Emma Howard

The Master's in Medical Science (Anatomical Sciences) has a combination of taught modules, and an independent research project. Our weekly activities greatly varied. Some weeks we could be based mainly at the university participating in seminars, lab work, anatomy teaching, learning to perform MSK ultrasound, and participating in medical education. In other weeks our time was self-directed and I would spend it almost entirely at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital where I conducted my research project.

I really enjoyed the anatomy aspect of the pre-clinical medical course and wanted to further improve my anatomical knowledge as I hope to pursue a surgical career. I am particularly interested in a career in orthopaedics and wished to develop my research skills further by completing a project at the internationally renowned Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt orthopaedic hospital. The course at Keele University allowed me to achieve both of these aims.

My consultant supervisors at RJAH were a huge support to me whilst completing my research project. They improved my statistics knowledge by encouraging me to complete a statistics course, which aided my ability to understand and conduct the statistical analysis for my data. They also taught me how to improve my scientific writing and how to write journal articles. In turn, this improved my ability to critically appraise other articles, and use this skill to appraise the current literature base when writing my own articles. Not only did they support my academic development, but also my clinical knowledge of orthopaedic oncology.

As part of my research project, I have greatly improved my scientific writing, critical appraisal, and the use of statistics. I have had the opportunity to present my work locally, and at international orthopaedic oncology meetings, both orally and as posters. Furthermore, I have published some of the work from my master's project. I have really enjoyed participating in research, and I am currently conducting another research project within the same specialty. It has also introduced me to the subspecialty of orthopaedic oncology, which I didn't have any previous exposure with, but have really enjoyed.

The applied surgical anatomy module and the individual research project allowed me to develop the most. I consolidated and improved my existing anatomical knowledge. The research component of the course not only developed my research skills, but also introduced me to a clinical specialty I didn't have any previous exposure in.

I still hope to pursue a career in orthopaedics, whilst also continuing to develop my research skills as part of my clinical work.