Author: Tom Roberts / Codes: SLO10 / Published: 28/08/2018


The content you’re about to read or listen to is at least two years old, which means evidence and guidelines may have changed since it was originally published. This content item won’t be edited but there will be a newer version published if warranted. Check the new publications and curriculum map for updates

It is September 2018 and I have just started my TERN Fellowship. My name is Tom Roberts. The TERN Fellow for the next 2 years.

I have 3 main aims.

  1. Produce a network that is capable of producing large scale research.
  2. Ensure our research is practice changing.
  3. Make sure the above 2 have a positive impact on your lives as EM trainees.

If TERN doesn’t integrate into your clinical work. If our questions aren’t going to help you in your day to day practice. If our studies hinder your clinical practice, rather than improve it, then we are doing something wrong. I am optimistic TERN can achieve this and here is why.

Data Collection – The future

Research needs to compliment the clinical work you are doing. Data collection is an onerous task, but TERN aims to be a leader in data collection. We know hospital computer systems are heterogeneous around the country and difficult to get data from. We know that data collection is a duplication of your clinical notes. We will therefore aim to work out local solutions so that either:

collected data can be used as a clinical encounter or
we will use new mobile phone software that allows data to be collected safely, efficiently and quickly on your phone, with minimal time wasted.

This is the aim. If we achieve it, we will be pushing data collection into the future.

The Network

The network will take time to embed but we have already selected regional representatives that will lead TERN in your region. See their contact details here

We also need hospital leads, to co-ordinate projects in your departments. This role will be project specific and rotate for each project. Most importantly, we need teams of trainees to collect data in hospital. Co-ordinating data collection on a national scale will allow us to collect large cohorts of patients. By co-ordinating data collection locally, it can be shared amongst trainees, safe in the knowledge that one small contribution will be adding to a large dataset that will answer an important question.

Your Time. Your Life

It hasn’t escaped me that Emergency Medicine is extremely stressful and busy. I am committed to making TERN work to produce excellent studies but not at the expense of your welfare. I will be working hard to liaise with deaneries, hospitals and trainees to understand how we can offset the potential increase in workload that TERN could add. TERN is committed to valuing your work. We will look at ways to ensure your time is recognised in our papers, we will support you with your own projects and encourage you to take roles within TERN that will offer you skills and opportunities that will help you in your careers.

Please remember in all of this, TERN is a TRAINEE Emergency Research Network. We all own it. It is something that we can mould and change to suit Trainees’ needs, clinical questions and patient priorities.

Check back here in October to see what has been happening!