Supporting Training and CPD in Academic Anaesthesia
Since its inception the NIAA has aimed to identify and support academic trainees. We take a broad view and engage with trainees interested in research, those doing research whilst in a clinical role and those engaged in full time research.
For the 'research interested' anaesthesia trainee, Research Methods Days are delivered by the British Journal of Anaesthesia (BJA) and the Royal College of Anaesthetists (RCoA). These one day courses comprise an introduction to research methodology, critical reading, study design, analysis and this is supported by hints on scientific writing and presentation at meetings.
For those with some research experience we have provided two, one day meetings with the aim of offering networking, an opportunity to present research, poster prizes and lectures and discussions on contemporary relevant topics.
In 2011, at our second Academic Trainees day, NIAA Chair, Professor Ravi Mahajan discussed 'Research Under a New Government' and reviewed the changing funding and regulatory environment into which our research must fit. Dr Mike Grocott gave an introduction to Health Services Research and the new NIAA Health Services Research Centre. Dr Brian Robertson from Imperial College lifted the lid on Systems Biology and showed us how partnerships between scientists, engineers and mathematicians are tackling huge data sets to reveal the fundamental workings of cells and organisms. Finally, Professor David Menon from Cambridge spoke on the use of advanced imaging as a window on brain function. In between the fMRI scans he introduced us to the locked-in patients where brain imaging revealed high level cortical function and cognition. Indeed one patient went on to recover sufficiently to co-author two scientific papers!
The Presidents' Award for Outstanding Research was awarded to winners of the poster exhibition. First prize was awarded to Dr Dafydd Lloyd for his presentation on, 'Does anaesthesia accelerate Alzheimer's?'. The second prize was awarded to Dr Natalia Notkina for her presentation on, 'Cerebral metabolic effects of strict normoglycaemia versus current clinical glycaemic control following severe brain injury'. The President of the College (Dr Peter Nightingale) presented winners with a cheque and certificate.
The quality of research presented at both the Academic Trainee days has been high and we anticipate that this will go from strength to strength. Anaesthetic trainees are attracting funding from the major funding organisations such as the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust as well as from Anaesthetic sources. Not only does this indicate the quality of the personnel and ideas that are being developed but this shows that academia in anaesthesia is flourishing. Our mission is to continue this growth and spread the word to encourage research-interested trainees to come forward. To this end the NIAA has established a mailing list to allow dissemination of news about events, funding opportunitues and research jobs to interested parties. To join our mailing list, please use the link on the NIAA homepage.