The next generation of doctors has started work at Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans hospitals.
The 55 new junior doctors, known as foundation year ones – or F1s – began shadowing more senior doctors, surgeons and consultants across a range of specialties last week.
These include working in Acute Admissions Unit (AAU), general surgery, oncology (cancer) and urology (the branch of medicine that focuses on diseases of the male and female urinary tract and male reproductive organs). They begin working under supervision but more independently later this week.
In their first year, F1 doctors do three rotations, which means they work across three departments to gain experience in different aspects of clinical care. They have a full programme of training to further improve their skills and the way that they communicate with patients and their families.
In their first year, F1 doctors do three rotations, which means they work across three departments to gain experience in different aspects of clinical care.
They have a full programme of training to further improve their skills and the way that they communicate with patients and their families.
Dr Mike Van Der Watt is the Trust’s medical director and has overall responsibility for all doctors across West Herts hospitals, including the new F1s.
He said: “I’m delighted that these doctors are starting their careers in west Hertfordshire. Our three hospitals are an excellent place to put years of training into practice and learn new skills.
“The role of our senior doctors and consultants in mentoring and training them over the year is invaluable. They can both learn from each other.
“I know the senior staff will teach them all they need to know to become excellent doctors and progress in their careers.
“The F1 year is tough but I hope that they enjoy their time with us, and even choose to make a career in west Hertfordshire. Many of our senior consultants and surgeons started at our hospitals.”
F1 doctor Jess Ball is based in the breast surgery team. She said: “The preparation and shadowing week have been quite full on with a mixture of clinical and lecture based work. The shadowing has been really useful and I think I would be very lost if there had been no opportunity to do it.
“It is quite hard learning all the new systems as well as coming to terms with being a doctor!”
Dr Chris Hodgkinson is based in the vascular surgery team. He said: “The first few days were a whirlwind and I know there is so much to take in but I’m really looking forward to learning as much as possible over the next few months.
“It is a really exciting time! We have spent many years studying to be doctors; it is now time to put it into practice.”
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust is a large acute trust serving people from across Herts, north London and further afield. The Trust is made up of Watford, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead hospitals and sees about 600,000 patients a year. The Trust is one of the largest employers locally, with around 4,500 staff and volunteers.