ACF in Psychiatry
Dr Maxime Taquet
PATHWAY TO AN ACF
I studied medicine as a graduate-entry medical student after completing a PhD in brain imaging.
I was keen to remain academically productive during my clinical training and to pick up new skills. So, after completing an AFP (now ASFP), the ACF was an excellent fit to my hopes as a budding clinical academic.
WHAT DOES THE WORK INVOLVE?
As an ACF, I got 1 day per week of protected research time during my first year as a core trainee, and then 6 months full-time as a CT2.
My research has focused on the use of large-scale electronic health records data to understand the neurological and psychiatric consequences of SARS-CoV-2 infections. I used my research time to:
- develop new skills in the analysis of electronic health records data,
- develop new collaborations with other academic institutions and partnerships with industry, and
- secure more funding to start building a small research team around my project.
Having protected time for research has been critical to conduct my research, but there have also been challenges. Namely, realising that research time remains limited and is highly variable depending on the intensity of the clinical placements. This has meant that accommodations have had to be sought and that I have often had to adapt my expectations. Helpfully, OUCAGS has assisted me with securing more research time as part of an NIHR Oxford Health BRC Senior Research Fellowship.
Oxford is a unique place to work across disciplines (between engineering, data sciences, clinical psychiatry, and neurology). It is also a unique place to live, and to develop clinically, with excellent clinical opportunities within Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.