with the T-cell signalling machinery. In a nutshell, the patient’s immune cells are harvested, genetically modified to express a a CAR in a purpose-built clean-room, and then expanded to billions of cells before cryopreservation and subsequent re-infusion into the patient at the bedside. Over the last five years, CAR T-cell therapy has made waves in the scientific and medical community. Clinical trials in the US and worldwide have shown great promise, particularly in the treatment of B-cell malignancies in patients who have become refractory to both first-line treatment and salvage therapy, causing remissions in a number of patients. To date, over 1500 patients have been enrolled and treated in CAR T-cell trials worldwide. The UCL CAR Immunotherapy Programme was launched under the direction of Dr Martin Pule, senior lecturer in haematology at UCL. This started with a Bloodwise-funded study, called COBALT, targeting CD19 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. At the initial development stage, we designed and created a whole range of candidate CARs in order to provide and deliver the best possible therapeutic living drug. Each candidate had different binding domains from antibodies targeting CD19 and different T-cell activation domains. Our CAR candidates were engineered from donated peripheral blood with target-positive tumour cells expressing CD19 and target-negative tumour cells
Articles lacking CD19. During the preclinical in vitro development that followed, we aimed to determine the efficacy of the candidates based on their ability to firstly recognise and specifically kill tumour cells, and secondly to proliferate and expand after antigen recognition. By co-culturing genetically modified T-cells expressing the various CAR candidates with target-positive (CD19-positive) tumour cells and CD19-negative tumour cells, we were able to determine the tumour-specific lysis of target cells, essentially demonstrating the modified cells’ ability to kill tumour cells. Next, we sought to demonstrate that these CAR T-cells could proliferate on recognition of tumour cells, thereafter expanding and killing them to drive their numbers down. By culturing these CAR T-cells with cells derived from B-cell lymphomas over seven days, we achieved a 25-fold expansion of CAR T-cells. This shows their potential to expand inside the body and combat disease, essentially acting as a living drug. After four months of in vitro testing, we whittled down the candidates to two CARs: MP28 and MP30. The next step after in vitro assays and before clinical trials is in vivo animal modelling; it is the current standard for modelling toxicity, off-target effects, pharmacokinetics and efficacy in the next
best surrogate for the human body. Modelling of the final candidate CARs established their ability to recognise tumours (CD19-positive lymphoma in this case) and kill them, leaving the animals disease-free. After careful assessment and consensus on a final CAR candidate, the fruits of research are taken out of the labs and into the manufacturing pipeline. Production of the lentiviral vector encoding our CAR candidate was outsourced to our colleagues at King’s College London Rayne Cell Therapy Suite, and cell manufacture to UCL Gene Therapies Labs based at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. CAR development in clinical trials is typically a multifaceted approach that involves research scientists specialising in a diverse range of disciplines. Trial design, methodology, patient recruitment, logistics, follow-up, protocol, ethics and regulation are all undertaken by a large team of clinicians, trial coordinators, statisticians and everyone in between. The pilot COBALT trial has helped lay the groundwork for future trials and bring departments together to deliver a common goal. The translation from bench to bedside can take many years notwithstanding the decades
of basic research that underpins applied science. It is not surprising, therefore, that the COBALT clinical trial took over three years to move from preclinical workup and the research pipeline to product manufacture. Since its inception, the UCL CAR Immunotherapy Programme has spawned four individual Phase I clinical trials, of which three target CD19 to treat paediatric acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and adult diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) amongst other post-transplantation CD19-positive malignancies. The fourth trial targets disialoganglioside (GD2) for the treatment of paediatric neuroblastoma. Six additional trials are earmarked to open within the next two years. These trials will apply CAR T-cell therapy to the treatment of adult ALL (ALLCAR19), glioma (gCARV3), primary central nervous system lymphoma (CNSLCAR19), T-cell lymphoma (TCAR), B-cell cancers and multiple myeloma. These studies are made possible by generous funding from the National Institute for Health Research, the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK, and the UCL Business biopharmaceutical spin-out Autolus.
By Gordon Weng-Kit Cheung Research Scientist, Research Department of Haematology, UCL Cancer Institute
The RUMS Alumni Association Introducing The RUMS Alumni Association
The only alumni organisation open to doctors who have graduated from UCL, The Royal Free, or The Middlesex Medical Schools
Provides a framework for keeping in touch with other alumni o Organises reunion and networking events ▪ Subsidised annual dinner ▪ Free careers evenings o Regular e-newsletter
Provides financial and educational support for current students o Bursaries & Prizes for current students ▪ In 2015 establishing an all-round achievement award for pre-clinical students o Sponsorship of RUMS events and publications
Membership only £15 per year RUMS Alumni Sign up at http://tiny.cc/RUMSAlumni
In this issue we focus on general practice, a specialty that is continuously changing but unfortunately can be associated with some negative thoughts amongst students when yet another lecturer says, “80% of you will become GPs!”. We look forward to addressing the perception of general practice along with outlining the career pathway and many opportunities within this relatively flexible specialty; it has so much to offer! In addition, we have an interview with Dr Joe Rosenthal, a general practitioner and Sub-Dean for Community Based Teaching at UCL. As always, we hope you enjoy reading the section and find it helpful! Izabella Smolicz, Careers Editor
eneral practice is an exciting specialty with countless opportunities. What many people do not realise is that their GP may be a diabetes specialist, qualified to carry out minor surgical procedures or run a paediatric or antenatal clinic at the local hospital. All of these are possible in such a flexible specialty.
How can I become a GP? The pathway to becoming a GP is a unique one. The usual foundation programme is completed, as with any other specialty, but then there is a three-year programme (minimum) that must also be completed. This requires completing 18 months each in general practice and in the hospital environment and the Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP) exam must be passed to be able to receive the Certificate of Completion of Training (CTT), awarded by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). The MRCGP exam contains three components: the Applied Knowledge Test (AKT), Clinical Skills Assessment (CSA) and Workplace Based Assessment (WPBA). One point not always known by medical students is that these examinations have a fee, as do the examinations with the other Royal Colleges – consider how much the CSA costs to sit for a moment? (Answer at the end!) Within the GP training programme, there is formal teaching throughout and another ePortfolio to keep updated, as with every stage of training nowadays. Trainees can also choose an academic pathway within general practice, pursuing both research (25%) and clinical training (75%); this takes four years. Research can encompass medical education.
What can influence medical students’ decisions to pursue general practice? As with every specialty, there will be clinicians who have mixed views about it. Taking into account the BMA’s general practice survey in 2015, which many of you may have read about in the national media, 47% of GPs would recommend general practice to those in training not yet committed to the specialty. Statistics such as these may influence future trainees’ decisions on whether to pursue general practice and it would be useful to have such a survey in other specialties to compare. Would there be similar views in general surgery, for example, and if so, would they be for the same reasons? The link to the complete BMA general practice survey can be found here. “By choice – not by chance” is a document published in November 2016, supported by Health Education England and the Medical Schools Council. It looks at ways to improve the number of GP trainees from medical school, considering the future healthcare requirements of society. Overall, this report is clear about changing perceptions of medical students by ensuring they understand that it can be an exciting and intellectually stimulating career choice. Nevertheless, it does not hide that a key motive is so that we have a greater number of GPs in the future to make up the primary care workforce and meet the healthcare needs of society. The report proposed recommendations for medical schools to support students in different ways, allowing them to make informed decisions about their career choice from true knowledge about the specialty and not misconceptions. One of the recommendations is
to ensure general practice is portrayed positively during and before medical school, even at primary school level! For example, how many of you have heard hospital specialists use the term “GP land” when comparing general practice to their own specialties? Although this term is used to highlight differences between primary and secondary care for our learning, could the terms “primary” and “secondary” not just be used? See the full document here.
How can I find out more about general Practce and show my interest? •
Make the most out of your GP placements during medical school! Talk to both GP trainees and qualified GPs asking them why they chose the specialty and the pros and cons. Consider applying for the Primary Care iBSc or alternatively completing a research project or audit in general practice, all of which have the potential of producing work that can be presented at a national or international conference, e.g. the RCGP Annual Conference. Look out for talks and workshops with the GP section of MedSoc. Consider a GP elective, whether it’s in the UK or abroad - yes, the UK is great too! Just take a look at this link regarding GP electives in the Orkney islands! RCGP also have a prize for the best elective proposal in general practice/ primary care (£500). Consider applying for a foundation programme which offers a general practice rotation to try and experience life as a GP. Look at the RCGP website for more information and consider applying for membership - it’s free for medical students!
And the CSA cost is… £1663!
