What our graduates are saying about this Intercalated BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology
Erin Frizzell (2016-2017 intake)
My year in the TORT Centre carrying out my BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology was a thoroughly enjoyable and valuable experience. From day one, the staff were hugely welcoming and always around to provide any support required. With a wide range of state-of-the-art equipment available in the lab, the department is more than happy for you to propose your own project topic, allowing you to pursue your research in an area that interests you. Personally, by picking my own project and carrying out my research in a sport in which I had an invested interest, it made the year not only more engaging but more enjoyable. As I had limited prior experience in research, I initially found the dissertation process quite daunting. However, the department provides multiple teaching sessions on how to craft each chapter of your dissertation and each member of the department has their own specific skillset which they use to support you through the process.
The Biomechanics teaching offered something different from the usual medicine curriculum and allowed me to rediscover my love of physics and maths from school. The teaching was then linked to a more clinical setting in the second semester by covering areas such as limb prosthetics and wheelchair design. Additionally, throughout the year we enjoyed fascinating talks from guest speakers who specialised in sports medicine. There was wide range of sports involved from, Dr Robin Kerr, a track side medic for Formula 1; to Dr James Robson, the Chief Medical Officer within Scottish Rugby.
The course also provided me with the opportunity to present my research at the 15th International Conference on Clinical Biomechanics. This turned out to be an invaluable experience. I have gained so much from my year within the TORT Centre and that would not have been possible without the incredibly encouraging team within the department. I cannot recommend the Applied Orthopaedic Technology course enough to anyone considering a BMSc.
Terry Melaugh (2016-2017 intake)
There are a lot of great intercalated courses available at universities around the country but I can confidently say I am delighted I chose to study the BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology at the University of Dundee. The friendly staff working within the TORT Centre provided invaluable knowledge throughout the duration of the year and were always happy to help with any questions or queries from students. The teaching and self directed learning modules encompassed a wide range of orthopaedic disciplines, ranging from pure biomechanical principles to practical teaching from specialists in the field of sports medicine. There were also many opportunities to speak to healthcare staff about their jobs within the NHS and gain a greater understanding of the wider multi-disciplinary team involved in orthopaedic care.
Furthermore, classes focusing on statistics and academic writing skills helped with understanding and interpreting the medical literature, a transition many students may initially find quite difficult. The freedom to create and plan your own project provides a fantastic opportunity to explore an area of your choice, whether it is medical or sports related. This makes it an extremely enjoyable and rewarding year and provides a great foot up into the world of medical research. However, it is the wide range of expertise provided by the staff and also the state-of-the-art technology available to students throughout the year which makes this course truly unique. It is easy to understand how this particular BMSc has gained such a great reputation down the years, and I would highly recommend it to any student considering intercalating this next academic year.
Claire Waugh (2016-2017)
After hearing of the great reputation of the Applied Orthopaedic Technology BMSc course at TORT it was a surprise that my experience here exceeded my high expectations. The course was very well structured and covered a range of topics including many of particular interest to us where specialist guest speakers introduced us to their exciting careers that were very relevant to all of us on this course.
It is a lovely environment in TORT and all staff members are very easy to get along with and are all very helpful. It is a close group in TORT and a small one too, which allowed a friendly and interactive teaching environment. Staff were very supportive of project ideas coming from the students. This allowed me to choose a project on shinty which meant I could focus on a topic that I was very passionate about. Although the projects appear daunting at the start of the year, the help from staff and lectures in statistics and academic writing really help to prepare you for the project and achieve good results. The staff encourage students to take their projects further, for example to present their work at conferences. This was something I would never have imagined to be able to do but it was a fabulous experience and I am very grateful for having been encouraged to this and so would encourage other students to do the same. Myself and three other TORT students were given this fantastic opportunity to present our research at the 15th International Conference on Clinical Biomechanics at Staffordshire University Campus.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and gained invaluable experiences and so I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to have the opportunity to study in such a friendly place with very high tech equipment, fascinating speakers and helpful guidance all year round from staff members.
