New doctors are finding their feet and providing support during crucial time

New doctors are finding their feet and providing support during crucial time

Dr Beth Taylor
Dr Keshini Kulathevanayagam

In April, North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust welcomed the first intake of Interim Foundation Year doctors, who graduated early from their Medical Schools to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Three months on, three members of this group, Dr Mala Sood, Dr Beth Taylor and Dr Keshini Kulathevanayagam have found their feet and are assisting on medical wards at Peterborough City Hospital.

Dr Mala Sood, explains: “I formally graduated from Kings College London with the class of 2020 over Zoom, with over 400 colleagues, which was unusual to say the least. As a medical student in London, you become used to being overlooked in the larger hospitals and not feeling part of the team. I was keen to undertake my foundation years in a smaller hospital which is partly what attracted me to Peterborough.”

Dr Beth Taylor, added: “It was a daunting prospect to start work as a doctor early, but it has been such a positive experience. It has been so useful to learn on the job and start getting used to how things work. There’s been lots of support and I feel that this interim period has enabled me to build up my confidence to ease the transition from medical student to Foundation Year 1.”

Dr Keshini Kulathevanayagam, said: “I must admit that I was a bag of nerves in the lead up to induction. I wasn't entirely sure what was to be expected of me as a foundation interim - I heard varied experiences from friends who had already commenced their interim jobs in other deaneries.  In retrospect, I should have embraced this opportunity from the word go. Fast forward three months, I've started to find my bearings as a doctor.”

Dr Kanchan Rege, Medical Director at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The new doctors joined us early and during unprecedented times at the Trust and we are about the welcome another group of doctors in the coming weeks. We are hugely grateful for the additional support that they have been able to provide to our wards. I will always remember the interim Foundation Year doctors setting up an impromptu venepuncture service in the Board Room to take the blood of non-clinical staff for COVID-19 antibody testing. Colleagues were literally queuing around the block!  Some of these doctors will be remaining with us as Foundation Year 1 doctors in August and others will be moving onto other Trusts to continue Foundation Training. I wish them all good luck in their future roles and would like to thank them for their support during this time.”

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Dr Mala Sood