An innovative Dragons’ Den-style competition held by Britain’s oldest surgical Royal College revealed fresh talent and creativity by trainee surgeons from all over the UK - including Bushmills.
Sponsored by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (www.rcsed.ac.uk), the contest identified big yet practical ideas for learning resources and technical products, judged by a panel of four experienced ‘Dragon’ clinicians.
Winning first prize was a new app helping trainee surgeons track their own teaching experience online, an integral part of the preparation required in becoming consultants.
Clinical Teaching Fellow Philip McElnay (26) (pictured right) from Bushmills scooped the prize of £500 having developed the web-based app called T-log, which not only enables medics to centrally file their teaching records but also allows feedback from their own students to be uploaded.
The app was so successful that in six months it had over 850 episodes logged by over 150 users, and its popularity had spread to GPs and pharmacists in the region.
Philip, who graduated from Glasgow University, developed the app with a colleague to help trainees feel included and make a positive contribution towards their course.
He explained: “One area which could definitely be improved was the evidence of the teaching they had delivered – they were turning up at interviews with reams of paper to demonstrate their achievements and passion for their subject.”
Of the ‘Dragons’ Den’ style process Philip added: “It was fun but also challenging.
“Just like on the TV programme there were four Dragons sitting in a row – there weren’t any huge piles of money, though!
“It was a good experience because some of their questions really made you think about how the app might be improved and developed.
“They were impressed that it had good educational value – and we could prove it.
“I’m delighted to have won this award.”