Fraser Cullen (2015-2016 intake)
My year in the TORT Centre completing my BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology was a highly enjoyable one and I am delighted I chose it for my Intercalated year. From the outset you are afforded huge scope to choose your research project, given access to state-of-the-art equipment and supported all the way by all the great members of the staff within the department. The course teaches you important skills that I had previously no experience of - statistics and research techniques - that are incredibly useful in any area of medicine. Alongside this you are introduced to the basic concepts of biomechanics in the first semester, which are then developed in the second and applied to clinically relevant orthopaedic situations, such as wheelchair design, joint replacement requirements and methods of injury. A particular highlight of the course for myself was the sports medicine lectures, which were provided by a number of really interesting, high profile guest lecturers.
I am very grateful to all the staff at the TORT Centre for making my BMSc such an excellent year and I would recommend a BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology to all medical students considering an intercalated degree.
Matthew Kennedy (2015-2016 intake)
As a medical student of the University of Aberdeen I decided to make the trip down the A90 due to the great reputation the Applied Orthopaedic Technology BMSc had and I was not disappointed. From the offset I was made to feel welcome. In addition, the level of support and teaching offered within the TORT Centre was outstanding and more than validated my decision.
As a student with an interest in Orthopaedic Surgery it was the perfect experience to further my education. The taught components were both interesting and challenging, giving me a grounding in Biomechanics, Statistics, Implant Technology and other Research skills. I immensely enjoyed the research project component of the degree, being privileged to work under supervisors who were engaging, knowledgeable and innovative in their approach. In turn, this challenged we students to approach our work in the same manner.
I would truthfully recommend the University of Dundee’s Applied Orthopaedic Technology BMSc to anyone considering intercalating away from their Medical School.
Fernando Bueno Neves (2015-2016 intake)
When considering my application for the BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology course at the University of Dundee, I didn’t know that I was applying for one of the best experiences I have ever had. I think that this was due to three main aspects of my exchange: the place, the course and the people.
The city of Dundee, being both picturesque and cosmopolitan, does make for its many nicknames: ‘hidden gem’ and ‘the world’s biggest village’, for example. It provides students with a considerable diversity of entertainment while being surrounded by peaceful and inspiring spots. I can still picture the Law overlooking the city, and the colours of the sunset spreading along the waters of the Tay.
In respect to the BMSc course, it was intriguing and demanding from the very beginning. Prompted to create and conduct projects based on our own ideas, myself and my colleagues had access to top-notch facilities and to the whole array of support provided by the staff at the TORT Centre. In terms of coursework, we were taught about biomechanics, orthopaedic medicine and orthopaedic materials, while also learning topics on statistics and presentation skills. Finally, we Brazilians from the SwB initiative were also awarded with a BMSc(Hons) degree, which proves that our efforts during the year were rightfully recognised.
The people I have met were also decisive for making this experience so vivid. Dundee seems to attract students who share a common trait, although being starkly different in their manners and backgrounds: the one of open-mindedness. This probably explains why Dundee secures its place at the avant-garde of scientific and technological development, with so many projects and innovations created yearly.
I am very grateful for my time in Dundee, and I surely recommend the BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology course to medical students who wish to boost their curriculum and to have unique insights into their own lives and careers.
Fraser Paterson (2015-2016 intake)
Having completed my BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology only a matter of months ago, I am delighted that I undertook this intercalated year and more so that I chose to do so within the TORT Centre. The standard of teaching was excellent from the first day and the facilities available for project work are excellent. My project involved analysing foot pressure data in elite youth football players, something I was interested in researching. There is a huge variety of potential projects to be undertaken and I know the department always do their best to accommodate student’s interests into projects. I gained a great deal of knowledge of conducting research and presenting that research as a thesis, in a PowerPoint and as a scientific poster. Overall, it was an excellent year and I would recommend a BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology to all medical students.
