CL in Gastroenterology
Dr John Ryan
Pathway to a Clinical Lectureship
John did his undergraduate and initial specialty training in Dublin Ireland, with a brief rotation through the Mayo Clinic, USA. He came to Oxford on a Fellowship in Gastroenterology, having just completed a PhD on iron regulation in liver disease at the University College Dublin/University of Heidelberg, and jumped at the opportunity to apply for a CL post. John has had a long-standing interest in medical research, having done an intercalated Bachelor of Medical Science degree as an undergraduate. He thoroughly enjoyed the 3 years full-time research for his PhD, which afforded him a great appreciation for talented scientists and clinician researchers alike.
What does the work involve?
John chose to break his CL time up into 6-month blocks of research and clinical commitments. He was fortunate enough to get funding for a dedicated research assistant who has kept the momentum of patient recruitment and sample analysis going while John is back in a full-time clinical post in acute general medicine. John’s research focuses on the role of iron in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), insulin resistance and obesity. He is actively involved in the teaching of undergraduate medical students and junior trainees, and recently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education through UCL/Royal College of Physicians.
John feels that time spent as a CL has been extremely positive. It has allowed him to strengthen his academic track record significantly, whilst affording him invaluable research experience that he would have otherwise never have obtained in busy clinical training posts. It has solidified his commitment to seeking an active research component to a specialty post in the future. Although some might feel that a CL post delays finishing training, there is no sense in rushing to a job that will last another 35 years!
During his training, John has always been impressed by doctors who could simultaneously demonstrate excellent clinical and research ability, knowing that clinical expertise can inform and enhance translational research, to the ultimate benefit of the patient. He was immediately struck by this mentality when he arrived in Oxford, where both academic thought and outstanding clinical care are actively fostered and nurtured.