“The world’s your oyster!” An interview with Dr Joe Rosenthal BSc, MSc, MBBCh, FRCGP, DRCOG, DFFP
r Joe Rosenthal is a GP and senior clinical lecturer at UCL Medical School. He completed a BSc in Psychology before Medicine, qualifying in 1986 from Cardiff Medical School. For postgraduate training in general practice, Dr Rosenthal moved to London to work in what is now known as Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. Following this, Dr Rosenthal became a lecturer in the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, combining his interest in teaching and research alongside working as a GP. He has very much enjoyed being involved in education at undergraduate and postgraduate levels throughout his career and holds other roles including Academic Clinical Fellow training programme lead and Sub-Dean for Community Based Teaching at UCL. Dr Rosenthal has focused on teaching over research, although he has been involved in many studies, acknowledging that “you really need to have a passion in a particular specialised area to do that [research], and again I think for people who are drawn to
general practice, that’s perhaps not so easy because you like variety and like to be a jack of all trades.” Although Dr Rosenthal has felt “stretched” with his many roles at times, boredom has never developed! Dr Rosenthal had always aspired to become a GP, his father and sister joining the specialty before him, and with regards to his training, he “just kind of wanted to get on with it really.” He explained his thoughts on the early choice he made: “It was always what I kind of thought a doctor was. I knew there were specialists in hospitals but I thought that when people talked about their doctor, the doctor, they actually meant their GP. I was drawn to the idea of being someone who is part of the community, providing a service and getting to know patients over time. I think it suited me very well but it does depend on the sort of person you are.” However, Dr Rosenthal recognises that “actually these decisions are not necessarily binding, you can change along the way – as
some people do – and think ‘actually I really like paeds, O&G or some other branch of medicine!’. Equally people may start out in a particular specialty and then find they are drawn to general practice for a variety of reasons.” There are many additional options within general practice, including research, education and management. Dr Rosenthal highlighted the flexibility that general practice offers, allowing doctors to explore interests within and outside medicine. Variety in particular was a key reason in Dr Rosenthal’s choice to be a GP, which he emphasised several times. In addition to providing the breadth of GP services, there are opportunities for GPs to lead specialist clinics, ranging from cardiology to dermatology to antenatal clinics, either having come from another specialty to GP or due to developing special interests over time. GPs with special interests, or “GPwSIs”, may be the bridging doctor between regular GPs and hospital specialists. Dr Rosenthal commented:
“One of the great things about it [general practice] is you have so many different choices and hopefully you’ll find something for you as an individual. It is important not to be distracted by what other people tell you is the right thing for you to do. It’s about what suits you, and for me, and I think for many other people who are drawn to medicine, general practice fits well, because it is about patients. It is quite hands on, it is clinical. You can combine it with an interest in something else if you want to but you’ve got that general interest in all of medicine, which has become quite hard to maintain in a very specialised health service. I think it can be done, you can be a generalist in medicine or within surgery, but that breadth is now mainly found in general practice and that sort of variety is what appeals to me… Once you’ve got your GP certificate, at the end of that, the world’s your oyster really!”
decisions about management by the end of the fifth. It takes both knowledge and practice to make “sense out of chaos!” and “talking to patients, working out what’s going on, trying to make sense of it is the essence of all medical practice”, says Dr Rosenthal. Throughout talking with Dr Rosenthal, his focus on ensuring that medical students have the best exposure to general practice was obvious. He said that the focus of GPs in UCL Medical School “is to find enough GPs who have the time, interests and ability to take students into their practice and give them that [good experience].” Dr Rosenthal commented on medical student teaching: “I find the vast majority of students are very interested to come and see patients in their own environment as it were, and take that slightly more general approach where they don’t know if it’s a cardiology patient, or a renal patient, or a respiratory patient. So, they’re just getting the story and working it out for themselves. What students consistently say they like most about going out to general practice is that opportunity to sit one-to-one in a room with patients and just talk to them. It does happen in hospital when students go to the bedside and take a history but there are always interruptions and the patient might be quite ill or quite worried. The vast majority of students, even if they’re focused on becoming orthopaedic surgeons or renal transplant physicians or whatever in the future, completely understand that as a doctor you’re dealing with people and you have to be able to communicate with them, get the story straight and give them the advice and reassurance and whatever else they may need in terms of management. You can practise those skills I think a bit more easily in general practice.”
But what about the work-life balance? General practice is known to have opportunities of a better work-life balance, but does it really exist?! Dr Rosenthal commented: “It depends on what you like doing… You have a choice.You can earn a lot as a GP if you’re willing to work hard and be entrepreneurial or you can have a different balance where perhaps you don’t work such antisocial hours and prepare to have reduced income as a result.” General practice is a changing specialty, the culture having slightly changed where “people do move around more and not everyone wants the responsibility of partnership.” Asking Dr Rosenthal his opinion on how general practice will change in the next 20 years, he commented that “it’s very difficult to predict but we’ll definitely be needed, I don’t think there’s any question that the NHS will ever not need generalists. I think the fact that the population is getting older and multi-morbidity is increasing makes it even more important to have generalists at the front line of the NHS.
Finally, what was Dr Rosenthal’s advice for medical students interested in learning more about general practice outside the curriculum? “I would say be open minded about all specialties, certainly talk to people but don’t necessarily be told what’s the right thing - it’s about what’s right for you. If someone is actually pretty sure they want to do GP, I think the advice is to really make the most of every opportunity to see patients on all of your hospital placements: there is nothing you can deem as irrelevant. Even some trainees say ‘this job is very specialised’, in neonates, neurology or renal medicine for example, but you’re still dealing with patients and families and solving problems and those are all the sort of generic skills that are transferred over to general practice. All experience is good experience; make the most of your GP attachments but also your hospital attachments. I don’t think you particularly need to go on additional courses outside of medical school, just train well and make the most of all the learning opportunities available. When the time comes, applying for postgraduate training in general practice is a fair process and if that is really what you want to do, it will come through in the assessment process.
The working environment might change: a smaller number of bigger practices, which has pros and cons. I think a lot of people do like a small, local, more family-type practice, and that is the type of practice I work in, but I can see around London and around the country as older GPs retire, their patients are often absorbed into bigger, polyclinic type practices… People might have to travel a bit further to their GP and they might not get to know one doctor so well over their life as much as they used to in a traditional model. But things have to change.The NHS is less than 70 years old and it is always evolving, we need to move with the times.” With regards to education, GPs are in a unique position whereby they can combine teaching medical students in both general practice and the hospital environment. There are differences in the style of teaching and level of independence students may be offered. Medical students should be encouraged to become gradually more independent over the years in medical school, for example taking a history one-to-one with a patient by the end of fourth year and making
So I would say to all medical students, consider general practice as a possible career choice with an open mind. It won’t be right for everyone but if you’re drawn to it, then don’t be put off, go for it!”
Demystifying Medical School
Who’s Who Your must-have guide to the names behind the Medical School, and the people behind the names. Tanya Drobnis, Demystifying Medical School Editor 1. Professor David Lomas In his position as Vice-Provost (Health), Professor Lomas serves as Academic Director for UCLPartners, an Academic Health Science Partnership which brings together people and organisations in order to translate cutting-edge research and innovation into measurable health gain for the population. As Head of the Medical School, he is also responsible for leading an office which organises health initiatives across UCL, working with NHS partners and other healthcare trusts. It is a fitting fusion of his long-term academic interests in both research and teaching. Professor Lomas can still be found providing bed-side teaching to medical students on the Respiratory Unit at UCLH. 2. Professor
The Faculty of Medical Sciences comprises UCL Medical School and six UCL Divisions and Institutes, creating a powerhouse of medical science research and teaching. As well as heading this, Professor Emberton also holds a position as Honorary Consultant Urologist at UCLH, and leads an internationally recognised research group which looks at better diagnosis and treatment for men with prostate cancer. As a continuation of his interest in this field, Professor Emberton was a Founding Pioneer of the charity Prostate Cancer UK. 3. Professor
Professor Gill now leads the Medical School where she herself once studied, following a long history as an education scholar at UCL. During her time here, she has acted as a Senior Lecturer in Medical Education, and was implementation lead for the ambitious MBBS 2012 project. Professor Gill has received several awards in recognition of her
achievements and was announced joint winner of the prestigious Women in the City Future Leaders Award 2014, as well as winning the Provost’s Spirit of Enterprise Award 2016.
4. Dr Paul Dilworth Dr Dilworth is a Consultant Physician with a particular interest in asthma, and acts as a service line leader for Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Free, where he is the Director of Undergraduate Medical Education. In addition to this, he also holds a position as the lead Student Support Tutor for Careers and Foundation School Transition, and also seems to have developed a reputation as a guru for all things RUMS.
5. Professor Lionel Ginsberg Having trained in London, Cambridge and the USA, Professor Ginsberg became a Consultant Neurologist at the Royal Free, where he is now also Clinical Director of Neurosciences. He has written an undergraduate textbook, and is especially interested in peripheral neuropathy.
6. Professor Stephen Davies Professor Stephen Davies is a Principal Teaching Fellow in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, where his main research interest is ultrastructural and molecular organisation of the neuronal nucleus.
7. Dr Gavin Johnson Dr Johnson joined UCLH in 2010 and now holds a position as Consultant Gastroenterologist at the hospital, where he is also Director of Undergraduate Medical Education. He is particularly interested in interventional endoscopy, and he co-organises the annual London Live Endoscopy course.
8. Dr Jonathan Cartledge As well as working as a Consultant HIV Physician at the Mortimer Market Centre, Central and North West London, Dr Cartledge also holds a position as Course Director in the Royal College of Physicians/UCL Medical Education programme. His exceptional commitment to excellence in clinical teaching was recently recognised when he was presented with the Saad al-Damluji Award.
10. Dr Faye Gishen Dr Gishen is a Consultant Physician in palliative medicine working at the Royal Free, with a particular interest in cancer survivorship. In 2016, she was awarded the Provost’s Teaching Award in recognition of her work on developing a new tool in the curriculum which focussed on the processing of complex cases by medical students.
11. Dr Aroon Lal Dr Lal is a Consultant Physician providing general medical care to patients at Spire Hartswood private hospital in Essex, where he also has a role as the Lead Consultant for chronic kidney disease. His NHS post is at Basildon Hospital, where he is a Consultant in both general and renal medicine.
12. Dr Joe Rosenthal Dr Rosenthal’s long-term interests in undergraduate community based teaching have led to him becoming a member of the Primary Care Educational Research Group, which facilitates the conduction of high-quality research in areas related primarily to community based medical education. He also works as Director of the Royal Free General Practice Specialty Training Programme.
