Iheoma, Respiratory and General Medicine Registrar

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Why did you want to move into the role you’re currently in?

I currently work as a respiratory and general medical registrar under the East of England training programme. In general, we are expected to rotate every year to different secondary care trusts as each hospital offers different learning experiences.

Why the NHS and Team North West Anglia?

I am a big believer in the founding principles of the NHS, such as providing free health care at the point of access and as a trainee, the NHS is really the best environment to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills I need to become a specialist. I have worked in various other trusts within Cambridgeshire and I wanted to continue to live in Cambridgeshire as I consider it a beautiful and very culturally-rich part of the country. I have built up good social contacts here so it made sense that North West Anglia would be the next place to continue my training.

Tell us about your role?

I am part of the multidisciplinary team on the medical wards looking after inpatients -reviewing them, chasing investigations, making diagnoses and treatment plans. I carry out procedures such as bronchoscopies, insertion of chest drains and lumbar punctures. I talk to relatives of patients to keep them up to date with the progress of their loved ones or sometimes to have more difficult conversations e.g. breaking bad news of a serious condition. I review patients with chronic health conditions such as asthma or interstitial lung disease in clinics supporting their GPs in looking after them. I review and admit new patients who are unwell from the emergency department or medical admissions unit. I am involved with teaching and supervising medical students and other junior doctors. In turn, I am supervised by medical consultants.

What do you love about your role?

The best part of being a medical registrar is that you get to interact with such a wide variety of people in your working day from the patients that you care for to porters, ward clerks, pharmacists, radiologists and surgeons. There is a real mix of clinical challenges and scenarios that you face and tackle everyday some of which are very rare and others more commonplace. Therefore, no two days are the same.


What are the benefits of working for North West Anglia?

I think the strengths of North West Anglia Trust is the fact that although Hinchingbrooke, Peterborough City, and Stamford Hospitals are complete hospitals in their own rights, they endeavour to work as a partnership. They are all very different in their location, their size, the services they offer as well as the patients they treat. You can see this from the joint communications that take place, the push to unify IT services and the interaction between services.

There is definitely a sense that we are striving daily to providing excellent and compassionate patient care and I have seen these qualities manifested in those in leadership positions as well as those who are more junior in their role.

How has your role developed during your time at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, tell us about your journey?

I have worked at various hospital Trusts in the East of England over the last few years from my first year as a doctor. One of the changes in my role has been the improvements in the use of IT to make our daily tasks more efficient e.g. electronic patient records, prescribing and requesting of investigations.

Over the last few years, there has been increased use of endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS) to assist in staging of cancers and diagnosis of inflammatory conditions like sarcoidosis. As respiratory registrars, we are increasingly referring our patient to centres such as Papworth, Addenbrookes, NNUH to undertake this procedure. We are also having more opportunity during our training to participate in this procedure as well.

How has Covid-19 impacted on your role?

The more positive impact of Covid-19 on my role so far are:

-increased appreciation of members of my team, going through an adversity together has brought us closer together

-being a respiratory trainee and Covid-19 being predominantly a respiratory infection, I am at the forefront of utilising new diagnostic pathways and treatments, being engaged in a new and rapidly developing clinical trial (RECOVERY),

The more negative impacts of Covid-19 on my role are:

- Needing to wear a mask everyday to see the majority of my patients which does not help with building rapport

-reduction in volume of aerosol generating procedures such as bronchoscopy because of the infection control precautions meaning that we only do those that are absolutely necessary meaning that there have been delays for some patients

-having limited face-face discussions with patients and relatives in outpatients clinics due to emphasis on telephone clinics making the diagnostic and treatment pathways trickier