Wesleyan RSM Trainee of the Year 2017: Dr James Vassallo

Today, five young doctors will compete for the coveted title of Wesleyan RSM Trainee of the Year 2017. Marking the culmination of the Royal Society of Medicine’s 2016/17 prize programme for trainee doctors, the awards evening will celebrate the very best of the RSM and its trainees. We will be awarding prizes to both oral and poster finalists.
The five oral finalists will present for 10 minutes, followed by a five minute Q&A session with the audience and judges who this year will include:

• Dr Fiona Moss, Dean, Royal Society of Medicine
• Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President, Royal Society of Medicine
• Dr Keith Ridge CBE, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, NHS England
• Professor Gillian Leng CBE, Deputy Chief Executive, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.

Dr James Vassallo works for the Defence Medical Services in Plymouth. He has been shortlisted for his his research into developing an improved evidence-based triage tool that identifies those who need a life-saving intervention in the case of major incidents. His presentation is entitled, Major incident triage: derivation and comparative analysis of the modified physiological triage tool.

‘I studied Medicine at Guys Kings and St Thomas’ in London and graduated in 2009. I’m currently working as a ST2 in Emergency Medicine for the Defence Medical Services in Plymouth.

Existing methods of triage that we use at major incidents have poor performance at identifying those who need a life-saving intervention. This programme of work is all about trying to develop an evidence-based triage tool that works better than existing methods.

Existing methods of triage that we use at major incidents have poor performance at identifying those who need a life-saving intervention. This programme of work is all about trying to develop an evidence-based triage tool that works better than existing methods.

Major incidents occur worldwide regularly, and sadly over the last decade we have seen an increase in terrorism-related major incidents that have resulted in large numbers of casualties.

With existing UK methods of triage failing to accurately identify those in need of life-saving intervention, an alternative solution was needed. This has been the inspiration to see this project through to completion.

Time is always a challenge; balancing family life, clinical work, ARCP requirements, exams, military deployments and then trying to find the time to do additional work!

My advice to other young doctors when it comes to aiming for prizes, is to apply for lots. Let others see the application and get feedback, have broad shoulders for when it’s unsuccessful, but don’t let that stop you from applying again. Look at the comments given and include those for next time.

Just go for it! A lot of people get put off applying for things – they think they’re not good enough – put yourself out there and apply. Don’t be disheartened if applications get rejected – keep at it.’

The RSM Wesleyan Trainee of the Year Award takes place at the RSM on Thursday 23 November and is free to attend. Find out more and book at www.rsm.ac.uk/wesleyan2017

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