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Surgical trainee wins national award in recognition of teaching others

A surgical trainee from University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM) has won a national award in recognition of her support and guidance to fellow junior doctors and surgeons.  

Anastasia Tzatzidou, a core surgical trainee, picked up the Silver Scissors Award from the Association of Surgeons in Training (ASiT). 

Anastasia, who has been at UHNM for a year and is currently working in plastic surgery at Royal Stoke, was nominated by her fellow junior colleagues.

She said: “As part of my job as a core surgical trainee at UHNM, I rotate through different specialities. So far I’ve worked in vascular surgery, general surgery an now am in plastics. On a day-to-day basis, we start with ward rounds, then I’m either in clinic or helping consultants and registrars with operations such as skin cancers, major trauma and breast reconstruction. Surgery at UHNM is a lovely environment, everybody is so friendly, the hospital is very organised, and I love being part of the team.

“Teaching others is encouraged as part of surgical training, but I’ve ended up loving it, and feel that when we teach and train, we shape the doctors and surgeons of tomorrow. There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing your junior colleagues improve their knowledge and develop a passion for surgery.  We always have medical students on the wards or in surgery, and I always try to spend some of my time educating these people. 

Anastasia, who moved to the UK from Greece, is also currently working towards a masters in clinical education.

Speaking about her award she said: “I was nominated by previous students and colleagues. In the interview process we discussed educational theory and how we implement it. The ASiT conference in Bournemouth was lovely, it was great to meet like-minded trainees and amazing to meet other nominees who were both excellent trainers and trainees with a huge educational background. Being nominated with them has been a huge honour.

“I couldn’t believe I had won. Being an international medical graduate, and a woman in surgery, I grew to think I would never have a seat at the table, it’s normally not people like me who win these awards, so my initial reaction was surprise followed by fulfilment. It rewards me for what I’ve done already, and encourages me to continue practicing and means my efforts have been recognised.”