Dr Rele Ologunde
Academic Foundation Programme (2017)
Pathway to an AFP position
I became interested in research during my preclinical years. I spent a summer in the Department of Surgery and Oncology at Imperial College London evaluating the effect of exposing xenon to ex vivo porcine grafts prior to engraftment to prevent kidney graft injury. This gave me an early exposure to lab-based research and its translational capabilities.
I went on to intercalate in global health and completed my research project at the World Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland. This gave me a unique view into the challenges that arise when conducting large multinational studies that influence health policy.
What does the work involve?
I spent my FY1 year in Stoke Mandeville Hospital, rotating through trauma and orthopaedics, general surgery, and rheumatology and dermatology (with day release). My FY2 year was spent in Oxford, starting with a four-month block for research, followed by placements in community psychiatry and A&E.
I used my day release to develop research skills in epidemiology and statistics by attending journal clubs, seminars and courses, including those on SPSS and the Essential Research Skills course run by the Equator network.
My research was primarily based with the Lavy Group in Global Surgery. Under the supervision of Prof Chris Lavy I conducted a mixed-methods evaluation of the effect of the Primary Trauma Care course on participants attending the course in the ten countries forming the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe).
The Oxford AFP was an obvious choice for me as it has a liberal approach in giving trainees freedom to organise their own projects. This allowed me to spend dedicated time on multiple research projects across my varied interests, including global health and surgery, whilst also allowing me to pursue my interest in medical education by teaching anatomy to medical students.
The University of Oxford has a world-class reputation for research, clinical training and teaching so you can be sure that your experience will be unrivalled in all domains of your training. There are also many opportunities to learn from the vast number of seminars and skills courses run throughout the University.
The AFP has offered an excellent opportunity to develop research skills, engage in cutting-edge projects that are making a real change in the lives of patients and learn from eminent researchers leading their respective fields. The challenge with the AFP has undoubtedly been keeping up with clinical competencies despite less clinical exposure and time to achieve these. However, with proper planning and organisation, it is possible.
My experience on the AFP has been tremendously beneficial in helping me secure a position as an Academic Clinical Fellow in Otolaryngology in the West Midlands.