Meet the WICM Sub-Committee

(From left to right: Dr Helen Cole, Dr Sarah Marsh, Dr Rosie Baruah, Dr Danny Bryden, Dr Suzy O'Neill, Dr Stephanie Cattlin, Dr Manni Waraich, Dr Nia Williams, Dr Nish Desai and Dr Aoibhin Hutchinson)

Dr Rosie Baruah (Chair)

My name is Rosie Baruah and I am a consultant in critical care and anaesthesia at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh.  My interests include critical care ultrasound, medical law and ethics and I am our unit’s Faculty Tutor. I joined the WICM Sub-Committee as I feel strongly that being a woman or having caring commitments should not be a bar to a successful career in ICM.  As a member of WICM I would aim to promote ICM as a female-friendly specialty to women in all stages of their medical training, from undergraduate level upwards. I also hope to collaborate in the development of mentoring and networking opportunities for women in ICM, similar to those developed by the Women in Surgery (WinS) network.

 

Dr Suzy O'Neill (Deputy Chair)

I am a consultant working in anaesthetics and intensive care at the Freeman Hospital Newcastle upon Tyne since 2009. I am the HEE-NE Training Programme Director for Acute Care Common Stem (ACCS) and Intensive Care Medicine. I am also a trained coach and facilitate resilience workshops for trainees.

Outside of work I am a carer for my father who has a history of progressive multiple sclerosis, Parkinsonism and vascular dementia. My experience as both a carer and a full time consultant has been full of challenges! But it has also given me opportunities to learn what support is available for carers, raise the profile of carers’ needs in the work place, and explore strategies to ensure my own well-being and delivery of safe patient care.

Ideas I am keen to develop as part of the WICM include an on-line platform for sharing of stories, experiences, resources; and establishing a mentoring network between colleagues. 

Dr Aoibhin Hutchinson

I have been a Consultant in the Royal Victoria hospital in Belfast for seven years, working in the Regional ICU and I have been Faculty Tutor for three years. I have an interest in ethics, legal aspects of medical care and safety. I am interested in working with the WICM group to help secure a strong future profession, which I feel means taking steps to engage young doctors early, both during undergraduate training and in the first few years practicing medicine. We need to continue to safeguard a high quality training programme in ICM, to continue to attract and retain the best trainees for our specialty. We need capable doctors to want to be part of ICM. Female Consultants are still a minority in our intensive care units and we need to address the reasons for this, both in terms of equality but also to secure a future workforce, as the majority of medical graduates are now female. Recruitment and retention of well trained doctors of all genders is essential to maintain high quality care in ICM and to develop the specialty in the future. 

Dr Helen Cole

Having trained through the ACCS Acute Medicine route and spent some time working abroad, I’ve now landed in the beautiful South West Region as a dual ICM and Acute Medicine trainee.  I’m hugely excited to be a part of the WICM group and looking forward to representing trainees’ needs.  I’m keen to hear of the breadth of experiences and challenges encountered by female trainees and anticipate that LTFT training will be a particular area of concern.  By setting up a mentoring scheme I hope that we can support female trainees through their careers, and encourage women to achieve their ambitions within ICM.  I know that the WICM group is full to the brim with ideas for change, so it will be an exciting time to see what emerges and develops.

Dr Manni Waraich

I was appointed a consultant in Neurointensive Care and Neuroanaesthetics at University Hospital Southampton in 2016, having trained at St George’s and KSS. I left medicine for 10 years to raise my two daughters, moving from St Albans to San Francisco and finally Sydney. I worked for eight of those years in mergers and acquisitions and completed the Warwick MBA. When the financial markets collapsed in 2008, I could luckily return to anaesthetics and ICM to support my family. The senior female executives I worked with in Sydney, set up mentorship networks to support more junior female colleagues, as well as creating a platform for learning and collaboration. During my time as KSS ICM trainee representative, I used that spirit of support to encourage junior female colleagues to continue with their ICM dreams, citing my own rather unusual roundabout training pathway. I look forward to working with the committee to build on that spirit of support and develop a mentorship network for present and future women in ICM.

Dr Nia Williams

I’m Nia Williams, a dual trainee in Anaesthetics and ICM in Wales. I’ve been asked numerous times why I want to do ICM. Many people still believe ICM is male dominated and a difficult environment to work in. The reality is, ICM is an advancing, exciting and dynamic specialty. I’m lucky enough to work with incredibly supportive colleagues and seniors that go that ‘extra mile’ to teach and help me. However, there does seem to be a perceived gender bias associated with ICM. Myths that need to be dispelled! We strive for high-quality care for our patients and a good working environment. To facilitate this ICM needs to recruit trainees and consultants - male or female - who strive to improve the specialty. WICM could be an amazing opportunity to encourage and support women within ICM, and those hoping to pursue a career in ICM. Exciting times lie ahead!

 

Dr Nishita Desai

My name is Nish, I am a ST6 single ICM Trainee in London, one of the first batch of us! My special interest is echocardiography in the critically ill and I enjoy mentoring an ever-growing list of colleagues to help them gain FICE accreditation.  My other passion is Medical Education. I am involved in organising some fascinating meetings as a trainee representative for the Critical Care Section of the Royal Society of Medicine.  I’m also a director for the ‘Practical Introduction to Intensive Care’ course at UCLH. In addition I am currently undertaking a Masters in Medical Leadership. I am also interested in widening access to medicine and volunteer with the Social Mobility Foundation, with whom I run a program for A-Level students. As part of an every growing body of female physicians in Intensive Care I’m excited to be part of WICM. I’m proud to be part of a specialty that acknowledges the contribution of women to medicine and acknowledges the need to address issues that prevent it being a sustainable career path.

Dr Sarah Marsh

I obtained a Joint CCT in Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine in 2012 and commenced my consultant’s post in both specialities at Harrogate District Hospital shortly after.  My current job plan is full time, split between anaesthesia and intensive care.   I am the Clinical Lead for our Critical Care Outreach Service and for Organ Donation within the trust.   In addition to my clinical roles I have a great interest in medical education; I have been involved with teaching courses for the final FRCA for a number of years now, and am currently the course director for the FICM’s exam preparatory course.  I am also the deputy national Clinical Lead for e-ICM. 

Like most women in intensive care medicine, I work within a male dominated department. I am incredibly fortunate to work with the guys as they are supportive, innovative and industrious.  Being female however, I hope that I bring something different to the table (or ward round).   There aren’t many of us, but it has been due to the help and guidance of few influential women in my professional life that I have been able to achieve what I have today.  I owe them a deep debt of gratitude for advising, encouraging and supporting me throughout my career.  From this I have developed a sense of responsibility and determination to pass this on to others, and becoming part of WICM is another stepping stone to achieving this.  

Dr Stephanie Cattlin

I am a locum consultant in critical care with a special interest in major trauma, at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.  I was one of the first trainees to complete the ‘new’ dual CCT programme in intensive care medicine (with anaesthesia). 

Outside of my clinical practice my primary interest is education.  I am currently completing my Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education, and am a founding faculty member of both the London FFICM course and ISA Final FRCA Viva Course. 

With the number of female medical school graduates at 60%, ICM currently has a trainee cohort that is only 35% female.  Additionally we work in a specialty blighted by burnout.

We need to encourage more women to join ICM, support our current colleagues and friends, encourage their development, and protect their mental and physical health to ensure the sustainability of our specialty – that or face a dearth of intensivists in the future.