Iona Robertson (2015-2016 intake)
I chose to do study Applied Orthopaedic Technology in my intercalated year because I am very keen in pursuing a career in Orthopaedic surgery. However, when I signed up for the course I had no idea just how much I would gain from the year. At school I enjoyed maths and physics, and if I hadn’t been accepted to study medicine, I would have pursued a career in engineering. This year allowed me to combine both my love for medicine along with the maths and physics that I left behind years ago, not only in lectures and tutorials, but also in a research project I designed myself.
We were given the opportunity to create a research project based upon something we were interested in, and using the state-of-the-art technology at the TORT Centre. When I began planning my project on the winter sport curling, I had no idea how far it would take me over the next year and beyond. I chose to research the forces through a curler's tuck knee when they slide out flat-footed or toe slide, and assess which is more likely to cause injury to the player. Not only was I fortunate enough to engage former Olympic curlers to be participants in my research, but I was given the opportunity to present my research at a 14th International Conference on Clinical Biomechanics in Stoke on Trent in 2016, and now, approximately a year after submitting my dissertation, my research has been accepted for publication. At the beginning of the course I could not have predicted being where I am now, and know it is down to the wonderful staff and tutors at TORT, who make sure you will have a thoroughly enjoyable year.
Jordan Wardrope (2015-2016 intake)
I had chosen to undertake an intercalated year to do something a little different from the standard medical curriculum. The Applied Orthopaedic Technology degree was certainly that – revisiting my physics knowledge from secondary school, bringing the calculator out and leaving the stethoscope behind. Our first semester focused on topics such as mechanics and materials before learning about orthopaedic medicine and orthotic/prosthetic technologies in depth. From day one, we were encouraged to start thinking about potential research ideas – the chance to design and develop our own projects was brilliant, however there was a comprehensive list of topics to choose from if some inspiration was required. This meant I was able to undertake a project of my own choosing that I had invested interest in – making the year seem far more valuable and engaging. Using the state-of-the-art gait analysis laboratory, I performed a study on the 3D kinematics of c-spine collar immobilisation. Throughout the year, we had various classes from academic skills, design and statistics tutors, continually developing our literature and presentation skills and inevitably making our final dissertation write-ups that bit more palatable.
Overall, the quality of teaching in the department was second to none, bringing interesting topics to a high-tech and well supported environment. It was thoroughly enjoyable being part of the TORT team for a year and gaining some insight into the world of research. I would highly recommend this BMSc to anyone, aspiring Orthopods or not!
Dr Conor Aldworth (2014-2015 intake)
Given that I am studying medicine in Belfast, some would have thought it unusual that I chose to complete an intercalated degree in Dundee. However, I wish to pursue a career in Orthopaedic surgery and after extensive research, it was evident that Dundee is the only university in the UK offering an orthopaedic focused intercalated degree; namely, the Applied Orthopaedic Technology (Intercalated) BMSc (Hons) course. I was warmly welcomed to the TORT Centre and quickly settled in to life in Dundee. I found the course material stimulating, offering an insight into biomechanics and implant design that would not otherwise be offered to an undergraduate medical student. I am confident this will stand me in good stead later in my career. The motion analysis technology at the IMAR labs is world class and was highly impressive to work with. Coordinating a research project was definitely challenging but staff were always on hand for support and I am still very thankful for all their help. From designing my own project, to the trials and tribulations of data collection to statistics, writing a paper and honing my presentation skills, the experience I have gained from my year in Dundee is inestimable. Above all, it was refreshing both to pursue a different avenue of study between my medical years and also to spend time in such an up and coming city as Dundee with its vibrant student scene. I go back to Belfast more motivated for my final two years of medical school but will be sure to stay in touch with all the great people I have met in Dundee.