UCL Vice-Provost (Health) and Head of the UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences
Dean of the UCL School of Medical Sciences
Director of the Medical School
Directors of Undergraduate Medical Education
University College London Hospital
Royal Free Hospital
Community and Primary 12 Care Trust
Clinical and Professional Practice
Image by Nazanin Rassa
Comment & Correspondence
“Physician , heal thyself!”;
the barriers we face to looking after ourselves
here are two stereotypical archetypes of medics when it comes to their own health: the “hysterical hypochondriac”, or the stoic doctor who resiliently battles on in silence regardless of their own inner turmoil. Unfortunately, the silence of the latter still dominates most of the conversation regarding the mental health of healthcare professionals and students. While this is attributed in part to trying to avoid the aforementioned diagnosis of hysterical hypochondriac, there are plenty of systemic factors both within our attitudes and the structures around us that prevent us from addressing our own mental health needs. Medics have the highest incidence of workplace-related mental health illness and, combined with the high-pressured environment and lack of outlet to express stress at the workplace, create the perfect storm to engender this. Doctors may also avoid seeking help out of fear of stigma, being perceived as a patient themselves, or being seen as lacking the qualities of a good doctor; all of which serve to compound mental health problems amongst the profession.
“Medicine is mental. Literally. The work we do on a day-to-day basis is entirely in mentis: we remember facts, follow algorithms, juggle pressures and communicate with our colleagues and patients. The importance of our physical skills in examinations, arterial blood gases (ABGs) and procedures are far outweighed by our ability to think and feel. A surgeon with a steady mind is more valuable than one with a steady hand who has lost the former, I’d happily argue. So as we care for the health of our patients, where is our own health on the list of priorities? Too often we forget it or make it second rate. But martyrdom is a childish insistence that our only value is in our work. That is not true. Instead we need to remember that our own health is paramount, and that starts with the head: if your mind is out of balance your body will soon follow. In reality, most of the assaults on that imperfect balance in the medical environment are on our heads: the trauma we see, the pressures of the environment, the current political situation, the common sense of being the last good sailors on the sinking ship of the NHS. Death and pain are frequent companions in our work, but so are hope and joy. We must remind ourselves of these things daily and remember how they make what we do valuable, but could never make us more valuable than we already are.
Progress has been made, and the silence has been broken, but we need to keep the conversation alive and growing. Here, we take a look at the opinions and advice of medical students who have been involved in raising awareness of mental health during their time at UCL. Kirtana Vallabhaneni, Comment & Correspondence Editor
Jonathan Iliff is a fourth year medical student who founded the UCL Society for Application of Psychedelics and is the incoming Chair of UCLU MedSoc Psychiatry.
“The deep-seated prejudice against the field itself is one thing, but it is another to have the prospect of a fitness to practice investigation hanging over your head like the proverbial Sword of Damocles.”
“‘Doctors make the worst patients’, so the adage goes. It’s a simple, empirical truth and as medical professionals, we are inclined to believe that we know better than what our own symptoms suggest, despite the fact that we’d be screaming ourselves hoarse at anyone else to seek medical attention. What of mental health then, with which an estimated one third of doctors in the NHS experience difficulty at some point or another? The deep-seated prejudice against the field itself is one thing, but it is another to have the prospect of a fitness to practice investigation hanging over your head like the proverbial Sword of Damocles. Unless we can ensure that doctors with mental health problems will receive fair, objective assessments that takes all circumstantial factors into account, how can we expect them to come forward for the help they need in the first place?” Jerry Zhe Su is a third year student who helped organise What Do You Think? - A UCL Mental Health Awareness Day and is currently completing an iBSc in Orthopaedic Science.
I once met a psychiatrist who believed that people who take Ritalin should not be allowed to practice medicine. Like soldiers in the military, she argued, doctors should not need medication to enable them to focus and do their job properly. The thing is, there are countless doctors who do just that. We all know doctors and medical students who take medication to help them control their moods and thoughts, to ease mental distress and enable them to perform their job to the best of their ability. Many of us are those doctors and medical students. The profession is filled with individuals who are stressed, depressed, anxious, burnt-out, binge-drinking and drug-abusing and things aren’t changing anytime soon. One in three medical students experience a mental health problem; one in seven have considered suicide. If we are to truly be a profession that meets the needs of people at their most vulnerable moments, we must be willing to acknowledge our vulnerabilities. We must be honest with ourselves.” Samara Linton is the chair of UCLU Medsoc Psychiatry, editor of the Dream Nation “Be Well” mental health campaign and winner of the Ending Violence Against Women Best New Journalist Award.
“Doctors are not always great at looking after themselves! The attributes of a good doctor are somewhat conducive to this. Doctors must display empathy and humanity yet still remain objective and somewhat distant from the pain around them. They must be self-critical of their own work to avoid mishaps, yet this trait is often linked to depression. Being a doctor can be emotionally and physically draining and for some specialties (general practitioners (GPs) in particular), it can also be very isolating. Long hours on the front line can lead to deterioration in relationships and support networks and these are crucial to keeping a healthy work life balance. One of the key things doctors can do to overcome these stresses is leaving their work at work and not taking patients’ pain home with them. If it’s ever too overwhelming, checking in with your GP is so beneficial, yet something that many doctors do not even consider.The NHS practitioner health programme is specifically available to doctors in London for help with work issues. Even while at university, neglection of personal wellbeing is an issue and UCL medical students should contact Student Support or their personal/clinical and professional practice (CPP) tutor for guidance on how to deal with any issues at medical school.” Nadia Eden is a third year medical student and was the RUMS Welfare Vice President for 2016/17
Sports & Societies
EXIT REPORT A word from the Sports and Societies Vice President...
hat a fantastic year it has been for RUMS Sports & Societies. We began with a brilliantly organised fresher fortnight, progressing to UH Sportsnight and RUMS Dine with Me, before ending with the behemoth – Sports Ball. These combined with record fresher uptake across nearly all sports teams and societies make this year rather successful! As always, our success spanned more than just members. Women’s Hockey and Men’s Football teams won their respective varsity fixtures, RUMS Rugby saw UCLU relegated inside first term, Cricket competed against national level competition, the MDs won UH (again!) - the list of achievements is extensive and far reaching across our teams. As a unit, we are one of the highest performing faculties at UCL and we should be very proud of our titles.
‘Presidents VII’ at Lumsden Cup
Sports Ball was obviously huge: a fantastic send off for all of our new RUMS doctors, and an opportunity to reflect on and reward committed members of sports teams for their continued endeavours, both on and off the pitch/court/river. The Ectopic Beats’ performance was a real highlight and I hope to see them return for years to come. The Snapchat filter was also decent.
Image By Harriet Hall Photography
There are so many people that make this organisation tick over - the work that the presidents, treasurers, captains etc. do should not be ignored. Each of them has been superb this year, responding to new challenges weekly and maintaining the usual events and more for club members to enjoy. Following on from this, I couldn’t have asked to have worked with a more exceptional, passionate and effective committee this year. They have worked so hard for you guys from start to finish, and I am very sorry to see us all go our separate ways as our terms draw to an end. My successor, Charlie Travers, will make a brilliant Sports & Societies VP. His cheeky, friendly but (occasionally) sensible persona make him a fantastic choice for the role, and I am confident that our sports and societies are in safe hands.
Lft: Dr Paul Dilworth Rt: Andy Webb
I feel very privileged and proud to have been able to represent you all this year - I can’t believe it is nearly over! I hope I have been able to do a bit of good in my time and I feel it is only right to thank all of you, but especially the current first years (and transfers) for making such an impact, for throwing themselves into everything and setting the bar for the incoming cohort. In years to come, you will be the people showing freshers, second years and everyone else exactly why joining RUMS, and its teams or societies, is the best choice you can make at university. Thank you
James Shuttleworth MBBS Year 4 Sports and Societies VP
COMMENDATION BADMINTON CLUB (RUMS) VINODH ARUMUGAM SHRIDDHA BHATKAL KATE BROWN BECKY LAI SALONI MAKHIJA XI MIAN QUAH MICHELLE SAE-HUANG LOUISE TAITT IAN TAN BOAT CLUB (RUMS) DAWID AKALA BRYAN FOONG ADAM JONES MATTHEW KINSELLA OLIVER MARWOOD WILL NING NICOLA SKAJAA GEORGIE STAGG JENNIFER WHITEHEAD WILL WILSON KELLY WYATT MUGI ZAMA CRICKET CLUB (RUMS) ISMAEEL AURANGZEB CHRISTOPHER COOPER RAVINDU DE SILVA HASAN IQBAL ED PLANT FAISEL REHMAN SHWETABH SINGH FOOTBALL CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) DAVID BARRETT JOSH BRYAN CHRIS COOPER DANIEL CURRY DAIRUI DAI TOM HOY HUGH LARKIN DAVID MCGINN HENRY MCNEILL FOOTBALL CLUB (RUMS WOMEN’S) THARANI AHILLAN ANNE FITZGIBBON GEORGIE FREEBORN ANITA JIANG HUI FEN KOO LOUISE MYERS DANYA QURESHI KERRY WALES HOCKEY CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) GEORGE CHOA ALEX DORGHAM TANVIR DUHRA OZZY EBOREIME JONATHAN EVANS MATT SOLOMONS MATT SPENCER HOCKEY CLUB (RUMS WOMEN’S) JOSIE BAKER AMY FOULKES KERI HARDING AOIFE MCCOURT CHLOE MULLINS ALICE RING CARA ROCKS CECILIA SMISSAERT MAIRA VEGA-POBLETE NETBALL CLUB (RUMS) HANNAH BAILEY SUMMER CHAN MEGAN CHANIN
CLOVER DONOHUE ISSY HEAVEN OLIVIA HUGHES RHIANNA MADDEN-HANSLE RUTH MCCONNELL DAVINA NYLANDER MEGAN O’DONOVAN KEMI OLADINNI TINA PLOWMAN CHARLOTTE RAMSEY JESSICA XIE RUGBY CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) EDWARD BOLLEN ABHISHEK DATTA OLIVER EASTWOOD ABE FARQUHARSON JIM FODDER BARNABY GLOVER JACK HENNESSY JAMES KIRKPATRICK CHRISTOPHER LATCHEM JORDAN WHITWELL-MAK SQUASH CLUB (RUMS) SAMIR ABDELKARIM LOUIS SAADA TENNIS CLUB (RUMS) PIA BORGAS AKASH GANDHI JAKOB GERSTL SAGAR JOBANPUTRA PANAYIOTI KISSIAS MARGARITA KOUSTENI HIU KWONG LIAM TAYLOR
HALF COLOURS BADMINTON CLUB (RUMS) SOWMYA GARIKIPATI EAMONN LIM JOHNNY SHAW ASHWIN SURI BOAT CLUB (RUMS) LUCINDA CONDER OLIVIA DREWETT NADIA EDEN MARTIN FURLEPA SAMUEL GUNNING CAITLIN HEALY CRICKET CLUB (RUMS) MUSTAFA BUTT EDWARD GREENWOOD DHIRAJ PATEL FOOTBALL CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) BEN BARKER AMEYA GODAMBE JOE HARRIS TOBIN JOSEPH NICK MCWILLIAMS ARJUN NATHAN ALEX ROWLAND DOM WILKINS FOOTBALL CLUB (RUMS WOMEN’S) SAPNA DIVANI JUDITH ROSSEY CHARLOTTE ROWE LISANNE SCHOUTENS HOCKEY CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) VIGNESH GOPALAN JOE HEALY HENRY HILL BEN MILES ELLERY NADARAJAH AKSHAY NARAYAN
If your name is spelled incorrectly, email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible with the correct spelling.
