London Medicine

Bringing together London’s medical, dental and healthcare higher education

Adam Hexter UCL – NIHR ACF Trauma and Orthopaedics


    I graduated from Barts and The London Medical School in 2013. I started my medical career on the Academic Foundation Programme in Central Manchester and undertook a 4 month research project in clinical genetics. Subsequently in 2015 I obtained an Academic Clinical Fellowship (ACF) in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery at University College London (UCL). This three year fellowship offers a unique split between clinical and academic training. The 25% academic time available to me allowed me to develop a research interest alongside my surgical training. In my first year I took one day of academic leave every week to pursue my research interests but in my subsequent years I have taken several month blocks as I found this was more effective.

    My research interest is focused on how stem cells can be used to improve outcomes of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. I have used my academic time to write numerous systematic reviews, attend CPD courses and to complete a post-graduate certificate in medical education. I am now in the final two months of my ACF and I have completed core surgical training and I have started my first year as a specialist registrar. In fact I have taken time out of training to undertake a PhD with the support of a Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) Research Fellowship. I am working at UCL’s Institute of Orthopaedic and Musculoskeletal Sciences at Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. The clinical academic career pathway that I have been on since graduation has enabled me to develop my clinical skills alongside my academic skills such as research and teaching.

    The clinical academic career pathway that I have been on since graduation has enabled me to develop my clinical skills alongside my academic skills such as research and teaching.

    As an ACF I was able to undertake preliminary research that I could use to apply for my RCS fellowship. Living in London has been given me additional advantages. Firstly the diverse range of multiple academic institutions offers opportunity for collaboration. Also being where most of the royal colleges are located has helped in terms of attending courses and exams. In the future I hope to complete my PhD studies at UCL and return to specialty training. More specifically, I aim to continue on the clinical academic career path by obtaining a NIHR Academic Clinical Lectureship. Ultimately I want to be a clinician scientist who leads my own research team that helps marry basic science research with improving outcomes in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery.