Gerard Walls, 29, will graduate today (Friday 14 December) with a Master’s (MSc) in Clinical Education from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast.
Gerard, who is an Oncologist from Newbridge, Londonderry/Derry undertook the degree after receiving funding from local charity, Friends of the Cancer Centre. The funding came from their Dr Gary McGowan Scholarship prize, which is awarded to Cancer Centre trainees who seek to enhance their career through further training.
In his third year of Specialty Training in Clinical Oncology at the Cancer Centre, Belfast City Hospital, Gerard is also a Fellow of the Wellcome-HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training programme, a career pathway for future clinical researchers.
Speaking ahead of his graduation, Gerard said: “In my role as a teacher for future doctors, I am passionate about passing on holistic clinical skills and communication to my students and junior colleagues, and I hope to inspire them to consider taking up a rewarding career in oncology.”
Gerard hopes that the innovative research he undertook through his degree will contribute to evolving curricula.
He said: “I enjoy the challenge of combining my academic work with my clinical practice. My research stimulates my passion for teaching and my patients motivate me to make cancer treatment better. It is my ultimate aspiration that my degree will boost the already excellent oncology training in Northern Ireland and that patients will benefit directly.
“I am very grateful to the Friends of the Cancer Centre, who have generously supported me and many other trainees over the last number of years, with our aim to improve cancer care in Northern Ireland and beyond.”
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