RYAN NOLAN RAJ PRADHAN HENRY SERGEANT RUCHIR SHAH FREDRIK VIVIAN HOCKEY CLUB (RUMS WOMEN’S) FRANCES BÜGG AISHA DAMARELL ALICE DEWSNIP JESSICA HATRICK ANNIE MOSLEY ISABEL NORRIS ROSHNEE PATEL SARAH ROSEN AIMEE SERISIER JEMIMA WEIR REBECCA WILKINSON ELOISE WILSON NETBALL CLUB (RUMS) EMMA BECK REBECCA FISHER SAHANA GNANASAMPANTHAN EMILY IRWIN ALICE MEREDITH SOPHIE PARROCK ELEN ROBLIN MADELEINE STOKES DAISY YIP RUGBY CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) JACK BAKER CONRAD CHARLTON NICK COX DEREK EFFIOM ANDREW GVOZDANOVIC JOE HEARLE JAMES MATTHEWS SEAMUS PARKINSON JOHN PARTRIDGE BEN PATTENDEN CHARLIE TRAVERS GEORGE WALL ALEX ZERVUDACHI SQUASH CLUB (RUMS) LIAM COLLIN-JONES DANIYAL JAFFREE KARAN KAPUR THOMAS WATSON TENNIS CLUB (RUMS) OLIVIA BAKER RISHI GUPTA BENJAMIN LOW ALEXANDER ORBAUM OLAOLUWA OYAWOYE SIMON PEREIRA NICOLE SARENS LISA SARSAM RANJANA VENKATESWARAN
CRICKET CLUB (RUMS) JAMES GROVES TOM HARTINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) CONOR BARRETT-NNOCHIRI STEFAN BROWNE ASHLEY CARTER GEORGE CLOUGH ROSS HOLLOWAY ALEX KINSKY GEEV KUMARAN SAMMY LUNEY GIRISH MURALI DANIEL NISSAN DEJI OYEFESO FOOTBALL CLUB (RUMS WOMEN’S) LEMA IMAM LUCY TIFFEN HOCKEY CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) JONATHAN ARCHER THOMAS CHAMBERS RIBHU CHOUDHURI KARTIK KHANNA HAMISH MILLER JAMES SHUTTLEWORTH OLIVER TOTHAM
FOOTBALL CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) CONOR BARRETT-NNOCHIRI GEORGE CLOUGH HARRY MITCHELL JAMES NOBLE JOHNSTON ANDY WEBB FOOTBALL CLUB (RUMS WOMEN’S) LAURA BANNON ALEXANDRA BEELEY SARA MCNAMARA DILINI SRIKANTHA HOCKEY CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) ALEXANDER MAIDWELLSMITH MARK MULLINS SAM PRICE WILLIAM SOUTHALL HOCKEY CLUB (RUMS WOMEN’S) OLIVIA BAKER NETBALL CLUB (RUMS) TABITHA GRAINGER ALICE MCKENNA ANNA MULLAN
HOCKEY CLUB (RUMS WOMEN’S) CATHERINE CHAPPLE EMILY CROFT CHLOE HALL MAYA HUBY REBEKAH SHORT RACHEL SPIRO
RUGBY CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) TOM BURT JACK WEBB
NETBALL CLUB (RUMS) ROOHI BHATTI FRANCESCA CACKETT ALEX COLOMBO-SANSOM FELICITY GALLOP FLORENCE HOLBROOK EMILY HOUSE CHARLOTTE TAYLOR
TENNIS CLUB (RUMS) GARETH LIM COLIN MAK
RUGBY CLUB (RUMS MEN’S) SAMUEL GITTINS WILL MONKS DAN PURCHASE JACK SMITH LUKE THOMPSON SQUASH CLUB (RUMS) JACK CLARENCE-SMITH SRI SIVARAJAN JENNIFER YOUNG TENNIS CLUB (RUMS) AMMAR HILALI TAHIRA MOHAMED JONATHAN PASS VANESSA VASCONCELOS
BADMINTON CLUB (RUMS) KEN KAWAMOTO
HONORARY LIFE MEMBERSHIP
BOAT CLUB (RUMS) AUBREY CAPERN-BURGESS NIAMH HANNA PATRICK HANNA JACK ILLINGWORTH SAM JACKSON MARTINA LARSSON GEORGINA LLOYD WILL MCCAUGHRAN EIMEAR MCKAVANAGH ADAM PICKARD NEEL RAJA RORY SHADWELL
BADMINTON CLUB (RUMS) TOM NGAN NICOLE YIM BOAT CLUB (RUMS) THOMAS HUGHES THOMAS MCLAY THOMAS MORGAN ALASDAIR WILLIAMSON CRICKET CLUB (RUMS) JAMES ARTINGSTALL NISHANTHA MALALASEKERA
SQUASH CLUB (RUMS) ANNA CARTER THOMAS WESTERN
The winners of the following awards will be announced at the RUMS Sports Ball:
SPORTS BALL FRESHER OF THE YEAR AWARDS (MALE & FEMALE) FRESHERS OF THE
SPORTS PERSONALITY OF YEAR THE YEAR MATT SPOOR RACHEL COCKS
TEAM OF THE YEAR SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR ANDY WEBB TEAM OF THE YEAR CRICKET
Sports & Societies RUMS Badminton
This year has been unforgettable for RUMS Badminton, with new events, new members and new games. The annual trek to Birmingham for the All England Championships gave us an opportunity to see the world’s best play – never forget OOH AAH KOREA! Our Social Secs have been working relentlessly and a trip to Bounce revealed that racquet sports skills are definitely non-transferable. The Mixed Tournament was a huge success; congratulations to our winners: Ashwin, Becky, Josie, Anush and Mond. The men’s team continue to go from strength to strength after remaining undefeated for two years in a row, culminating in two consecutive promotions. From next year onwards, the first team will be in the second division of the BUCS south eastern region and we look forward to the introduction of a new second team, captained by Ashwin Suri. The women’s had a great last half of the season and are staying up in the league.The dedication and time put into the team is incomparable! The ethic demonstrated by the team is fantastic and is an example for every RUMS badminton player! After a well-contested annual general meeting (AGM), we are pleased to announce that our president for next year is Patrick Man, with Zhangqi Zhao as Treasurer. Our teams will be captained by Xi Mian Quah (Men’s) and Monica Kulkarni (Women’s). Of course, the end of the year means saying goodbye to our beloved final years - congratulations to Tom Ngan and Nicole Yim on receiving honorary life membership (HLM)! Aayushi Gupta, RUMS Badminton Treasurer
With a record-breaking 2016/17 winter in the books, the RUMS CC juggernaut continues to thunder ahead. The club looks forward with excitement to a jam-packed summer season full of promise. A series of stellar performances in the BUCS Indoor Cricket Championship earned the RUMS CC’s First team and its travelling Barmy Army a trip to Cardiff to compete as one of the top 16 university sides in the UK. As many as 88 teams nationwide failed to advance to this stage. In recognition of these achievements, the club was proud to accept their first ever “RUMS Team of the Year” award at the Sports Ball in March. This achievement is a tangible marker of the growth of the club over a number of years and RUMS CC extends its gratitude and congratulations to all involved in bringing this award home. Congratulations also go to the ever-loose Matt Spoor, who picked up the RUMS Male Fresher of the Year award before taking part in a romantic first dance that will live long in the memory. Looking forward, there’s no doubt that the best of 2016/17 is yet to come for RUMS CC. Having honed their skills throughout the year at Lord’s and the Oval, our talented first XI look to make their mark on the UH Cup competition, whilst our second XI has set its sights on LUSL and BUCS titles. Preparations continue for the 2017 International Tour, with our touring party of 16 set to sample the sandy beaches and lightning-fast pitches of Barbados in August. Finally, be sure to look out for RUMS T20 Day on Bank-Holiday Monday 29th May at Regent’s Park! After the overwhelming success of last year’s tournament, RUMS CC are back to face off against RUMS Hockey, Rugby and Football in a T20 bonanza in aid of the Lord’s Taverners charity. With the event set to be a huge RUMS Sport event this year, be sure to make it down to soak up the sun, support a great cause and watch some quality cricket! See you there! James Groves, RUMS CC President
RUMS Boat Club As Easter approaches, it is time for us to hang up our oars and gain some revision padding. The term started with some second place finishes across UH Sprints racing – never our best type of race, and falling a bit too close to some character-building socials. Not to be deterred, all crews upped the training and, despite our Marlow training camp having a last minute transformation into a London camp, made huge progress over the next month resulting in UH Head victories for: Women’s Senior four, Men’s and Women’s Intermediate eights and our Women’s Novice eight (four of seven categories entered). A week later, still recovering from the afterparty, we raced our second BUCS Head in Newcastle with senior crews battling Storm Doris. Our most impressive crew of the weekend was the Women’s First eight, who placed ninth out of 36 intermediate crews nationally and later followed this up with our highest ever finish in Women’s Head of the River Race. Our final race of the term saw RUMS Boat Club compete alongside UCL Boat Club in our first ever Varsity and thankfully we were able to bring home the silverware. A very successful term and year all round, and it is not quite over yet; Senior Captains Rory and Tintin are both keeping their crews engaged as we look to enter BUCS Regatta and to have members qualify for Henley Royal Regatta and Henley Women’s Regatta. Finally, it gives me great pleasure to announce that our President for 2017-18 is Tintin Larsson, and our Treasurer will be Nadia Eden. Both Tintin and Nadia have excelled in their committee positions this year and I have no doubt the club is passing into very capable hands. Sam Jackson, RUMS BC President
RUMS Islamic Society This past year has been a very fulfilling and rewarding experience for RUMS Islamic Society. From our regular small and large group academic tutorials, to running successful mock OCAPEs and OSCEs for pre-clinical and clinical students alike, we have really dived into growing and tailoring the services we offer our members. Building on the regular stuff, we also held a conference tackling the stigma surrounding mental health, organised charity dinners where a cake was auctioned off for £30,000+ and held BMAT and medicine interview courses, all to raise money for charity. This year, we have also grown our outreach department, having launched Suture the Future, where we take medical students to schools and sixth forms to teach students how to suture. Furthermore, we have enjoyed continuing the courses in basic life support we offer to both students and the general public and are excited at the prospect of launching a new community health project in the near future.
