Dr Nicholas Evans - Trainee Committee Chair

Dr Nicholas Evans MA MB BChir PhD MRCP FHEA

I am a Clinical Lecturer in Stroke and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Cambridge and Honorary Specialist Registrar in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. My research interest involves PET and MRI in atherosclerosis and how this relates to cerebrovascular disease. I also have interests in clinical frailty (the loss of physiological reserve to withstand stressor responses) and its relation to stroke, and the delivery of stroke care using telemedicine technology. My training in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine has been around the East of England, and I’ve undertaken postgraduate training at the University of Cambridge, University of Dundee, and Harvard University.

My belief is that Stroke Medicine combines the best of neurology, geriatric medicine, and acute medicine, with a healthy dose of cardiology, rehabilitation, and clinical pharmacology thrown in. Despite this strong appeal, Stroke Medicine continues to experience a recruitment crisis to both specialist training and consultant posts. In part, we have become the victim of our own success in delivering acute care. Delivering rapid hyper-acute care with specialist teams has resulted in this work being done out of the view of trainees, meaning that they are not exposed to the advances in stroke care. To address this recruitment issue we need to pull back the curtain and raise awareness of the dynamic and rewarding nature of our specialty. This will be driving mission of the Trainee Committee and we look forward to working closely with the Training & Education Committee and TakeUpStroke Fellows to achieve this.

I am an active medical educator, and teach Foundation, Core Medical, and GP Trainees about Stroke Medicine within the East of England, and lecture on postgraduate courses on Stroke Medicine and neuroimaging at Anglia Ruskin University and University College London.

Stroke and me

Stroke is a cruel disease – it can strike without warning and be life-changing in an instant. It affects not only the individual, but also their families and carers. I’ve seen this from a young age, with several members of my own family affected by stroke in a variety of ways. During my time at medical school I did not consider Stroke Medicine as a career, instead viewing it with a fatalism that sadly remains too pervasive. It was during the latter stages of my time as a student and early training as a doctor that I came to see how mistaken this view was; that advances across the stroke pathway mean there is a lot that we can do to help stroke survivors and reduce the burden of disability. It is an important and exciting time to be involved in stroke as the specialty continues to go through an evolution in delivering hyper-acute care and improved rehabilitation.

As I gained more experience in the clinical management of stroke, I became increasingly aware of how important research is in addressing areas of uncertainty and developing new approaches. I took time out of my registrar training to complete a PhD in neurovascular imaging at the University of Cambridge, supported by a Research Training Fellowship from The Dunhill Medical Trust. This period was a formative time in my approach to stroke; it not only helped develop my understanding of the field, but also developed my outlook in how clinical work and research are complementary in caring for stroke survivors and advancing the specialty. During my time on the BASP Scientific Committee it was particularly rewarding to help in shaping the Stroke Research Workshops to encourage trainees to get involved in stroke research.

It is an exciting time for Stroke Medicine, for BASP, and for trainees training to be the future of the specialty.