On 4th December 2019, London Medicine and NHS Health Education England (NHS HEE) jointly hosted an induction event for Clinical Academic Trainee starters in London. The event, entitled “How to survive and thrive as a Clinical Academic Trainee in London,” follows from the successful pilot of this event held last year.

The event started with a networking lunch, followed by the first speaker Dr Vivienne Curtis, Associate Academic Dean, NHS HEE. Dr Curtis introduced the Clinical Academic Starter Checklist, a resource developed by NHS HEE and London Medicine in partnership with past trainees. The afternoon continued with Dr Kieran Walsh, Clinical Director at the British Medical Journal sharing some useful tips and advice on getting published.

Following a further networking opportunity, three speakers nearing or at the end of their Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) and Clinical Lecturer (CL) programmes shared their insights into their own trainee experiences. The emphasis was to “speak to as many people as possible” for help and support, plan your time and be aware of funding available. Speakers acknowledged the challenge of the role, with encouragement to trainees to persevere.

The final speaker, Dr Jeremy Levy, Director of Clinical Academic Training, Imperial College London, spoke about “the opportunities, rewards and challenges of clinical academic training”. Dr Levy asked trainees to “plan ahead” and “think about realistic timelines”. Finally Dr Levy reiterated the overarching message to “enjoy the time as a Clinical Academic Trainee”.

The event concluded with a panel discussion in which trainees were given the opportunity to ask event speakers questions along with a further opportunity to connect with peers. This event forms part of Vital Signs, a flagship initiative from London Medicine which addresses a range of challenges pertaining to both health and higher education. This event was hosted by Dr Vivienne Curtis, Associate Academic Dean, NHS Health Education England.

More information on how HEE can support CLs and ACFs can be found by contacting Academictraining.lase@hee.nhs.uk.