Nicola’s outstanding performance in her final exams at the Intercollegiate Specialty Examinations earlier this year will see her presented with the 2018 Sir Walter Mercer Medal.
“We’re like proud parents,” says RCHT consultant hand surgeon, Rebecca Dunlop, “to share in Nicola’s brilliant achievement and to have been able to support her through the final stages of her training. It’s an enormous amount of hard work for Nicola but also a reflection on the great team we have here in orthopaedics.”
The tough exam covers the entire orthopaedic specialty, including caring for adults and children, trauma and elective procedures. As well as written papers it includes two intensive days of practical exercises where trainees are assessed on their ability to assess and determine treatment plans for patients.
For Nicola the award comes at the end of many years of dedicated study and hands-on patient care in clinic, on the wards and in theatre. After graduating from medical school in Bristol and then completing training placements across the south west, she had no hesitation in coming back to Cornwall after her positive experience of a three year placement at RCHT from 2012.
Nicola received news of her award in a congratulatory letter from the Chair of the Intercollegiate Board last week. Remarkably the same accolade was won by retired RCHT orthopaedic surgeon Mr Tom Scott who laid the foundations for the hand specialty team of which Nicola is now part.
Nicola is now specialising in hand trauma and surgery so, whilst she is ready to apply for her first consultant post, the training doesn’t stop here, as she will be going on to further develop her expertise.
“I’m really proud to have done so well in the exam and would like to thank all of my colleagues for their support,” says Nicola. “They’re a great team to work with and we are all totally committed to doing whatever we can to offer our patients brilliant care and treatment.”