Students win big at RCGP Awards Evening

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three students pose with certificates in front of big screen
Matthew Heneghan, Olivia Whittle and Govind Dhillon

Liverpool Student Doctors were celebrated at a recent awards evening at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester following wins for the RCGP Mersey Faculty Medical Student Poster Prize 2022 (link).

Student Doctors Olivia Whittle, Govind Dhillon and Matthew Heneghan joined other prize winners at the event. They submitted their entries after reading about the opportunity in the weekly student bulletin.

Year 5 Student Doctor Olivia Whittle took home second place in the poster presentation category for her research into how COVID-19 has impacted cancer referrals in primary care.

“I initially started this research project at a Wirral GP practice in Year Three, where I compared cancer referrals made in 2019 and 2020 to look at how the 2020 lockdown had affected these. I then went back to the same practice this year and re-audited the data to look at how cancer referrals had changed following the lifting of lockdown restrictions in 2021.

There were considerable differences in the cancer referrals made before, during and after the 2020 lockdown.

I reflected on these results, in particular considering why the cancer referral changes didn’t just reverse following the lifting of lockdown restrictions in 2021. I enjoyed going back to the practice this year and taking the project further; it helped me think of some relevant future applications of the study, to hopefully improve cancer detection in primary care as we adapt to a ‘new normal.’

It was a privilege to be invited to this awards evening. It was lovely to meet other award recipients and learn about their projects, too. I’m particularly grateful for the supervision and support from Dr Rebecca Chambers and Dr Lucy Bushby, who have been a great help throughout the project.”

Year 4 Student Doctor Govind Dhillon came in third place for his poster presentation on his study of the impact of COVID-19 on paid and unpaid carers in the UK.

My research really highlighted how carers in the UK have been affected by the pandemic as not much research has been done on this topic yet.

"It also showed the areas of support required for carers, which is something GPs can help with as they often work closely.

I would like to thank my supervisor Dr Olukayode Adeeko for his amazing support and guidance during the project. The awards evening was a great way to celebrate our research and posters along with other regional GP award winners.”

student receives certificate in front of big screen Govind Dhillon - 2nd place in RCGP Poster Prize

Year 4 Student Doctor Matthew Heneghan's entry was highly commended by the RCGP.

“My poster was on my RS3 project, an audit on ‘The Prevention and Treatment of Corticosteroid Induced Osteoporosis in Primary Care’. I was very pleasantly surprised when I heard back from the event organisers that I had received a prize!

The evening itself was thoroughly enjoyable with a number of inspirational talks including one from Prof Dame Clare Gerada, President of the RCGP."

Thank you very much to my supervisor Dr James for his help with the project, and to the staff at St George’s Medical Centre for helping me when I completed my data collection there back in January 2021.

Student Doctors Jessica Cohen and Kartik Goyal were unable to attend the event but were also awarded commendations for their entries.

Student Doctor Kartik Goyal submitted a poster on his audit assessing Allopurinol guidelines at his GP Practice.

“We assessed patients on repeat prescriptions with allopurinol and whether they had annual monitoring for serum urate levels, finding that over 68% of patients were not annually monitored.

Hence, I worked on creating a few interventions including adding Urate monitoring in the annual chronic disease reviews carried out by nurses. I am planning on doing my second cycle in April to assess the change brought in after the interventions have been put in place for over three months."

I am very grateful to Mersey RCGP for awarding me this prize. This entire audit process has made me appreciate the importance of running quality improvement projects in primary care.”

Student Doctor Jess Cohan submitted a poster on a clinical audit she carried out at a GP practice in Merseyside looking at how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted smoking cessation services in primary care.

"The project revealed that rates of recording smoking status and cessation support decreased during the pandemic, despite an increase in smokers’ willingness to engage in smoking cessation. This highlighted the importance of looking into the impact of COVID-19 on smoking cessation services to both evaluate the pandemic's wider public health consequences and guide the provision and targeting of smoking cessation support in the future."

Congratulations to all of the winners! Keep an eye out for more prizes and competitions advertised in the student bulletin each week.