This year, the top three scoring applicants for the Alastair McIntyre Prize for Improving Gastroenterology Training were entered into the ‘Educational Dragons’ Den’. Presented at BSG Annual Conference 2018, each person made their pitch for a project that would, using the prize money of £1000, make a substantial improvement to the quality of training in our specialty. After three excellent presentations followed by light grilling from the ‘dragons’, Amir Halim, an ST5 trainee from KSS Deanery was awarded the prize. After this, he spoke with the BSG Trainees e-newsletter.

Congratulations Amir. Can you tell us a little about your project?

My proposal was one to introduce a series of GI radiology masterclasses, ideally geared towards serving the needs of gastroenterology trainees. I’ve spoken with a lot of my colleagues over the past few years at training days regarding their experiences with the specialty exam, getting feedback that they felt rather underprepared for the radiology questions in the exam.

What inspired you to plan this?

I’ve always been keen on organising educational opportunities for peers even as an undergraduate, it’s always been something I’ve enjoyed. I’ve enjoyed the organisation of it, introducing something new to the system. It was a thing I was always passionate about and I thought it was an overlooked area.

The dragons put you through your paces after the presentation. How did you find it?

I kind of geared myself to be grilled about some aspects, for example the comment that I may have spread myself a little too thin. I was ready for some questions that they’d fired at me. I did think of the sort of questions they would ask and thought they would comment on clashes with timetables and training needs.

You now have funding to set up your pilot. Where do you see the GI radiology masterclass series heading in the future?

Well, I’m hoping that it becomes a regular fixture not just in the KSS-South Thames area but nationally so that trainees from all round the UK can experience it.

Amir plans to use his £1000 prize money to establish the GI radiology masterclasses in KSS-South Thames, where gastroenterology trainees will receive small group teaching on interpretation of radiological images. The pilot will run during the 2018/19 training year.

We are very keen to assist in any educational research or quality improvement projects you might have in mind or in practice. Please consider contacting your regional trainee representative to see what the BSG and affiliated organisations can do to support you.