Dr Janie Giraudon (2014-2015 intake)
I chose the BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology because I felt it was the option which allowed the greatest range of projects to be undertaken. You can propose almost anything and be fully supported by a member of the multidisciplinary team at the TORT Centre. I decided to do a project with cerebral palsy children and horse riding. Someone came to the riding stables with me every time and I had plenty of help in collecting data. Being able to carry out my own project taught me how to research and find relevant information. Before last year I was scared of doing research because it was completely out of my comfort zone. Through this BMSc I have learned that as long as you have the right support foundation, you can achieve almost anything.
I didn't go into the BMSc wanting to have a career in Orthopaedics but this did not matter. The content was very interesting and I really enjoyed learning about all the different components of the course. My confidence has greatly improved as well as my time management skills. It was good to be in charge of my own learning and this BMSc gives you a lot of independence to work in a style and timeframe that suits you. I would definitely recommend the BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology to others. I enjoyed my research and gained so much that I am now doing my MSc this year on a follow-up project.
Dr Hannah Lawrie (2014-2015 intake)
I chose the BMSc(Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology as it sounded to me like the most interesting one offered at the University of Dundee. After my year at the TORT Centre I do not regret my decision! I really enjoyed the classes and getting to learn more about physics and mechanics. The staff in the TORT Centre were fantastic and enabled me to design my own project in relation to my interests. My project allowed me to explore my interest in volleyball and to interact with volunteer subjects.
I really never thought I'd be interested in doing research but this year has made me realise that it can be interesting and it is now definitely something I'd be keen to do again in the future. I'd recommend this specific course to anyone with an interest in orthopaedics, biomechanics or sports medicine.
Dr Anna Johnston (2013-2014 intake)
I would highly recommend the BMSc(Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology. The course work is interesting and I have found the knowledge gained in biomechanics and gait analysis extremely useful as I have progressed in my clinical years of medical school. It is also a fantastic opportunity to learn about research, and get practical experience in your own research project, something that is not only beneficial for you, but is a great addition for your CV. During my study I presented my research at the 12th Staffordshire Conference on Clinical Biomechanics.
The staff are all very encouraging and helpful, especially in designing your own projects and writing your dissertation. Lectures on thesis writing and how to design a scientific poster are provided, skills which are not taught anywhere else in medical school. Overall I found the BMSc extremely successful. I feel I got a lot out of it and would recommend it to any other medical students.
Dr Jun Lim (2012-2013 intake)
My BMSc project began when Mr Arpit Jariwala, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, introduced me to the idea of using adhesive bone cement in fracture fixation. Upon starting the Intercalated BMSc, I had not had formal exposure to research techniques, biomechanical testing, data analysis and lacked the skill to identify good and meaningful research papers. Fortunately, with all the teaching and support from the TORT Centre, I finally began to grasp the depth of knowledge and understanding regarding biomechanics and statistical analysis.
Despite finding 'negative' results, my project has proven to be fruitful when it was accepted for conferences and publication. As I look back, I am amazed by the amount of things I have gained from my BMSc year, including research skills, presentation skills, time management and most importantly, my own professional development. My BMSc year was definitely a tough but fun year. I am obliged to all the academic and clinical staff in the Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, who supported me since 2nd year of MBChB. It has been an invaluable experience, for which I am extremely grateful.
Dr Ryan McHenry (2012-2013 intake)
My BMSc(Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology was far more than just a degree to me, it was an opportunity to do something really exciting, pursuing research that interested me. The lessons learnt from bringing a study from conception through to completion are invaluable, and what I've gained from the BMSc has helped immensely in the last years of my Medical degree.
My research was entitled "An investigation of footwear in rock climbing: current practice and new directions", which required me to design and build an indoor rock-climbing wall within the lab at the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research at the TORT Centre for the collection of data.