Sports & Societies RUMS Mixed Basketball
Every day is a new day, and a fading opportunity. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age; your health before your sickness; your wealth before your poverty; your free time before your workload, and your life before your death”. We hope in this past year we have served you well and made use of the opportunity we had. We encourage you all to keep with us for the forthcoming year as the incoming president Zaheer Badat and his excellent committee will only take the society to greater heights! Lukon Miah, RUMS Islamic Society President
What an ace inaugural season it has been for RUMS Mixed Basketball! It has been an absolute pleasure to lead the training of such an awesome squad of very talented ballers. Weekly training sessions have provided immense fun and a non-stop cardio workout. A big shout out and thank you to all players who have regularly committed to training and brought their enthusiasm and skills! Looking ahead, plans are in development for a team visit to The Olympic Park to watch a London Lions game. London Lions represent the ultimate gold standard of play. Casual outdoor drop-in sessions will be taking place at the King’s Cross outdoor court during the summer months. As ever, new players with any level of experience are always welcome to come along to try it out and join. Attendance during term time is flexible so the club is perfectly suited to hectic schedules and clinical years! We look forward to welcoming you next year. End of season colours go to Jacob Sayers, Martin Valls Garcia and Salaam Botros for outstanding gameplay. Congratulations all! Elle Wilson, Mixed Basketball President
Medic to Medic The start of 2017 has seen Medic to Medic (M2M) continue its exceptional work supporting the training of medical professionals in Malawi. There are currently six representatives at UCL who support the work of the charity through media promotion and raising funds. The first quarter of the year saw a whole host of new fundraising opportunities including sponsored skydiving and a very successful feature as charity of the month in Amersham’s Café Africa. Fancy falling out of a plane from 13,000ft? If you’re interested in doing a skydive for M2M, please get in touch. Excitingly, it has been announced that M2M is now registered in the US. There are also discussions about expanding the work of M2M into neighbouring African countries that would help towards creating more self-sustainable and effective healthcare systems in which the workers gain improved support and training opportunities. The hope is that skills will be passed on to future generations of doctors who will be inclined to stay and work in their birth country. Looking ahead to the summer term, plans are afoot to host a post-exams medical school sports day event in Regent’s Park with competitors entered from individual RUMS teams. Watch this space for more information on the specific events, such as rounders and multiple track races. In addition, keep your eyes peeled for the much awaited “Tropical Medicine and Elective Study Day” hosted by M2M in collaboration with London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). All are welcome to attend. Elle Wilson, Medic to Medic President
RUMS Netball It’s been a crackalackin’ term for RUMS Netball, both on and off the court! We started with a sunny Alumni Cup, reuniting with our lovely doctors for friendly drunk-umpired matches! This was followed by a plethora of socials: from RUMS Dine With Me to channelling our glittery inner Ziggy Stardusts at our RainBOWIE-themed Pride sports night. Later in the term we “welcomed” GKT to our home turf for a hardfought Varsity.The RUMS rangers were out in force to support the gals in blue and gold but unfortunately a win wasn’t on the cards. Our game faces are ready for 2018 though! The next day, our second years put the freshers through their paces in the annual Chi Cup match –needlessly glitter fuelled and incredibly fun for all involved… Better luck next year freshers! Lumsden Cup followed soon after; this year the football boys claimed the prestigious title after an epic final battle with rugby. Over £400 was raised for the Children’s House of Hope, a charity which three RUMS netballers visited in Ghana in summer 2016. Our AGM, followed by finalists’ sports night, saw the whole club come together to elect a new committee and enjoy a night of celebrations with our wonderful new doctors – huuuuge congratulations to Anna Mullan, Alice McKenna, Tabby Grainger, Jen Westwood, Flick Gallop, Corrina Horan and Hannah James! We gave the season a raucous send off with the largest and loudest club contingent at Sports Ball. A special shout-out must go to the threes for their double promotion this year! Thank you to the old committee for a smashing season, best of luck to the new committee and we look forward to welcoming a record number of freshers in September to keep RUMS Netball classy. Emily House & Frankie Cackett, RUMS Netball President &Treasurer
Sports & Societies RUMS Netball
After winning this comedy competition for the last three years, the pressure was on to retain the title. We braved the depths of Aouth London and went to our hosts, St George’s, down in Tooting.The night was filled with a few questionable sketches, but all in all it was a very enjoyable selection of medical themed comedy and we were honoured to be named as winners for the fourth year in a row, the first competitors to ever do so. Special thanks go to Dr Dilworth who represented us on the judging panel. All in all, this has been a very successful term for the society and we look forward to preparing for September and beyond in the coming term. Ozzy Eboreime, MDs President
RUMS Rugby This season, RUMS Rugby equalled their highest ever league finish, coming third in BUCS 1A. It’s a testament to the ambition of the club that this season was roundly viewed as just a bit disappointing. We felt a little hard-done-by not to place higher in the league and not to progress to the final of the UH Cup this year. Despite this, there were many positives to draw from the season, not least the double victory over (and subsequent relegation of) rivals UCL. In this year’s annual general meeting (AGM), we elected Conrad Charlton as President, Max Moss as Treasurer and were lumped with Nick Cox as first XV captain. Jack Webb, overdue for a bit of recognition, won Club Man of the Year and thoroughly milked his victory. Andrew Edwards-Bailey won First XV Player of the Year and Jordan Whitwell-Mak was awarded Coach’s Player of the Year. The Piglets will see a rebranding next year as a rugby team for all preclins, playing weekend matches to foster closer ties between younger students and to ensure anyone who wants a game of rugby can get one. We also want to say a big thank you to our departing contingent of doctors who have given years of dedicated service to the club. All the best to Tom Burt, Dele Famokunwa, Ash Guilliam, Andy Gvozdanovic, Will Monks, Andy Pearson, Luke Thompson and Jack Webb. The club now looks forward to next year with Captain Cox already targeting UH Cup glory. Jack Smith, RUMS Rugby President
MDs The second term of this academic year has been one of firsts for the MDs. We began by preparing for the UCLU Comedy Gala in support of Comic Relief: Red Nose Day. The Gala, the first of its kind, involved collaborations with UCLU Cheese Graters, Comedy Club, Live Music, Musical Theatre, Juggling & Circus and Stage Crew (did someone say what a mouthful?!). The event was able to raise a sum in excess of £1,000 over both nights and ended with an after-party in Mully’s. The next goal was working towards the UH Comedy Revue 2017.
