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Date: 7 May 2021

Time: 17:10

Royal College of Physicians honours UHB doctor

Story posted/last updated: 15 December 2020

A doctor from University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB) has received a prestigious award from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

Dr Punith Kempegowda has been awarded the Turner-Warwick Lectureship for the West Midlands.

Dr Punith Kempegowda with his award

He has been working at UHB since August 2013, initially as an academic clinical fellow in endocrinology and then as a specialist registrar in endocrinology, diabetes and general internal medicine.

Dr Kempegowda briefly worked in Birmingham City Hospital in 2015 and Royal Stoke Hospital in 2017 as part of his clinical training rotations.

He was selected for the award in recognition of a new and unique real-time simulation-based medical training programme that has helped enhance medical students’ and junior doctors’ learning experience and connected them across the globe.

Simulation via Instant Messaging - Birmingham Advance (SIMBA) is a training model where learning is facilitated by interaction between a moderator and a participant via WhatsApp and Zoom.

It provides a unique opportunity for students to explore medical conditions in their entirety and fine tune their decision-making skills. As medical students master the skill of moderating, SIMBA also provides opportunities to expand their skills in leadership and medical education.

SIMBA has also had a significant international impact, with 332 different participants in 41 countries participating in 10 SIMBA sessions to date and 199 participants from the UK alone.

Dr Kempegowda created the concept of SIMBA and then enthused more than 100 medical students and junior doctors to implement the system.

Although the simulation part of SIMBA has always been delivered virtually via WhatsApp, expert discussion was held face to face during pre-COVID times. During the pandemic, Dr Kempegowda and his team immediately adjusted and moved SIMBA to an entirely online system.

In response to receiving the award and on behalf of the whole SIMBA team, Dr Kempegowda said: “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Society for Endocrinology, European Society of Endocrinology (ESE) and ESE Young Endocrinologists & Scientists (EYES) for recognising and endorsing SIMBA as an efficient teaching activity in endocrinology.

“My heartfelt gratitude goes to Professor Wiebke Arlt and the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research for their ongoing support for SIMBA.

“Special thanks to Dr Eka Melson and Meri Davitadze for their ongoing support in managing the team and supporting all SIMBA sessions. But my most heartfelt gratitude goes to all the medical students and junior doctors who have worked enthusiastically to develop and improve SIMBA.”

Celebrating the life and achievements of the RCP’s first female president, Professor Dame Margaret Turner-Warwick, the Turner-Warwick lecture series features presentations from the winning trainees in each of the UK’s regions and nations.

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