Mr Liam Yapp (2009-2010 intake)
After three years of medical school at the University of Dundee, I chose to undertake an Intercalated BMSc (Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology. At the time, I saw this as an opportunity to develop my understanding of research, and also to do something a bit different. Looking back, I believe this was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
From the beginning, I found the department to be friendly and well organised. Unlike other intercalated degrees, our cohort was a small group which meant we got to know the lecturers, support staff and academic supervisors well throughout the year. Being well supported helped with grasping new, and occasionally complex, concepts. In addition, it helped with the daunting task of setting up and completing a research project. An understanding of the fundamentals of basic scientific research, clinical audit and medical statistics has been hugely beneficial to me as I have progressed from undergraduate to professional medical life.
I am now a Specialty Registrar (StR) in Trauma & Orthopaedic Surgery on the South-East Scotland rotation. From an objective point of view, obtaining this degree and being able to present and publish findings from my thesis helped make my curriculum vitae more competitive and consistently scored points at interviews. Furthermore, the modules on biomechanics, implant technology and orthopaedics have proved invaluable in my early years as an Orthopaedic registrar. However, the main focus of this year was developing an understanding of medical academia and obtaining the tools to perform and analyse scientific research. These key skills are transferrable across any medical specialty, with many of my peers benefitting from them as they pursue careers outside of Orthopaedics.
In summary, I would highly recommend this department to any prospective student. If you are a medical student interested in learning about research, and developing an academic profile, then I can think of no better course to consider.
Dr Sophie Williams (2008-2009)
I chose to do the Applied Orthopaedic and Technology BMSc as part of my medical training in Dundee as I had both a professional and personal interest in orthopaedics and rehabilitation technology. The combination of topics featured in the course was both interesting and enjoyable, covering areas such as biomechanics, implant technology, prosthetics, orthotics, and even learning about the mechanics of a normal gait pattern, something we take for granted every day.
The facilities available within the TORT Centre are state of the art and allow for a wide variety of research projects to be undertaken. In my year group, these ranged from golf and football related projects through to the comparison of different camera systems used in clinical gait analysis. The research projects themselves are fascinating and great fun to be involved in, both as a researcher, learning how to use all the new equipment and technology; and as a participant, getting to sample many of the great gadgets TORT has on offer!
This BMSc has given me a strong basis for undertaking future research and has helped me develop knowledge in areas such as statistics, clinical audit, and research and presentation skills, which have been invaluable and transferable to my work as a doctor. All of this experience has stood me in good stead, both in my clinical work and in a number of further research and audit projects I have undertaken since completing my BMSc.
Aside from the coursework itself, all the staff within the TORT Centre are extremely knowledgeable, welcoming, friendly, helpful and supportive. Their enthusiasm certainly rubs off and makes it a great environment to work in and the team a pleasure to be a part of. My BMSc work was presented at the European Society of Movement Analysis in Adults and Children Conference in London in 2009, something I would not have been able to achieve without the team in TORT and all their expertise.
This BMSc certainly did not disappoint and was a highlight of my time at the medical school. I would highly recommend it to anyone considering intercalating, regardless of whether or not they have an orthopaedic or sports medicine interest.
Miss Vittoria Bucknall (2007-2008 intake)
Undertaking an intercalated BMSc (Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology at the University of Dundee was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Knowing that I wanted to pursue a career in trauma and orthopaedic surgery, I looked to broaden my understanding of the subject and was fortunate to secure a place at the TORT Centre. Changing universities from Birmingham to Dundee was made easy by the warm and welcoming department.
The course was well supported, teaching the fundamentals of project design, methodology, data acquisition and evaluation. This department was proactive in providing opportunities for presentation and publication of research projects. Furthermore, the course material has stood me in good stead as I progress through my trauma and orthopaedic training in Edinburgh. I am certain that this additional degree has benefitted me both personally and professionally in the competitive world of training.
The department is one of the most professional and well-run research units I have ever had the privilege to study in. The tutors and mentors are not only exceptionally knowledgeable and well published; they are also some of the most supportive and encouraging people I have known. It is these mentors that make this degree a year to remember.
