Published on: 7 April 2022
As part of a series of 'Day in the Life' stories featuring medical professionals across our region, Professor of Surgical Oncology Lynda Wyld explains the key tasks she performs in her role.
What does a typical day look like to you?
I am a clinical academic, so my time is split between academic work and clinical work. Some days I will be away giving a lecture, sitting on a national or international committee or running an international exam, and others I will be having meetings with research students who I am supervising or meeting with National and International research collaborators about ongoing or future research projects. I also spend time reading, editing and writing research articles based around my research and writing grant applications. I also have some university roles and oversee the MD Degree programme. No day is ever the same and I have some amazing friends across the globe as a result of my academic activities.
What led you to work in this role?
I did Biomedical Science as an undergraduate and a full PhD when I was a registrar and have always loved research and finding out new knowledge. I still get a buzz when I get new data from my research or get a paper published, even now after doing this sort of stuff for over 20 years. I also really enjoy working with junior researchers and seeing them grow and develop. It is nice to help our juniors to get the research outputs they need to fulfil their training requirements. I love giving lectures and whilst I don’t enjoy air travel, I love to visit new places and try to spend a little time sightseeing when I go to places to give lectures. Sadly this is not always possible and I often see just the airport and the congress centre!
In what way do you work alongside other staff or teams within SYB?
Research is always a team activity and I work with other clinicians and research nurses, junior and senior medics and nurses to get the data I need for my research which is clinical rather than lab-based.
How has your role changed in the last couple of years?
COVID has reduced the amount of travel hugely and many of my meetings are now virtual. My office has therefore been at home for much of this time. Luckily for me, most of my work can be done this way but I have missed the face to face contact with my research fellows, colleagues and friends. Most of the international travel has also been cancelled and I missed out on trips to Israel, Berlin, Chicago, Barcelona, Geneva and Athens as a result. A zoom call is just not the same!
What excites you most about your new role?
I enjoy receiving new data, getting papers accepted, getting grant funding, working with like-minded colleagues who find this exciting, learning about my speciality, the list goes on! Every time I give a lecture, I read up on the subject, updating on the latest advances and this makes me a better clinician and keeps me up to date.
Are there any personal or team achievements or highlights that you're most proud of?
I am proud of the work on the Bridging the Age Gap project, which aimed to optimise the management of older women and reduce the age gap in cancer outcomes between older and younger women with breast cancer. This was a huge team effort and we recruited 3400 older women with breast cancer across the UK.
In what way do patients or the public influence the work you do?
Patients and the public have an essential role in my work. Every project involves working with patients embedded in the research team as our PPI members but also volunteering to be part of the study and giving up their time to help advance knowledge.
Looking ahead, what do you hope to achieve in the future within your role?
In the future, I would like to see us develop better ways to tailor cancer treatment so that every patient gets optimal care that minimises the burden of treatment and meets their personal needs.
A pioneering lung screening trial that is saving lives in Doncaster by finding cancer early has celebrated its first-year anniversary.
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