Originally from Birmingham, Welsh Clinical Academic Track (WCAT) trainee, Majd Protty (30), says working and training in Wales meets all his needs - academic, clinical and personal. He plans to stay in Wales and progress his career in clinical-academic cardiology. He explains:
“I grew up in Birmingham and stayed there to do my medical training as it was familiar and I liked being in a big city. However, after I finished medical school four years ago, I moved to Wales because it has an attractive academic foundation programme and catered for my interests in cardiology.
“I decided to stay on in Wales after my foundation years, because it also offers an outstanding run-through academic clinical specialty programme – the WCAT scheme. This programme is unique to Wales in that it carries trainees through core and specialty training and provides funding for a PhD to combine both academic and clinical activities. This was really appealing to me because of my desire to progress to be a leader in academic medicine.
“The structure of the training programme means that I now spend 80% of the week working in clinical practice, currently at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport (South Wales), and 20% of the week at Cardiff University, which allows me to pursue my research interests with world-class groups. The mix of academic and clinical training essentially means that I’m a clinician who brings science from the bench to the bedside and there’s never a dull moment in that.
“My current training programme will take me through my career up to consultant/senior lecturer level, which is about eight years from now. The academic community in Wales is very supportive and encouraging. My plan is to progress to be an academic cardiologist taking on a leading role in Wales for clinical-academic cardiovascular medicine.
“The opportunities are endless and the support is second to none. I feel very nurtured by both my academic and clinical colleagues, who teach and guide me to help me achieve what I want to achieve. I also get a huge amount of support from the Wales Deanery which has been very flexible and approachable in allowing me to tailor my training scheme to my needs.
“Outside of work, I feel there is so much to do in Wales. Cardiff and Swansea offer great city life with the bonus of incredible beaches and mountains on their doorstep. Nowadays, I often take a trip to the Gower or Brecon Beacons during my time off. There really is something for everyone.”