A promising young medical student from the University of Glasgow has won the city’s prestigious St Mungo’s research medal in recognition for his work on frail patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) and their chance of survival.
David Hewitt, a fourth year medical student beat off stiff competition to win the prestigious award at the 2019 St Mungo’s research meeting at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
David’s research looked at the link between a person’s chance of survival in relation to how frail they were when admitted to ICU.
David, who is originally from Aberdeen but now lives in Glasgow, said: “Frailty is not just about mobility but covers a whole range of things. It’s really about a person’s ability to cope with everyday activities and their reserve against disease, trauma and infection.
“My study made adjustments for age, gender etc as well as their reason for being admitted to hospital. Frailty was associated with significantly decreased survival at all time points up to one year from ICU admission. I believe this research could help with decision making in ICU.”
The St Mungo’s Medal was awarded from 1894 until 1944 by the St Mungo’s College of Medicine to students and junior doctors for pioneering research. The College was founded in 1876 and incorporated within Glasgow Royal Infirmary, before being amalgamated into University of Glasgow in 1947.
In 2016 GRI clinicians and University staff worked with the University’s Curator of Coins and Medals at the Hunterian Museum to recast the St Mungo’s Medal and bring it back to life in the 21st century.
Professor Peter Langhorne presented a delighted David with his St Mungo’s Medal at the meeting in the New Lister lecture theatre, GRI.
The organising committee of the now annual GRI St Mungo’s research meeting, which aims to highlight GRI based research, is made up of, Dr Terry Quinn, Prof Colin McKay, Dr Russell Drummond, Dr Donogh Maguire and Prof Adrian Stanley.
Prof Stanley said: “It was fantastic to again have a very large number of research submissions to the meeting from the wide spectrum of specialities at GRI. From the 70 submissions, a judging panel chose the best eight for oral presentation and another 30 for poster presentation.
“The abstracts were presented by a mixture of consultants, junior doctors and students, with the prize-winners in six categories chosen by a panel consisting of senior University and NHS clinical staff.
“In addition to the St Mungo’s medal for best presentation, prizes were also awarded for the best clinical and best pre-clinical research, the best junior doctor and best student submissions and also the best poster. The Keynote lecture this year was delivered by Prof Mike Lean and he outlined the world-class research his team have undertaken in the field of nutrition and diabetes over the past few years.
“The annual St Mungo’s research meeting is extremely important both to support the high level of research at GRI and to encourage and inspire juniors and students in this aspect of medicine.
“We congratulate David and the other prize winners on their excellent work and we look forward to next year’s meeting.”
David said: “I was honoured to receive the prestigious St Mungo’s medal, especially as the quality of research from all the other participants was so high. I would like to thank my supervisor Dr Malcolm Booth for his support, and the organising committee of the GRI St Mungo’s research meeting for resurrecting this prize and giving me this platform to present. I’m looking forward to my future career, where I hope to combine clinical work and research.”