RUMS Men’s FC What a term it has been for RUMS FC. In our first ever Medics Football Varsity, RUMS won an absolute belter under the lights at the KNK Stadium over arch rivals GKT. The game was filled with drama, with RUMS falling behind early before equalising through a stunning finish from incoming first XI skipper Chris Cooper. Despite a number of chances for both sides (including a missed penalty for RUMS), the game ended 1-1 and so went to penalties. With a huge crowd of around 400 watching, captain Stefan Browne scored the decisive penalty to write himself into RUMS folklore and trigger a mass pitch invasion. Aside from Varsity, we also had success across our five teams. Perhaps most notably, the fourth XI reached the UH Vase final for the first time ever. Unfortunately, they came unstuck at the last hurdle, losing 2-0 to GKT fifths but still have a lot to be proud of in a cup run that included beating GKT threes (the reigning champions) and RUMS threes! Moreover, outside of football, RUMS FC also won the Lumsden Cup for the first time in years, beating Rugby in the final in a tight game to prove that Football are in fact the most natural sportsmen in RUMS. Next year only promises more success under the leadership of Ben Barker, who will be working closely with best friends Josh Bryan and Chris Cooper as Treasurer and first XI Captain respectively. Viva RUMS FC! Girish Murali, RUMS FC President
Sports & Societies RUMS Music
filled with various topical talks and workshops covering a broad range of child health issues. A special mention must also be made to our Psychiatry section, which coordinated its very own international medical film festival addressing the controversial topics of life and death. Overall, it has been another highly successful year for the Medical Society and we are especially grateful to all of our members for attending and supporting our events. Clinical students should keep an eye out for our ever-popular OSCE and single best answer (SBA) sessions taking place over the next few months! Kemi Oladinni, MedSoc Publicity Officer
RUMS Music has continued its success into the spring term, with all of our music and choir groups working hard in rehearsal every week to polish their performances.The tenacity and talent of our musicians and singers were exhibited in our Spring Concert, which took place in the Haldane Room in March.The RUMS Music choir, female close harmony choir (Accarhythmia), male barbershop choir (Chordiac Arrest) and string quartet (Bentham’s Bitches) were among the acts of the evening, which also included some stunning solo performances. The event was a roaring success; our audience was the largest in years and the quality of music was exceptional. In addition to this, our choirs have been raising money for various causes such as the UCLH Cancer Centre. Our barbershop choir, Chordiac Arrest, have even managed to busk their way to a performance in Nice! It was an honour for me, as President, to be a part of organising the concert – and indeed the whole society this year. I am the cellist with our resident string quartet, and understand well the commitment that all our members put towards rehearsals, practice and eventually, performance. It was humbling therefore to experience the sense of joy and fulfilment from all our performers this year during the concert. I could go through the names of the whole committee and explain indepth how they have gone above and beyond their roles to maximise the success of our society this year, however I don’t have the space! One thing is for sure: the achievements of this year would not have been possible without their initiative, passion, enthusiasm and drive. I would like to wish Joseph Cheung and his new committee the very best for next year. I look forward to seeing the continued success of our growing society. Lloyd Warren, RUMS Music President
RUMS Squash As the year comes to a close the toll has begun to show: broken ankles, tennis elbows, groin strains, cuts, bruises, “dodgy knees”, “undetectably” low levels of vitamin D, and the most recent and insidious of threats to blight the club – Easter flu. A restful *revision* break has been prescribed to recharge the batteries. Time to reflect on an exciting year in which we have had many highlights: the first certainly has to be a tribute to Wendy Levin our new coach. No nonsense and straight talking, she drilled us into physical perfection; everyone’s squash has massively improved over the year. The second was what I can only describe as the greatest moment of my life, winning NAMS. Raising the trophy to an audience comprised of other (lesser) medical schools bested by the might of RUMS was simply unforgettable. Our second tour to Sheffield also involved playing squash to great success, but had more of an emphasis on evening activities... All in all, a fantastically fun year packed with great socials from karaoke and BBQ to The Bake Off competition. I would like to thank everyone in the club who has made this year so special. Sri Sivarajan, RUMS Squash President
UCL Medical Society Firstly, the Medical Society would like to extend huge congratulations to Roshnee Patel who will be taking on the role of President for the upcoming academic year. Having shown great dedication to MedSoc over the past few years and being an excellent Vice-President, we are sure that the society is in safe hands! We would also like to thank everyone who attended our AGM last month and are excited to see the society flourish under our newly-elected committee members.We are especially pleased to introduce our new Emergency Medicine section for the new academic year and hope this will allow us to cater to an even wider range of students. The spring term has been action-packed for the Medical Society, with two amazing section-led conferences taking place in the space of a few months. In February, the Enterprise and Innovation section put together an extremely well-received Medical Technology conference featuring the likes of Barry Shrier and Jack Kreindler who were keen to share the tricks of the trade. This was followed by our annual Paediatrics Conference, held at the Institute of Child Health, which was
Sports & Societies RUMS Men’s Hockey
Director on the Sexpression National Committee. Alongside all of that, with our experienced committee as well as our amazing volunteers, we taught SRE in local schools and sixth form colleges, teaching over 1,000 students! Although we did have some timetabling issues with schools, we were able to work past them. Teaching that volume of students is a huge achievement, so thanks to the committee for all their hard work and dedication, as well as our volunteers, who gave up their free time and whose enthusiasm never faltered! Nicole Sarens, Sexpression UCL co-President
The stickballers’ stonkingly sensational season finally drew to a halt with the ones having amassed a record haul of points in BUCS 2B South. Certainly something to cheer about, given the 5-1 trouncing that Tommo’s men received at Varsity! The twos – as per usual – finished second in their league, whilst the threes took advantage of a lackadaisical LSE defence to draw 5-5 on the last day of the season, thereby denying the Economists’ promotion. Strong Sunday turnouts and general lack of parasitism ensured our two “Invitational XIs” performed well in LUSL too. Public menace Rhys Johnson stole the show when it came to our end of season awards, winning both Fresher of the Year and Most Improved Player. Rob Tuckwell once again bagged himself the Golden Stick (somehow). The Most Valuable Player trophy was scooped up by Joe Healy, while Akshay Narayan did well to maintain the tradition of threes captains being nominated as Players’ Player. In addition, our very own Matt Spoor won RUMS Fresher of the Year at Sports Ball (we’ll share him with cricket). We are sadly saying goodbye to a truly remarkable group of final years. Congratulations – and best wishes for the future – to the freshly qualified Drs Sam Price, Mark Mullins, Alex Nelson, Alex Maidwell-Smith, Will Southall and Euan McCormack. Our annual Alumni Cup has been confirmed for Sunday 4th June at Southgate. We look forward to welcoming all club members, plus some old faces, back for a tournament in the sunshine! With Fred Vivian (President), James Shuttleworth (Treasurer) and Henry Hill (First Team Captain) at the helm next season, I am both excited and terrified in equal measures by RUMS HC’s prospects in 2017-2018. I’d like to say a massive thank you to my entire committee and every member of the club for making this year so memorable. Forza the gents. Ollie Totham, RUMS Hockey President
Spectrum Spectrum has had a fantastic spring term; the highlight being our weekend residential trip to Hindleap Warren in February! Hindleap Warren is an outdoor activity centre in the Sussex countryside that caters for groups of disabled children. The children (And volunteers!) had the opportunity to take part in various outdoor activities including zip wire, obstacle course, archery, rock climbing and bush-craft. On the Saturday evening we went swimming and then had a movie and games night. The children were able to develop their communication skills, confidence and independence which was great to see. This weekend away also gave their parents some respite time, in some cases to spend with their other children. Overall, it was an incredible weekend thoroughly enjoyed by all! Over the next few months, we have lots of plans including our summer swimming trip in May, fundraising activities and preparation for recruitment of new volunteers in September. On the 13th March we had our AGM during which we elected our committee for 2017/18. It was great to hear so many volunteers speak so passionately about the charity and how it had impacted them during their time at medical school. Congratulations to Khushboo Khatri, our new chairperson, and the rest of the new committee; I wish them the best of luck for another fantastic year of Spectrum! Felicity Norris, Spectrum Chairperson 2016-17
Sexpression It’s been a busy year for UCL Sexpression! We’ve been working tirelessly to promote good sex and relationships education (SRE), which thankfully has been made statutory in schools! We started the year strongly, with Sky News coming to film one of our consent sessions – parts of which were broadcasted nationally as part of a piece on SRE. We also began training our self-selected component (SSC) students and volunteers, to prepare them to teach in schools. We continued as we meant to go on into term two, with a consent workshop at National Student Pride in February. Additionally, our co-President and Sexpression:UK Externals Director Jennifer Dhingra was published in the Guardian newspaper for her views on consent, as well as speaking at Policy UK about good SRE, on top of doing many other incredible things to further promote comprehensive SRE. Our secretary, George Barker, was also voted in as the next Externals
Sports & Societies UCLU Surgical Society The Surgical Society has had an incredibly successful year. We would like to thank all the students who have shown an interest in our events and helped us reach an unprecedented level of achievement. This year our Shadowing Scheme was continued, placing 80 students into various surgical theatres - from maxillofacial to cardiothoracic. For the first time, we have entered a partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital to offer paediatric cardiothoracic shadowing for our members. We have held multiple lessons in the surgical specialities, ranging from our one-off ENT course, to our six-week Orthopaedics course. Not to mention our Advanced Suturing Course in its second year running, teaching advanced suturing techniques over eight weeks to 25 clinical students. Our annual National Undergraduate Surgical Conference 2017 in January sold out all 200 tickets, and had 40 attending surgeons in faculty. We had 12 workshops available, many of them skills-based like tendon repair and vascular anastomosis. We also held a wine reception at the end of the day to allow surgeons and students to mingle; but mostly our committee got drunk and had a great time! Next year there is the potential to go international. We have started anatomy and surgical revision for medical students in Years one, two, four, and five. The turnout has been amazing, and we hope to continue this and expand our sessions to become small-group tutorials for next year. Saima Azam, UCL Surgical Society President
