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Doctoriaid Yfory (Tomorrow’s Doctors)

19 October 2017

Photograph of student doctor
Year 4 student Ainsley Richards

S4C's cameras have returned to Cardiff University to document a year in the training of 11 medical students in Doctoriaid Yfory.

The six-part documentary, which starts back on Tuesday, 24 October, follows the emotional journey of the students as they get to grips with the demands of an intense academic year and the tension of busy operating theatres, GP practices and hospital wards around Wales.

From the security of the lecture room, to the hard reality of hospital wards across Wales, many of the students will face difficult first-time experiences. At a crossroads in their lives we see the young medics faced with profound situations, from the loss of a patient to managing chronic disease, dealing with the impact of cancer on patients and families and mastering basic skills like taking blood and stitching for the very first time.

We will get an insight into the pressures and challenges of learning within the NHS, as well as powerful stories and inspirational patients and professionals moulding tomorrow’s doctors. Sharing their aspirations and fears, the students reflect the amazing and tireless work of NHS staff across the country.

The students featured are: Ainsley Richards from Llanelli; Moshan Anwar from Llandegfan; Eleri Sweeny from Penrhyndeudraeth; Eben Rees from the Llŷn Peninsula; Dafydd Pearce from Brecon; Emily Lloyd from Crymych; Jess McVeigh from Swansea; Rhodri James from Aberystwyth and Ffion Thrythall from Pwllheli.

photograph of medical student

Concerns about the shortage of Welsh doctors to serve patients in hospitals and surgeries across Wales are constantly claiming the headlines. Cardiff University’s School of Medicine has broken new ground in various aspects of medical training, one being the use of a second language as part of their courses. Working in collaboration with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (Welsh National College), they are preparing students to work through the medium of Welsh.

Dr Awen Iorwerth, who is a Clinical Lecturer at Cardiff University's School of Medicine and works on behalf of Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol says, "This course is aimed to develop young doctors who are ready to serve the community. We look for enthusiastic young people who know their communities. We want students who can offer a service through the medium of Welsh and English. But we also try to give those who do not speak Welsh the confidence to work in rural areas rather than being afraid of the challenge."

In the first programme, fourth year student Emily Lloyd, experiences the first week of a placement at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. Ainsley Richards, who is entering the fourth year, tackles open knee surgery and third year students Jess McVeigh and Rhodri James get a taste of the reality of the Accident and Emergency Ward at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor.

Jess McVeigh says, "I would like to be an approachable doctor who people can trust and talk to easily. One of the highlights of my placements this year, especially at Ysbyty Gwynedd was being part of the team in the A&E Department. I remember my first day – I didn't really know what to expect, and I remember feeling like a fish out of water. You've just got to go in and learn on the job. That's the first time I really noticed how hectic a placement can be."

Series producer Llinos Griffin-Williams of Green Bay Media said: “This insightful series could not have been possible without the active cooperation of the NHS Trusts across Wales and close partnership between S4C and Cardiff University Medical School.

“The kindness and tolerance of the dedicated staff in every aspect of medicine across Wales, who are committed to teaching the next generation of Welsh Doctors is commendable as is the pioneering attitude to teaching medicine by the University. These students are formidable; resilient, empathetic and determined we are very proud to be able to show Wales that our health is in safe hands.”

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