Teesside doctor wins prestigious award for world class trainee teaching

Dr Christopher W Wells, a Consultant Gastroenterologist, has been awarded the prestigious William Cullen Prize by The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, for his world class teaching programmes for trainee doctors at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

The award was presented as the Hospital hosted the prestigious General Medicine Update conference on behalf of The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (15th May). Delegates across all grades of medical, health care, scientific staff and students heard talks across a range of topics showcasing excellence, sharing successes and inspiring learning by sharing knowledge about recent medical advances over the last two years.

The award, by The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, recognises Dr Wells for being generous and flexible with his own time to ensure that trainees receive high quality education, training and assessments – therefore benefitting patients in East Durham, Hartlepool and Stockton on Tees. Dr Wells has developed training posts in the challenging field of eating disorders.

Dr Wells said: “It was an unexpected honour to receive such a prestigious prize. Delivering teaching and mentoring colleagues is a highlight of my work. I am so lucky to work for a forward thinking trust that has allowed me to develop and deliver national endoscopy training courses. Our junior doctors and nurses are also a credit to our organisation and all are keen to learn and better themselves. It is great to work in such an environment that has teaching and learning at its heart”.

Dr Wells was presented with the award by Professor Derek Bell, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and clinician at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Professor Derek Bell, President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and clinician at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He said: “The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh has Fellows and Members all over the world, but this prize particularly recognises local or regional training, clinical and research excellence. Through this award, we wanted to celebrate Dr Wells’ valuable contribution to educating the next generation of doctors, to medical research, and to patient treatment. We want people to know what a tremendous asset he is to North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, to patients in the area, and to medical teaching both locally and nationally.”

Dr Wells’ skills were a key reason for ensuring that the Northern Regional Endoscopy Training Unit is now situated at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust. The unit covers key training on endoscopy, therapeutics and colonoscopy. Training courses have run at the unit for over 5 years, with excellent feedback from trainees and faculty members.

Finally, Dr Wells’ passion for teaching endoscopy skills has extended to Sierra Leone, where he and other colleagues have trained several Endoscopists and have developed distance learning and mentorship.

Also honoured was Dr Catherine Monaghan, who last month claimed the accolade of being named as one of The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh’s most inspiring physicians. Dr Monaghan who grew up in Teesside was formally presented with her award by Professor Bell.

The University Hospital of North Tees has hosted the bi-annual conference for the last twenty years, but this was the first time it was organised by the Trust.

Dr Ben Prudon, Respiratory Consultant & College Tutor at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and member of the organising committee said: “It was a real honour to host this esteemed conference on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. It provides an excellent opportunity for us to showcase and share knowledge about the medical advances made in this region over the last two years at both local and national level. We were extremely honoured and proud to welcome Professor Derek Bell (OBE) to officially present Dr Wells and Dr Monaghan with their respective awards recognising their outstanding contributions over the last year.”

Photo captions

Top left  (l to r) Deepak Dwarakanath Medical Director North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Christopher Wells Consultant Gastroenterologist North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust and Professor Derek Bell (OBE), President Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.

Bottom left (l to r) Dr Catherine Monaghan presented with The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh’s most inspiring physician award by Deepak Dwarakanath – Medical Director at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.

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