UCLU Wilderness Medicine Society Wilderness Medicine reaches the close of another successful term with a sell-out trip to the Yorkshire Dales. All 17 of us completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge in 12 hours and 50 minutes, which, whilst admittedly being 50 minutes over the challenge time, is a fantastic achievement! Sadly, despite the 60,000-odd steps we took, not a single view was seen, as we spent the day pretty much shrouded in cloud any time we ascended above 500 metres. January saw us host a conference for the first time since 2009: our sold-out conference on Fractures, joint with the UCL Prehospital Care Programme, saw paramedic and doctor tutors team up with senior students to teach a day of scenarios on major trauma in all kinds of environments. Students came from across the country to take part in a day of immersive training, and the feedback we received was incredible. One of our other big successes this year has been encouraging more non-medics to mingle with our medical contingent of members, and the popularity of our workshop and lecture series speak for themselves. Sadly, no summer trip is likely this year, but incoming President Tom Durham is already working hard with the new committee to ensure that we go from strength to strength in the coming 12 months – keep an eye out for us in the autumn term! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my committee for all their hard work this year, and wish next year’s committee good luck. Mark Gavartin, UCL Wilderness Medicine Society President
RUMS Tennis What a fantastic year it’s been for RUMS Tennis! This last half year has been great – loads of events taking place including our phenomenal performance in the Lumsden Cup, our Squad-Social tournament and BBQ, and, of course, a truly remarkable Sports Ball (Thanks James and Raj!). Squad training has been excellent, and the commitment of our social and development team to coaching is absolutely awesome to see. Our teams managed to maintain their league positions this year in BUCS - the Women’s team particularly excelling under the brilliant leadership of current Captain Lisa Sarsam. We had our AGM, where Rishi Gupta, Nicole Sarens, Alex Munti and Pia Borgas were named President, Treasurer, Men’s First Captain and Women’s Captain respectively for the 2017/18 academic year. I’m sure they’ll do an exceptional job – the future of RUMS Tennis is in safe hands! We still have a couple of events coming up, including End of Season Dinner and of course UH, where we hope to build on the success of last year – exciting times ahead! Thanks to all the members of RUMS Tennis for making this year amazing - it was a pleasure to be president of this outstanding club! Ammar Hilali, RUMS Tennis President
RUMS Women’s FC The start of 2017 has definitely served RUMS WFC well! We’re ending the season with a win and a draw for our second team which is fantastic; a testament to how much our new players have improved this year! Our first team have done phenomenally, winning their division and being promoted. Our BUCS team – despite some scorelines *wink* – have become renowned for being the happiest team in the league, and in our eyes that is a better accolade than first place! The social calendar has also been buzzing these past few months. We had a colourful turnout for Pride Sportsnight, and from what we can remember, RUMS Dine With Me also went down well. We ventured to Bristol for NAMS (which we obviously won) and had some sweaty nights clubbing in Power Ranger morphsuits (and rubber duck floaties). The first ever Medic’s Football Varsity was THE highlight. For most of
Sports & Societies
us, it was the biggest crowd we’d ever played in front of and the atmosphere was incredible! We may not have won but that never matters to RUMS WFC: we did what we do best and had lots of fun anyway, especially celebrating our finalists finishing their exams! Thank you to everybody who came and supported us – you were amazing! Watch this space for next season; we’re working on our fitness already… A huge congratulations and thank you to all the ladies of RUMS WFC who have made this year amazing – we’ve added so many new freshers to our family but we’re going to miss our lovely new doctors next year! Good luck to the new committee - next year’s looking exciting! Lucy Tiffen, RUMS WFC President
RUMS Women’s Hockey The end of second term has rounded off a very successful season for RUMS Women’s Hockey. As well as reaching both cup semi-finals and finishing second in their leagues, the first team were victorious at Varsity with a 2-0 win over GKT – congratulations to Cécilia Smissaert for winning man of the match and thank you to everyone who came down to Lee Valley to support! The second team have finished top of both of their leagues and are looking forward to a playoff to secure them a much-deserved promotion, and the third team won their first ever BUCS match against Essex twos. Off the pitch, the social calendar has been jam-packed with fun events. First up was the AGM, with Chloe Hall elected as President, Aimee Serisier as Treasurer and Amy Foulkes as First Team Captain. Shortly afterwards, we descended upon Camden Holiday Inn for a magnificent End of Season Dinner, celebrating the triumphs and tribulations of the year, as well as saying goodbye to our five final years. The RUMS Hockey Legend Award went to Olivia Baker, Golden Stick to Rachel Spiro, Fresher of the Year to Millie Duckett, and the Old Girls Cup (for exceptional contribution to the club this year) to Aimee Serisier. Following this, we journeyed across to Islington for further debauchery at Club De Fromage. In the final week of term, we organised a Pixar-themed UH tournament at Southgate followed by BBQ and boat race. RUMS (feat. some truly “incredible” costumes) retained the coveted trophy under the careful captaincy of Sarah Rosen and were also clear winners of the boat race. The final event of the year is our third ever Alumni Day on Sunday 4th June, when our doctors and current members will play a tournament as one last bit of hockey fun before the summer. Emily Croft, RUMS Women’s Hockey President
HIV Education UCL is a student-run volunteering project that runs talks throughout the year, raises money for HIV charities and teaches in local sixth forms. Our aim is to raise awareness about HIV and prevent any associated stigma. HIVE has had several notable events this year: In November, we held our first inter-university conference, teaming up with Nottingham University’s Medsin and Friends of MSF. The three speakers were Alan Fenwick, Director of Schistosomiasis Control Initiative which distributes anti-helminth drugs across Africa and works closely with the World Health Organisation; Danial Flecknoe, MSF nurse working in western Sudan; and our own HIVE president. On the eve of World AIDS Day, the annual Red Sports Night fundraiser raised £130, which went towards National AIDS Trust – thank you to all the teams who contributed! In term two we ran several personal, social and health education (PSHE) lessons on HIV in two local sixth forms, which both schools and volunteers enjoyed immensely. We also held our first and very successful global health conference at UCL. The conference had three incredible speakers: Dr. Nadia Ahmed, consultant and HIV specialist, Dr. Rebecca Marcus, researcher on HIV in adolescents and pregnant women in South Africa, and Anna Clarke, Events Co-ordinator at AIDS Orphan, a charity working in Kenya. Overall a very exciting and rewarding year! To get involved next year please visit: Facebook page: @HIVE UCL Website: www.hive-ucl.com
Sports & Societies
President - Patrick Man Treasurer - Zhangqi Zhao Men’s Captain - Xi Mian Quah Women’s Captain - Monica Kulkarni Mixed Captain - Johnny Shaw 2nd Men’s Captain - Ashwin Suri Social Secretaries - Daisy Lu and Izumi Barbor General Secretary - Javeson Sabale Publicity Officer - Ken Kawamoto Volunteering Officer - Iona Fernandes
President - Tintin Larsson Treasurer - Nadia Eden Men’s Novice Captain - Matt Kinsella Women’s Novice Captain Nicola Skajaa Captain of Coxes - Greg Gibson Boatman - Jenny Budden Assistant Boatman - Alex Lane Secretary - Sean Donoghue Water Safety Officer - Ollie Marwood Social Secretaries - Will Wilson and Claire Shadwell Fundraisers - Jack Illingworth and Matilda Williams VPs Officers - Caitlin Healy and Charles Hensher Media and Communications Officer - Adam Jones
President - Dhiraj Patel Treasurer - Ismaeel Aurangzeb General Secretary - Shwetabh Singh Social Secretaries - Kishen Patel & Hasan Iqbal
President – Ben Barker Treasurer – Josh Bryan Social Secretaries – Angelos Anastasakis, Chris Pantelides Alumni Secretary – Girish Murali Volunteering Secretary – Niall Simmons Education Secretary – James Dale 1st XI Captain – Chris Cooper 2nd XI Captain – Dan Curry 3rd XI Captain – James Sherrin 4th XI Captain – Josh Evans 5th XI Captain – Anu Elanchenny
President - Johnny Shaw Treasurer - Aashika Luintel Directors - Nabil Jetha and Aisling O’Sullivan Producer - George Barker Assistant Producer - Josh Carmichael Publicity Officer - Design; Ankit Bhatt Publicity Officer - Social Media; George Allen Band Director - Vivekka Nagendran Musical Directors - Eliza King Lassman and Theresita Joseph Choreographers - Yasmin Ingram and Mikaela D’arcy-Smith Technical Director - Jonathan Au Property Masters - Nathan Waldie and Jonny Pass Costume Designers - Emily Woodhead and Daisy Newberry Video Designers - Aashika Luintel and Benji Rosen Social Secretaries - Connor Tugulu and Simon Westby OB Brewers - Gulz Dhanoya and George Allen Stash Master - Daniel Alsoof External Events Coordinator Beth Gillies Honorary Presidents - Benji Rosen and Jonny Pass
President - Tobi Rotimi Vice President - Claudia Eichenauer Treasurer - Paul Jung Secretary - Jiyoon Lee Academic Coordinator - Daniel Asloof Clinical Skills Coordinator Matthew Wilcox & Abdinasir Noor Shadowing Coordinator - Tricia Lim Media Coordinators - Kristie Leung & An Yee Low Ophthalmology Chair - Urvi Patel Cardiothoracic Chair - Lewis Ricketts Neurosurgery Chair - Katie Barnes Paediatric Surgery Chair Champagne Sanphairoj Plastic Surgery Chair - Callum Auld Trauma and Orthopaedics Chair - Sarah Choi Urology Chair - Joe Lehmann
Honorary Chairperson - Felicity Norris Chairperson - Khushboo Khatri Vicechairperson - Jessica Franklin and Hannah Slack Treasurer - Roshni Goodka Secretary - Sophie Kenworthy Media and Communications May Wong Fundraising - Elizabeth Crosbie-Jones Social Secretary - Tricia Lim
President - Rishi Gupta Treasurer - Nicole Sarens Men’s 1st Captain - Alex Munti Men’s 2nd Captain - Jakob Gerstl Women’s captain - Pia Borgas Development Captains - Sagar Jobanputra and Martha Christodolou Social Secs - Calum Jack and Ola Oyawoye Publicity and Alumni - Lawrence Best
Wilderness Medicine Society
President - Daniyal Jafree Treasurer - Louis Dwyer-Hemmings 1st team captain - Jack West 2nd team captain - Liam Collin-Jones Social secretary - Karan Kapur Education sec - Amal Minocha
President - Fred Vivian Treasurer - James Shuttleworth First Team Captain - Henry Hill Second Team Captain - Olivier Sluijters Third Team Captain - Matt Solomons Mixed Team Captain - Rhys Johnson Social Secretary - Jos Swanwick Volunteering Secretary - Tanvir Duhra Kit Secretary - Henry Sergeant Alumni Secretary - Tom Chambers Welfare Secretary - Raj Pradhan Education Secretary - Akshay Narayan Website Manager - Karan Dahele Fixtures Secretary - James Cai
President - Conrad Charlton Treasurer - Max Moss 1st XV Capt - Nick Cox 2nd XV Capt - Ollie Eastwood 3rd XV Capt - Barnaby Glover Kit Manger - Keshan De Alwis Volunteering and Welfare Secretary - Derek Effiom Fixture Secretary - Liam Colclough Social Secretary - Jack Smith Webmaster - Ben Pattenden Alumni Secretary - Jack Webb
President - Tom Durham Treasurer - George Harris Vice-President - Abi Collopy Events and Media Officers Mark Gavartin, Annie Huckstep Expedition Officer - Kavi Samra Non-medical Rep - Chris Launchbury Pre-clinical Rep - Tara Thornton
President - Judith Rossey Treasurer - Sabrina Lister 1st Capt - Anita Jiang 2nd Capt - Louise Myers BUCS Capt - Tharani Ahillan Social Secs - Katie Green & Rachel Cocks Volunteering Sec - Teresa Mergia Education & Welfare Sec Melissa Hanger
President - Chloe Hall Treasurer - Aimee Serisier 1st Team Captain - Amy Foulkes 2nd Team Captain - Jemima Weir 3rd Team Captain - Keri Marie Harding Mixed Team Captain - Rebecca Thorne Fixtures Secretary - Alice Ring Social Secretaries - Josie Baker and Cara Rocks Old Girls Secretary - Jess Hatrick Volunteering Secretary - Chloë Mullins Welfare and Education Secretary - Eloise Wilson Publicity Officer - Frankie Bügg
President - Frankie Cackett Treasurer - Emily Irwin Fixtures Secretary - Charlotte Ramsey Social Secretaries - Megan O’Donovan and Melody Langroudi Club Development - Davina Nylander Education and Welfare - Hannah Bailey Alumni Secretary - Alex Colombo-Sansom First Team Captain - Elen Roblin Second Team Captain - Sophie Parrock Third Team Captain - Emma Beck Fourth Team Captain - Ruth McConnell Fifth Team Captain - Clover Donohue Sixth Team Captain - Roshni Goodka Social Team Captain - Prithika Prasad
President - Joseph Cheung Treasurer - Ranji Venkat Secretary - Anastasia Krywonos Social Secretary - Rhiannon Finnie
President - Margaret Conde Treasurer - Francisco Sacadura Social Secretary - Livia Lisi Vega Blogger - Marta Berbel Gallego Publicity Officer - Koyel Sreyashi Basu
President - Zaheer Badat Treasurer - Rashad Ramali
RUMS Freshers of the Year
Where are they now?
