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Dr Stephanie Jenkins, a GP partner who has made significant contributions to the training of Cardiff University medical students since 2003, won the prestigious Clinical Teacher of the Year Award for 2018.
The award recognises a clinical teacher in Wales who has excelled in their work, supporting doctors in training and medical students in Wales. Here, Stephanie shares her experiences.
As I drove down to Cardiff for the annual BMA/BMJ Clinical Teacher of the Year Awards straight from morning surgery in Wrexham, I was so confident that I was not in the running for the overall award. So much so that I had threatened to drop my husband off in Cardiff to attend on his own. Exasperated, I had just lost my passport and needed to carry on looking for it to go on holiday a few days later. He managed to talk me out of this and I arrived at Cardiff Museum, to mingle with some of the finest clinical teachers and the medical educational leaders in Wales.
Reading the blurb on each of the nominated teachers, I was delighted that Cardiff University felt that I belonged in the same category as these inspirational teachers. I relaxed for the final award of the night and was truly shocked to be awarded the overall Clinical Teacher of the Year. I was extremely honoured to be handed it by Professor Dame Parveen Kumar, as in Kumar & Clark! Over 30 years ago I had sat in her lectures as a student at Barts School of Medicine. She was my hero then, and she is still now. It was a fantastic evening and a real celebration of medical education across two universities and the Welsh Deanery.
My career in medicine has been convoluted as I originally trained in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, then switched to General Practice, but for ten years I did both. This meant that when I started formally teaching it was in O&G on Managing Obstetric Emergencies and Trauma courses. It was then Cardiff and Swansea medical students who were on placement in north Wales, many of whom returned to undertake longer projects with us, going on to enter O&G training themselves - I still hear from them.
I did a postgraduate certificate in medical education at Bangor University during that time and when I left O&G finally four years ago to become a GP principal, I persuaded my colleagues to start training Cardiff students. I was appointed Honorary Lecturer for north east Wales, a post designed to facilitate the placement of students in GP surgeries in the locality.
In my shock that evening I looked back over the 30 years since my time in Barts, and realised what a rich and complex career in medicine and teaching I have had. I am delighted to have won the award and very grateful to all those people, doctors, nurses, lecturers, patients and students who have shaped me both a doctor and also as a teacher.