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Congratulations to one of our first trainees on completing ETP

We spoke to Malcolm MacAllister about his experience on the Echocardiography Training Programme (ETP).

1. How would you summarise your experience on ETP?

My experience of the ETP was generally very positive. The 18 months went by very quickly but in that time, there was so much to learn. Being in a department with 5 other ETP students was very beneficial as we were able to learn and support each other through the process. The department in Manchester where I was based was excellent and the training from all the staff we received here was second to none.

2. Why did you choose Echo as a career?

My background is in Sport and Exercise Physiology but I have always had an interest in Healthcare. In my previous job before joining the ETP I was fortunate to work alongside a very highly respected Cardiologist and Cardiac Physiologist. This exposed me to the use of Echo in Cardiac Screening which ignited an interest in echo and how this technology is used as a vital diagnostic tool in the Healthcare setting.

3. What tips would you give future trainees?

  • Be prepared to work hard. The time frame for completing all the requirements is quite tight and really needs you to be able to manage your time and work load well.
  • Be proactive. We were given dedicated study time with which we could manage this time and use how we felt. This can be used to observe clinics with Doctors (which is very helpful to understand more of the patient journey) or getting yourself some extra scanning time (this is very helpful when it comes to preparing video cases for the BSE).
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for as much advice as possible. All the staff in our department would always be willing to answer any questions and help in any way that was possible.

4. Can you tell us about any interesting/challenging periods you experienced?

Undertaking the training programme during part of the Covid pandemic was an interesting challenge. During this time there was a lot of unknowns and how this would impact upon our training. Thankfully the pandemic didn’t have too much of a limiting impact. The biggest effect was having to go through the University aspect online, and online learning can sometimes be difficult to fully engage with (I always find in person learning is far more engaging and generally better for learning).

The other exciting challenge was having my first child during the programme, right in the middle of the second University block.

5. What are your plans for the future?

Looking to the future I would like to consolidate my skills in Echo and then look to move in to a further specialist area of Echo. I would also like to get involved in research and potentially combine my knowledge in Sport Science with Cardiac screening.

Last updated on 27th September 2022

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  • Echocardiography Training Programme