all the other beginner women. Our novice captain, Libi Hawkes, was fantastic and helped us achieve our full potential, despite our apparent lack of coordination.
OT: What have you achieved within your club since then? BJ: This year I have been social secretary for RUMSBC, alongside Matt Kinsella. We organised a phenomenal Alice in Wonderland-themed tour to Liverpool in January – I managed to avoid going as a slug this time around. We also structured our President’s Welcome (for freshers) around the Hunger Games, which was hugely successful. My housemates all row, although we are split between the two senior boats; I’m now in the second boat. Training is more intensive than in first year but it’s important to keep the right balance between studying and fun… maybe in my case it’s tilted heavily towards the extra-curricular activities!
OT: What’s your favourite memory from your first year?
or many of us in RUMS Sport, “memories” and “Sports Ball” are two phrases that seldom go hand in hand. However, there are two things you should definitely remember despite the inevitable wine-fuelled carnage of the annual gala: the names of the Freshers of the Year (FOTY). These are the supposed stars of the future; the ones to watch out for in the years to come. After Matt Spoor and Rachel Cocks swept up the gongs last month, I wondered: where are the former FOTYs now? So, read on to discover whether first-year fame translates into captaincies, presidencies or general status as a RUMS legend further along in your medical school career. For this edition, I caught up with RUMS Boat Club’s Beth Jones, RUMS Fresher of the Year (female) 2015, to find out how she had acclimatised to life as a minor medical school celebrity. Here are her responses to some vaguely serious and some absolutely-not-serious-at-all questions. By Ollie Totham, Sports & Societies Editor
OT: What did you do to warrant the title FOTY? BJ: I threw myself headfirst into the boat club. I fully involved myself in rowing and all the socials that went along with it. I went to every rowing event that I could as a fresher – I never missed a single sportsnight. One particular incident won me a lot of support from the senior club members: I lost a bet to go on Peter Pan tour dressed as a slug. Nobody thought I’d go through with it, so when I rocked up to Bristol in my heavily decorated (and Vaselined) green sleeping bag, I earned some real kudos.
OT: Had you rowed before you came to UCL? BJ: No, not at all; in truth I only went to the boat club trials because I like water and I’d heard there was going to be a BBQ. Plus, on the pub crawl the night beforehand, my medic mum Eimear McKavanagh had written a reminder on my arm – and I couldn’t disappoint her! I was well and truly hooked that day; I’ve been inseparable from some of the friends I met at the trials ever since. My lack of prior rowing experience was irrelevant as I went into the novice boat with
BJ: I took a big pot of Vaseline on tour in Bristol so I could leave a trail behind my slug costume. Some of my happiest memories involve me throwing quite a lot of that Vaseline at various individuals. That happiness contrasts starkly with the later misery of be ing stuck outside in the torrential rain, unable to catch up with other rowers because I couldn’t move my legs more than 50cm per step in the sleeping bag. It was January and the weather was freezing – so at least it provided ideal insulation from the cold. Sadly, the costume was lost forever in the murky depths of Bristol.
OT: What has been your most memorable Sports Ball moment? BJ: The best story was from first year when I was announced as female FOTY. (I wasn’t actually at the National at this stage, having made it all the way to 8:30pm before being taken back to a friend’s halls. Those were the days…) Anyway, Liz Sinclair went up to collect the award (a small certificate) on my behalf, but accidentally picked up the massive SPOTY trophy and ended up wrestling with Alex Maidwell-Smith over it.
OT: If you hadn’t joined RUMS Boat Club, what other society would you have joined? BJ: Probably hockey because I hadn’t tried it before, and I was keen to try something new. I’m glad I didn’t because I think I’d be rubbish at it!
Sports & Societies OT: If you could create one new sports team or society within the medical school, what would it be, and why? BJ: For banter purposes I once tried out UCL Lacrosse. I ended up having a great time in both the mixed teams and the women’s team. I think a RUMS equivalent would smash it.
OT: Did you/do you have any role models within the RUMS Sport community? BJ: Libi Hawkes was my novice captain; she seemed to know everything about rowing, her enthusiasm was infectious and the whole boat loved her. As a novice, you don’t have much contact with the senior teams so it’s important that your boat’s captain takes you under their wing and sets a good example, and Libi certainly went above and beyond her remit.
OT: Talk me through your pre- and post-race rituals.
OT: What do you think about other RUMS sports teams? BJ: I love all the other sports teams! Rowing traditionally has beef with Squash (our natural-born enemies) because of the upstairs bit in the Huntley but it’s just light-hearted. Or is it?
OT: What is your favourite nugget from the RUMS Rumour Mill? BJ: Adam Jones gives private Star Wars lectures to St George’s Women’s boat club members.You heard it here first. I’ve also heard [current Sports & Societies VP] James Shuttleworth is running an Iron Man soon. He’s so muscly so I want to see him trimmed down a bit. Seriously though, I love James.
be part of an amazing group of friends which I don’t think I’d have without RUMS. It gives you opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise dream of, like massively fun weekends away – most people never get those chances. RUMS, and, in particular RUMS Sport, generates such a huge spirit of community and Sports Ball is a testament to that.
OT: Would you have done anything differently? BJ: My big regret is not trying hard enough to break into the first boat at the start of third year. I had planned to start training at the beginning of summer. Instead I made wine my best friend and didn’t go to the gym in pre-season. Even if I had trained properly, I might not have got in, but now it’s just a great unknown for me. I’ll never know if I was good enough.
OT: How has RUMS changed you? BJ: I feel like I’ve found my place (I know that sounds cringey but it’s true). I’ve managed to
If you are a former RUMS FOTY with a story to tell, get in contact! Email oliver.totham.12@ ucl.ac.uk.
BJ: Pre-race: coffee, and a good healthy mix of paracetamol or ibuprofen depending on the race length. Get psyched with a pep talk from Georgie Lloyd. Keep my limbs moving. Post-race: just die. Find more coffee. Collectively pat ourselves on the back. Kit to fit when appropriate. Source alcohol.
OT: What has been your favourite RUMS fancy dress theme or costume?
OT: Any aspirations to become a captain, president or RUMS Vice President? BJ: I ran for novice captain this year but unfortunately I wasn’t elected. I was a little disappointed but c’est la vie; I know the girl who was elected will do a brilliant job and I reckon I’ll run again. Next year, I would like to help out coaching the Men’s novices. I don’t particularly see myself as Vice President or presidential material!
“I didn’t choose the slug life; the slug life chose me”.
There have been so many! The slug as a costume stands out of course. RUMSBC’s Harry Potter pub crawl remains my favourite theme though – President Sam Jackson dressed as a phoenix (with a little help from his mum), leading a troupe of freshers dressed as house elves to the unofficial boat club “church”, Quinns. There were a lot of sparklers and wands on show that night.
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Published on May 31, 2017
RUMS Review is the UCL Medical School student magazine. This issue explores the 'ins and outs' of a career in general practice.