Our Electives fund talented medical students to carry out a six to eight week research project on wound healing and scarring. Past award holders have successfully become research-active clinicians, NIHR Clinical Fellows and PhD students. This year, we’re delighted to award three Scar Free Student Electives.
Anam Asad is a final year medical student at the University of Leicester. An aspiring surgeon, Anam has been awarded The Scar Free Foundation and BBA Elective to undertake a 6-week research project at the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust. Anam tells us about her life in research.
Anam, why are you interested in burns research?
Burns is such a fascinating and unique area of medicine. It wasn’t covered in great depth during my undergraduate studies – so my project is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this speciality and help people with burns at the same time.
What is the focus of your project?
Burn injuries are common and unfortunately, can often be fatal. Research shows that people with severe burns are prone to hypothermia - a dangerously low body temperature.
Our project is investigating the link between hypothermia and mortality in people with severe burns. We’re analysing data from a local Burns Centre to see if there is any evidence of a link between low body temperature and survivability.
Our research could have huge implications for the future of burns care. If we show hypothermia is linked with an increased risk of death, more efforts can be made to treat hypothermia in burns patients and help improve their long-term outcomes.
What’s your typical workday like?
My day begins with a handover at 8am followed by a routine ward round at our Burns Centre. This is where I shadow doctors who review patient’s wounds and address their concerns.
We then have a Multidisciplinary Team Meeting where each patient's treatment is discussed with the wider medical team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, dietitians, psychologists and occupational therapists. After this, I assist with ward jobs.
In the afternoon, my schedule varies between working on my research project and attending theatre. I spend a lot of time reading scientific papers in specialist journals and collecting patient information from the national burns database.
At the moment, I'm consulting a statistician to decide the best way to analyse the data. After I review and interpret the results, I will complete my research report and share my findings with my colleagues and wider medical community.
I'm so grateful to The Scar Free Foundation and the BBA for this wonderful opportunity, which enables me to build on my clinical, academic and research skills. Thank you.