Francesca is a SCRED lecturer at the University of Aberdeen and ST7 in Gastroenterology.
What attracted you to a career in gastroenterology/hepatology?
Like most of the people who choose Gastroenterology as a career, I am of course attracted to the variety of this specialty. Gastroenterology offers not only the possibility to look after very acutely unwell patients but also to manage complex chronic conditions spanning through a wide range of systems. In addition, the practical aspect of this specialty is extremely rewarding: treating endoscopically a bleeding ulcer is exciting and empowering.
However, to tell the truth, I developed an interest in Gastroenterology in medical school when caring registrars and inspiring consultants provided me with models I wanted to emulate. I think this type of mentoring is fundamental throughout a successful career in medicine and it should be cherished. Hence, I would like to promote the BSG mentoring programme as a wonderful opportunity for growth.
What advancement in gastroenterology/hepatology are you most excited about and why?
The implementation of artificial intelligence in endoscopy is particularly exciting. It signifies that the future is now. I think this will only be the beginning of it and we should be prepared to keep an open mind in the use of AI in other branches of the specialty.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
One of the aspects I enjoy the most about my job is working with allied health care professionals and specialists with the aim to improve patients’ quality of life. I also love clinical research and the challenges that this brings.
What is the one thing you would change?
I would like to see formally represented in the Gastroenterology curriculum the management of functional GI diseases. These are complex and challenging and formal education is mandatory to ensure the best patients outcomes. Education will also have to power to provide this subspecialty with the recognition it deserves and to show its attractions to registrars.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career?
To keep busy at work with different interests and not to focus merely on clinical work. This will not only prevent from burn out but also keep curiosity and enthusiasm alive for a long and prosperous carrier.
What does being a BSG member mean to you?
It makes me feel proud to be part of a well-respected organization, which provides worldwide education and guidance in Gastroenterology. It stimulates me to be more active in my day-to-day work, embrace innovation, and keep up-to-date. Being a BSG member means being the best gastroenterologist I can.