A doctor from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary (RLI) who takes on the task of mentoring the next generation of clinicians was named Doctor of the Year at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust’s (UHMBT) Your Health Heroes.
Consultant anaesthetist Dr Tom Oldham took up the role of foundation programme director four-and-a-half years ago in an attempt to give newly qualified doctors the guidance he says he still remembers needing when he began his career.
Dr Oldham, who lives in Lancaster, said: “Looking back at my time making the transition from being a medical student to being a doctor, I think it would’ve been useful at the time to have had somebody in position who understood the problems you can have.
“I want to be able to make use of my experience to help people through that transition period.”
Dr Oldham’s commitment to his role led to him seeing off fierce competition in the Doctor of the Year category.
In fact, the judges faced such a tough decision that they had to choose four finalists instead of the three picked in other categories.
He was selected in recognition of the way he takes responsibility for organising the trust’s teaching programme, making sure the hospital provides the training the government expects new doctors to have in their first year, all while maintaining his own duties as an Anaesthetist.
Dr Oldham’s approach to his role has been noted by all those who work with him, including Kathryn Winkfield, Education Centre team leader, at the RLI, who nominated him.
In her nomination, she said: “Dr Oldham takes an interest in the foundation doctors as young adults, and not just as a cog in the NHS.”
Dr Oldham, concluded: “I think it’s about getting the balance between your training, your service work, and the changes that are going on in your life as well.
“Quite often that can mean moving location – leaving support systems such as your medical school friends, or even your family.
“What I do is partly about making sure people are living as well as working - reminding them that they have to have time for themselves.”
He was presented his award by Christopher Ramsey from the category’s sponsor, Fukuda Denshi UK.