Dr Jamie Bentley (2006-2007 intake)
I found my BMSc (Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology one of the most rewarding years of my medical education. The course gave me solid grounding in scientific research with support and guidance at hand to help manage the frequent hurdles publish and present my individual research nationally and internationally. It also introduced me to the scientific community as a peer and expert in my project subject rather than as a student, which was the experience through the rest of medical school training. These skills are an essential part of postgraduate training and has allowed me to continue academic work through Specialty Training which includes collaboration with IMAR and the TORT Center. As a trainee in Emergency Medicine I draw on the biomechanics learnt from the course on a daily bases when assessing a multitude of presentations from minor injuries to major polytauma. The knowledge I gained is also essential in formulating the best management plan for each individual patient.
Dr Wendy McBurnie (2005-2006 intake)
My BMSc(Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology was my favourite year at University! Throughout my university career, I had a keen interest in Orthopaedics and would take any opportunity to be involved in this field. My research involved evaluating a new device for taking bone biopsy samples. This project allowed me to develop invaluable skills in research, communication and presentations. Inadvertently this project also led me to my future career, not in Orthopaedics but in Anatomical Pathology. I am now a final year trainee in Christchurch, New Zealand. I can definitely trace my enjoyment of Pathology back to my BMSc days, examining the bone biopsies under the microscope!
Dr Richard Clinghan (2004-2005 intake)
It's now been 10 years since I completed my BMSc(Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology at the University of Dundee. I am now a rural hospital specialist and general practitioner in Christchurch, New Zealand. I regularly apply the principles I learnt during my intercalated degree when I see patients with musculoskeletal problems. However more importantly, my intercalated degree taught me solid research and communication skills that have helped me immeasurably throughout my career. Postgraduate education involves reading many papers, writing assignments and giving oral presentations and these attributes I feel have set me apart from my colleagues. I have also gone on to do research and presented my findings in many countries around the world!
I am very thankful to Professor Rami Abboud and everyone at the TORT centre for giving me the skills to be a successful clinician and researcher.
Dr Robin Kerr (2004-2005 intake)
My BMSc(Hons) in Applied Orthopaedic Technology was the most engaging and rewarding year I undertook as a medical undergraduate. It helped me develop transferable skills of time management; organisation; statistical analysis; plus verbal and written presentation skills. Taking the raw data collected in the lab and translating it into practical applications for the real world was hard work but really worthwhile. I think the TORT Centre was the best place to achieve this as undergraduates because you are well supported with engineers, statisticians, illustrators and clerical staff all working together on one site. In the years that followed this research was also great for gaining publications, presentations and awards on my CV which has no doubt helped me get my preferred postgraduate jobs.
I now work as a GP in the Scottish Borders. Like my BMSc buddy Richard, I regularly use the biomechanics knowledge I gained in 2004-05 to help patients with musculoskeletal problems today. Biomechanics also helped me to complete the relevant training to work as a Doctor covering sporting events, by helping me understand the potential mechanisms of injury. Recent highlights include working at the Velodrome at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the Formula 1 British Grand Prix (2011-present). My picture (above) was taken in 2013 in the Silverstone pits next to Sebastian Vettel’s championship winning car as the medical team prepares for extrication training. I was delighted to learn that the TORT Centre has been researching vehicle extrication also.
Dr Richard O'Parka (2003-2004 intake)
My year within the TORT centre undertaking the BMSc in Applied Orthopaedic Technology enabled me to pursue a part of medicine I found interesting but also taught me a large number of generic skills I have been able to use throughout my career. I matured greatly during this year and was able to learn about research methodolgy and statistics and gained a wealth of experience in writing and critiquing scientific literature as well as in oral presentation skills. I am now a Consultant Pathologist which seems far removed from the topics studied in my BMSc. However, I have a special interest in orthopaedic pathology and much of what I learned during the BMSc has given me a relatively unique skill set compared to other pathologists. The BMSc was well organised and all the staff were extremely friendly. I would recommend the course to all students, regardless of wether they have a specific interest in orthopaedics or not.