Publish date: 1 November 2023

Geriatric Medicine Trainer of the Year, Cath Huntley, shares an insight into her role.

Picture of Northumbria Healthcare consultant, Cath Huntley, holding her award for Geriatric Medicine Trainer of the Year

I am a consultant physician in care of the elderly and Honorary Senior Lecturer with Newcastle University. I have been working in these roles since 2010.

My clinical role as a consultant involves responsibility for inpatients on the elderly care ward at Wansbeck and undertaking elderly care on-call rotas at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital (NSECH) in Cramlington. I also teach and supervise students and trainees as part of my clinical role.

I have always been interested in teaching and have done this whilst I was a junior doctor. I worked as a teaching and research fellow (TRF) from 2001-2004 in this trust.

As a consultant, I have always worked in Medical Undergraduate Education, taking responsibility for running individual courses, then leading on the implementation of the 2017 Newcastle Medical School (MBBS) Curriculum in the trust.

I’m now the director of medical undergraduate education for Newcastle medical students at Northumbria.

My director role involves overseeing the delivery of all Newcastle medical student teaching in the Trust, supporting the faculty and learners. This includes supervision, appraisal, undertaking assessment, and quality assuring the programme.

As a member of the Geriatric Specialty Training Committee (STC), I support all our specialty trainees at Northumbria including directly supervising them during their placements with us.

I really enjoy teaching and supervision, both at an undergraduate and postgraduate level.  I love the ‘lightbulb’ moments when things suddenly make sense to learners. This is often theoretical knowledge that they see the relevance of in real patients in clinical environments. It’s incredibly rewarding to supervise trainees and see them develop and learn, and I enjoy helping them to reflect and learn from their experiences.

I was absolutely over the moon to receive an email from the trainee representatives on the Geriatric STC to tell me that I had been awarded the ‘Geriatric Medicine Trainer of the Year Award 2023’. 

I was told that the impact that I have made on trainees was reflected in the comments that individuals made when nominating me, and I was really humbled when I read those comments. I am delighted that my passion and dedication for teaching and supervision has been clear to my trainees, and they have felt supported and valued whilst working with me.