Lancashire Cardiac Centre offers junior medical students exposure into surgery


Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Mr Antony Walker with medical students Conor Gillespie and Robyn Bridle

CARDIAC experts in Blackpool are giving medical students a unique insight into their roles.

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is offering young medics the chance to experience surgery from expert doctors with students from local universities given the opportunity to spend a week under a consultant’s wing to experience at first-hand what cardiothoracic surgery is like.

The Trust’s Medical Education department set up the programme to enhance the training for medical students at Liverpool University, Lancaster University and the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Deputy Undergraduate Manager, Julie Summers, is responsible for organising the programme.

She said: “We are offering a unique opportunity to students who want the knowledge and experience of a very specific type of surgery.

“It is a great opportunity to gain insight into a surgical speciality they otherwise would not experience.

“The feedback from the students has been very positive and previous students have returned to the Trust for the full Year four academic placements which is fantastic to see”.

Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Mr Antony Walker, has been facilitating the course for four years and strives to provide students with real exposure to his speciality.

He said: “This is the first year UCLan students have joined us and this has been a fantastic development to the programme.

“I enjoy sharing my experience, skills and the unique opportunities cardiothoracic surgery has to offer.

“Even if they decide cardiothoracic surgery is not for them, I believe they’ve had a successful learning opportunity that others haven’t.

“I am determined to establish the Lancashire Cardiac Centre as a widely recognised centre of  educational and training excellence.

“We couldn’t put together such a successful programme without the hard work of the team and everyone involved. The feedback is a reflection of this and shows a truly successful team”.

Conor Gillespie who studies at Liverpool University enjoyed the opportunity to become a surgeon for a week.

He said: “I was recommended the training by fellow students who have either studied at Blackpool or completed the course.

“I haven’t had much exposure to surgery and we have been able to work five days with a consultant, which has been great.

“The week has been a well-rounded experience and I am very open to studying at Blackpool in my further medical training.”

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