Key Contacts 

Training Programme Director for Acute Medicine: Dr Chrissy Beasley (based at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth)

Head of School of Medicine: Dr Kathy Woolson

Deputy Dean for Medicine: Dr Jon Francis

Education programme Manager: Naomi Mallinson

NHS England (NHSE) South West (Peninsula) supervises all postgraduate medical specialist training in the Devon and Cornwall region for Acute Medicine.

Information about the Specialty

Acute Medicine dual accredits with Internal medicine Training stage 2 (IM Stage 2) was General Internal Medicine.

Acute Medicine is a new specialty, which has grown out of the importance of having experienced medical staff who can deal with the full range of diagnostic and therapeutic challenges of general medical admissions, as well as support and train junior doctors in acute care.

The role is busy, demanding and challenging, but always varied and rewarding. For those who like the cut and thrust of emergency care it is ideal, but it is also a great option for those who enjoy the diagnostic process. This actually forms the larger part of an acute physician’s workload rather than “intensivist” activities.

Medical admissions have increased year on year, and the processes needed to improve patient care in acute medicine need constant development. A key role of acute physicians is to lead the service improvements for trusts to make the patient’s experience safer and better.

Acute Medicine is a new specialty everywhere, and the Peninsula is no different. However, there are many benefits to working in the area over and above the fact that all the trusts you would work in are in or near areas of outstanding natural beauty! The Peninsula is far from a dreamy backwater these days. Acute physicians are well equipped to be involved in teaching students clinical and practical skills vital for patient care.

Many of the trusts are also at the cutting edge of patient care – for example the Royal Devon & Exeter is a beacon centre for Stroke Thrombolysis and is ahead of many centres in offering 24 hour angioplasty service for acute myocardial infarction. Derriford Hospital in Plymouth is also a tertiary referral centre for neurosurgery and cardiothoracics. None of the trusts on the rotation are quiet, and all have a high number of admissions per day allowing adequate experience of a full range of medical conditions.

There is also opportunity for clinical research in the region. This has been strengthened recently by the award of a large research grant of £20m (Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (PenCLAHRC)) to conduct research and improve care in major conditions including heart disease, diabetes and age related conditions. Facilities for education and research are also high quality across the region. Provision of educational time is good on the rotation, with protected time for personal development, audit and management activity. There are an extra four educational days focusing on Acute Medicine over and above the regional training days for GIM. There is also ample opportunity to be involved in teaching undergraduates and peers. We are also trying to make the development of a ‘special interest or skill’ much easier. This has often been a difficult issue for acute medical trainees, but our aim is to support and encourage this by prospectively arranging opportunities to continue a chosen interest at different sites as trainees rotate. Acute Medicine is a fast moving and dynamic specialty. It is not for the faint hearted, but for enthusiastic doctors who enjoy variety in life, it is a good choice – and living in the Peninsula is a dream come true for most people!

All trainees rotate within the Peninsula. Over the 4 year programme, the trusts in the rotation include; Plymouth, Cornwall, Barnstaple, Exeter and Torbay. You will not necessarily rotate through all of the trusts on the rotation but there should be a level of expectation that it is possible.  

Annual Assessment Information

Trainees undertaking Higher Specialist Training are required to have an annual assessment (ARCP). Details of these assessments can be found within the assessment pages. By clicking on the your specialty you will find the requirements for your assessment. The checklists are by no means exhaustive and it is advised that you communicate with your Training Programme Director or Educational Supervisor for more detailed requirement information once you have been scheduled for an assessment Please use these checklists as a guide when preparing for your assessment. Its is your responsibility to check what is expected of you and prepare accordingly. The JRCPTB website is an invaluable source of assessment information.

The Training Hospitals

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust

North Devon Healthcare Trust

South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Related Sites

JRCPTB Website, Acute Medicine