Medical student grant update
Encouraging the next generation of specialists and researchers
Anthony Gibson received a BSRF grant to aid his medical training and research in 2009. Here he tells us the benefit of receiving our support:
In the summer of 2009 I was fortunate enough to receive a BSRF research grant to allow me to pursue research in a field of my choice related to scoliosis.
I attended the spine department at University of California San Francisco for my elective study term in the final year of medical school and found myself heavily involved in research. I decided to go back to this world leading centre for a year just after completing medical school.
My main project looked at enhancing safety of spinal procedures by reducing injuries to nerve roots with improved neuromonitoring. The results were presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons 2011 and await publication. As is often the case, whilst doing this study we came across some other important findings about the techniques we used, published in 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Neuromonitoring. I also carried out a retrospective study assessing the safety of a new method of operating for scoliosis called the Thoracic Lumbar Intervertebral Fusion, reported at the 2009 North American Spine Society meeting.
I also became involved in a project looking at the radiation given to patients and staff during use of a new imaging modality. A continuous CT scan can be used to fully view the spine during scoliosis surgery and our study found that radiation doses were acceptable and in some cases less than traditional x-ray methods, whilst giving more accurate surgical technique. Results presented at American Neurological Society 2010 and pending publication.
I experimented with several computer based techniques for measuring changes in patient spine curvature. Whilst looking into ways to do this in scoliosis I published a study in the Journal Arthroplasty on migration of hip replacements. These endeavors taught me a lot about research and how a good idea can sometimes lead to nothing at all or a completely different project with a totally unexpected conclusion.
I remain eternally grateful to the BSRF for giving me the chance to firstly make a meaningful contribution to the literature on Scoliosis but more importantly to develop my skills in designing and completing research studies. This will allow me to continue working in the field and making further contributions as I progress through my surgical training. Even a year on from completing the research there remains a large amount of work that I am writing up.