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BHRUT’s Academy of Surgery helps Romford’s Taniya Perera achieve lifelong dream

PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 September 2020

Romford resident Taniya Perera discusses her journey from Sri Lanka to becoming a clinical fellow within BHRUT's Academy of Surgery. Picture: BHRUT NHS Trust

Romford resident Taniya Perera discusses her journey from Sri Lanka to becoming a clinical fellow within BHRUT's Academy of Surgery. Picture: BHRUT NHS Trust

Archant

Taniya Perera’s move to Romford has paid off, with the 36-year-old well on her way to the career she envisioned back in 2018 when she decided to relocate from Sri Lanka.

She is one of many successes from BHRUT’S Academy of Surgery, established in 2018 to give aspiring surgeons hospital-based posts and training scheme rotations that are equivalent to the national level training programme.

Led by trust consultant and surgery lead Veeru Shatkar, Taniya says the academy has helped her towards achieving her dream, specifically igniting a passion for orthopaedics.

One of four rotations completed by trainees, she explains how she found her calling: “I’ve worked in general and vascular surgery. When I started my third rotation, orthopaedics, I fell in love with it. There are so many opportunities to get into the operating theatre, we do hip, knee and ankle replacements — there’s always something new.

“In Sri Lanka, such high-end hip replacements aren’t offered. Whereas I’ve been involved in a hip replacement on a 100-year-old! I also find it rewarding when we treat children with fractures, and seeing the happiness in the parents’ faces when they’re better.”

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The mother of one is going nowhere, and is especially eager to continue pursuing a career that felt impossible for a long time.

Though becoming a surgeon was always her life’s ambition, the promise Taniya made to her father looked in jeopardy after his passing meant she assumed financial responsibility for the family.

She completed medical school, but decided against further training to join the navy as a medical officer.

The academy gave Taniya an unexpected second chance.

One successful Skype interview later and she was Havering-bound with husband Nicky and son Nicholas, just six months old at the time.

She still has some way to go; while she started her MsC in surgical sciences last year, the MRCS (Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons) exam is on hold until Nicholas is older.

Her advice to the academy’s next trainee intake is: “Come with an attitude to learn. It can be hard work, so remember why you joined. Use the time to learn and be guided, which will help you decide what you want to do.”


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