Martin Grecco - PG Diploma in Clinical Neurology
Job Title: Consultant
Employer: Hospital Churruca-Visca
Why did you choose to study your programme and what made you choose UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences/Institute?
After finishing my neurological training, I wanted to pursue a postgraduate course before finding a new (and permanent) role as a consultant.
I have previously undertaken a one-month observership at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN), so I checked UCL’s website and found exactly what I was looking for i.e. the opportunity to rehearse and incorporate further knowledge by doing a ‘mini-residency’ in one of the most renowned neurological institutes in the world.
What did you enjoy most about your programme?
It is difficult to pick just one thing. I think having the opportunity to attend lectures and outpatient clinics with the leading clinicians in each field of neurology is one of the most rewarding things. During my residency, I read books and journal articles from great researchers such as Prof. Shorvon and Prof. Andrew Lees, but having a direct teaching experience with them is something totally different!
The structure of the course, it’s organisation, and the support provided by the Education Unit staff as well as the course directors and tutors helped shape my positive experience at the Institute of Neurology (IoN).
Finally, there is a wide array of activities besides the standard programme (e.g. Grand Rounds, Clinico-pathological conferences, seminars) that gives a unique opportunity to experience the feeling that you are part of the IoN/NHHN community
Did you experience any benefits from studying in London? If so, what were they?
Well, my opinion is slightly biased because I think London is not just the best city to live in, but also one of the best places to study in the world (especially medical sciences and of course neurology).
I think it is equally important to be in a place where you have unlimited options in terms of culture, entertainment, and access to scientific knowledge (libraries, bookstores). I still try to visit London at least once per year to enjoy activities such as Alumni meetings, IoN courses and visiting friends that I made whilst studying at the institute.
How did you get to where you are now in your career? Was there anything in particular from your time at UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences/Institute that was valuable?
After finishing my degree, I returned to my home city and I was able to apply for a position as a consultant at a university teaching hospital. Being a former student of UCL and the IoN gave me a strong background that allowed me to apply with success for other postgraduate courses and memberships. It also provided me with the unique opportunity to stay in touch with the university as a teaching assistant in the Clinical Neurology via distance learning course.
How have you applied the learning from your degree in your job?
As a consultant, it is important that I possess strong clinical judgement and that I am able to communicate well with my patients. The unique clinical reasoning skills that I acquired from the IoN and NHNN has played a key role in helping me achieve this.
Also, part of my job includes training residents, I always try to incorporate the teaching and learning methodology which proved extremely useful while studying at the IoN.
What do you enjoy most about your job if applicable?
The opportunity to get involved in academic activities: research, grand rounds, discussing difficult cases and involvement with training new residents.
Is there anything else you would like to say about your time at UCL Faculty of Brain Sciences?
Just to say it was one of the best experiences in my life. I strongly encourage people that are interested in neurology/neuroscience to consider applying to study at the IoN, and to pursue a career in this field if they have the chance.