Wessex Cardiology Trainees

Trainee Rep --- TIME TO VOTE!

Dear all, 

Three people have put themselves forward to take over as the next BJCA trainee representative for Wessex. All three should be congratulated for their enthusiasm in applying for the role. 

Please see below their election statements, listed alphabetically by surname. 

If you hold a NTN you are allowed to vote for one person to be the next trainee rep. 

Please email your vote to thomas.gilpin@uhs.nhs.uk by 17:00 Sunday 19th December. Any votes received after this deadline will not be counted. The results will be published 20th December on the blog.


Elizabeth Chan, ST4 


Why I would make a good trainee representative

I am a highly motivated, organised, reliable and diligent individual. Representing the voices of trainees, at all levels of the deanery, is essential if we are to improve the delivery of cardiology training. As a former Mess President and Royal College of Physicians Associate Tutor, I feel I have the skills and experience to advocate for you as Wessex trainees. 


As service provision pressures continue to increase, it is vital to address training concerns, seek opportunities and improve our overall education experience. I will highlight both the individual and collective issues impacting trainee performance, seeking realistic and sustainable resolutions.


I want to encourage a culture of cohesion, make training more enjoyable as well as promote cardiology training within medicine to create an inclusive and successful current and future registrar cohort. 


What I want to do to improve training in Wessex 

Should I be elected as trainee representative I will address the following priorities:

·      With dual GIM accreditation now mandatory, meeting all the curriculum requirements is increasingly difficult. I will work with the deanery to ensure that all trainees are supported throughout the year for both aspects of each curriculum

·      Multiple pressures, including rota gaps and COVID have negatively impacted on training time. The quality of cardiology training has suffered as a result. I will raise this with the training board as a matter of urgency and seek to create proactive safeguards for cardiology training time

·      As a female trainee, I understand the need to provide those with protected characteristics with bespoke support, regardless of background or need. 

·      Create an education programme that highlights less well-known sub-specialties, combined with a fully packed calendar of social events.  Networking and relaxing are equally important!



Mohamed Kira, ST3


During my previous role as a Cardiology teaching fellow at St Georges University, I encountered one of the main challenges that opposes any training program, manifesting in the gap between the expectations of the trainees and resources available to the training facility. I have learnt how to maximise the benefit of the opportunities available, defend the rights of the medical students, speak on their behalf, and to guide them developing their learning skills, all to achieve the best training experience intended for them. Following the implantation of the Lockdown restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, I developed an online teaching program to maintain their training being unable to attend onsite for few months. Another challenge that I encountered during that time was facing the cardiology trainees in South-West London deanery who were finding a hard time training in pericardiocentesis procedure which is an essential skill they need to learn through their training, however due to the lack of cases to practice on, many of them struggled complete their competences toward the end of training. I have participated then in starting a pericardiocentesis simulation course that provided a great opportunity for the trainee to practice and get signed off this procedure. 


Now being an ST3 trainee, I find myself facing the same worries, challenges and sometimes even frustrations when I cannot achieve my expectations through my training. I do believe the role of a trainee representative is to provide guidance and support to other fellow trainees, represent them at various deanery meeting, as well as working with the deanery to attempt and find solutions to various problems that face the majority of the trainees at different levels of their training.


Having been on both sides of the training process, I have an insight on the needs of trainees, along with understanding the limitations that can face any training facility, all of which make me a very good candidate to represent the cardiology trainees in Wessex deanery.


Panagiota Mitropoulou, ST6


Why I would make a good trainee rep: 

I have been a trainee in Wessex for many years and know the Deanery well.  So far, I have had considerable experience in representing trainees. As the RCP Associate Tutor at QAH during my CMT2 I had invaluable first-hand experience of representing a high number of trainees. I was responsible for organising a yearlong teaching program with two colleagues consisting of weekly sessions, the Portsmouth procedures course, and consistent PACES teaching. As a rota coordinator during my ST4 year at QAH I fought for more training time in a busy hospital with constant service requirements. Last year, as the IMT trainee fellow for Wessex, I was a point of contact for IMTs around the Deanery. I helped escalate concerns, I organised a consistent teaching programme during the second wave of the pandemic which included innovative virtual simulation sessions, and I represented trainees during the transition to IM3. In the last year I have also been actively involved with the Women in Cardiology (WIC) group, which has given me great insight on the challenges both male and female colleagues encounter around family planning, pregnancy, maternity and paternity leave, LTFT and childcare. 

Most importantly I believe I am approachable and flexible, I have learnt how to fight the trainees' corner and I can represent the views of my colleagues well.  


What I want to improve in Wessex: 

There is a long way to go for us to regain opportunities and experience missed during the pandemic. I am planning to work with the trainees to personalise training plans and liaise with the Deanery to help find opportunities for training. Promoting a mentorship scheme would help in this direction. 

We all missed our face-to-face training days and evening events, which have finally started to take place again. I will continue to push for high quality sessions and opportunities to network. 

I believe there are some less easily accessible areas in our training, such as cross-sectional imaging and ACHD. I will work to provide opportunities for trainees to experience these both during training days and placements/taster weeks. 

Finally, I am planning to work on updating our Wessex trainees blog to incorporate more training information and opportunities. 

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