Educating the next generation of medical experts and advancing knowledge is something Dr Esther Youd prides herself in.
The Clinical Director of Pathology and consultant histopathologist has been passionate about enhancing skills since joining the health board in 2010.
Her love of teaching, which began at secondary school, was consolidated with formal qualification (MSc in Medical Education) as a postgraduate student at Cardiff University and has strengthened significantly during her time at Cwm Taf UHB.
She said: “When I first applied for the post I was interested in advancing learning and education. Not only did I want to continue my own development to better serve our patients, but I also wanted to ensure my colleagues had access to the best training and support, so we as a health board were exceeding expectations.”
Thanks to her dedication, Dr Youd has excelled within her field acting as the lead for training for histopathology registrars within the department, developing a hugely popular autopsy teaching programme, being an educational supervisor for postgraduates and undergraduates, being appointed as an honorary lecturer, acting as an examiner for the Royal College of Pathologists and as an external examiner at Imperial College London.
Thanks to her dedication, the specialist department, based at Royal Glamorgan Hospital, features the only pathology directorate in Wales which is fully UKAS accredited to ISO15189 standards.
Alongside her work in histopathology, Dr Youd also carries out formal teaching sessions and tutorials for postgraduate and graduate trainees, to help advance their knowledge and strengthen their skillset through medical courses.
She also provides additional training working with allied health professionals to support them in reaching their potential and developing their abilities, in particular teaching dissection to biomedical scientists to support the consultant team.
She said: “As medical professionals the advancement of understanding, and the ability to think progressively, is vital to ensuring we can provide the best diagnosis to our patients throughout the community.
“Within this profession you will be constantly absorbing new information and being made aware of the latest techniques and treatments. However, it is imperative that our staff are given the right support and training to absorb and deliver this in the most effective manner.
“For me, training is essential to make sure we are maintaining our standards within departments, but also to challenging our skills and enhancing them to provide the best standards of care.”
Dr Youd’s devotion to staff growth has seen her excel within Cwm Taf UHB being appointed to the role of Clinical Director five years ago.
And she believes that it is the health board’s supportive family ethos that enables staff to develop substantially within their roles and achieve excellence.
“The health board and my colleagues have been incredibly supportive throughout my time here. People always comment on how open, honest, and close-knit everyone is, which really spurs you on in your career.
“There’s no competitive element in the department, we learn together and support each other. Everyone aims really high in my department and I get the opportunity to work with a fantastic team.”
However she feels innovation is what truly sets Cwm Taf apart as a nationwide centre of excellence.
She said: “Medical advancement and innovation isn’t the first thing people necessarily associate with Cwm Taf as we’re a small health board.
“But we really are blazing a trail for the use of industry-leading research and techniques. The health board is very forward thinking in terms of using technology. It is currently undertaking a project introducing the use of computer digital pathologyin place of microscopes. Its success will see this rolled out across the health board.”
Dr Youd’s team is currently recruiting for a full time consultant histopathologist to be based at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital. To apply click here.