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Spotlight: Fergus Cooper, Doctor (Surgical specialty trainee - ENT Surgery) at NHS Grampian

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I like to scuba dive in exotic places and manage/play in a 5-a-side football team.

Tell us about your career journey so far

After finishing school at Cults Academy in 2010, I studied Medicine at the University of Aberdeen, qualifying as a doctor in 2015. As a junior doctor, you must rotate through different specialties, sometimes at different hospitals, every 4 months for 2 years. My interest was always surgery, so I applied for Core Surgical Training which is a 2-year programme working and training in surgical specialties. My placements were in paediatric surgery, general surgery, plastic surgery, and ENT. Most of my placements have been in Aberdeen but I have also worked in Inverness and Fort William. I enjoyed them all but chose to continue my training and pursue a career in ENT surgery. At the end of the training programme, if all goes well, I would be an ENT Consultant.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Physics. I found it interesting learning how and why things work.

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Being able to talk to people well, especially in difficult circumstances, is also very important.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Every day is different and brings new interesting and exciting challenges. My favourite thing is performing surgery that will make people better.

What is a normal day in your role like?

Normally, 2 days of my working week are all day operating lists. I would see the patients who have come in to have their surgery at 8am in the morning with the Consultant I am working with. Then we meet with the rest of the theatre team and discuss the plan for the operations that day before doing the operations.

On other days, I would lead a ward round with the other junior doctors working on the ward starting at 8am. We assess all the unwell patients on our ward and help make them better. This is usually followed by doing any procedures or special examinations required for these patients in our treatment room. We also run an emergency clinic on our ward where GPs or A&E can refer patients needing an ENT Doctor to see them.

Other days, I might have clinics in the morning, afternoon, or both. In these clinics we see a variety of people with problems affecting their ears, noses, and throats. We find out more about their problems by asking about their symptoms and examine them using special equipment.

I am also “on-call” every 1 in 6 days and 1 in 6 weekends. This means that when I go home, I could be called by other healthcare workers to give advice on ENT problems, or get called to go back into hospital if there a patient with an ENT emergency problem that needs my help.

Any other free time on my rota is spent attending educational events run by our department or teaching medical students.


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