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Carlos Augusto Albach MSc Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End-of-life Care, 2017

Medical Director, UNIMED Campo Mourao, Brazil: Complex Clinical Cases, Oncology, and Palliative Care Support Programmes

Carlos Augusto Albach's Photo

I could not find any better place to support me in the task of improving the palliative and end of life care in my home country.

What made you choose to the MSc in Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End-of-life Care at the University of Southampton?

The pioneering role of the British and the continuous development of palliative care in England certainly places its universities and healthcare facilities amongst the best teaching and learning environments currently available regarding human health. At the University of Southampton research into palliative and end of life care is highly active through the Cancer Survivorship and End of Life Care Research Group. The group made major contributions to the way end of life is delivered locally and is a key provider of specialised and high-quality training in palliative care. Their excellence is recognised in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) and mentioned in textbooks covering Palliative Care (see Noble, B and Winslow, M. Development of palliative medicine in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In: Bruera E et al (eds). Textbook of Palliative Medicine and Supportive Care. 2nd edition. Page 6. CRC Press. 2015). Hence, I could not find any better place to support me in the task of improving the palliative and end of life care in my home country.

What did you enjoy most about your course - for example were there any particular modules that stood out to you?

I had full and unrestricted support from my personal and academic tutor, a characteristic that certainly helped me to smoothly develop and mature my final dissertation. All the modules had a practice-based learning component which allowed me not only to understand how palliative care is actually delivered in the UK but also gave the opportunity for networking and further construct long-lasting bonds with professionals in the UK. I had also the chance to freely pick an additional module that best suited my needs. Lastly, the free of charge English for Academic Purposes short-course aimed at improving English skills for overseas students was the icing on the cake.

What is the best part of your current role?

The best part of my current role is probably the fact that I personally feel totally confident in my performance as a healthcare practitioner and palliative care provider. I am now also able to contribute to administrative tasks that my current position demands. Furthermore, I can see that I am making the difference in the development of palliative care in Brazil and I have since organised lectures about palliative care in the community.

Are you able to describe how your time at Southampton helped you develop, and helped you in your current role as a Medical Director for UNIMED Campo Mourao, Brazil?

All the tasks described above would be impossible without the basic and core knowledge I’ve got directly from the academic activities carried out during my MSc course. My time at Southampton also allowed me to enrol and fully engage in academic activities outside university walls (such as the 2nd Masterclass on Systematic Reviews in Cancer Care, Guidelines and Research held in Belfast or the Westminster Health Forum Keynote Seminar “Priorities for palliative and end of life care policy”, which I attended on 19th of April, 2016 in London). Finally, I also greatly improved my communication abilities, both verbal and non-verbal. Potential contributors for the development of my communication skills while in Southampton were the interactions during the modules and the opportunity I had in the ‘time 4 you’ volunteer group in Southampton General Hospital.

What were your Southampton ‘highlights’ (best experiences)?

As a football fan, it is hard not to mention the great times I had in the Northam Stand at Saint Mary’s Stadium - I became a true Saints supporter! My first and last dessert in the UK was at Sprinkles, probably the best ice cream in Southampton and a must-go. The Southampton Common is the place to be if you want to relax or to do some exercise. Finally, Southampton is a transportation hub for the UK and Europe, with mature routes by air, land, and sea.

What advice would you give to an applicant considering the MSc in Clinical Leadership in Cancer, Palliative and End-of-life Care at Southampton? 

I would advise future applicants not to be extremely worried about one or another limitation perceived as too great to overcome during the masters degree course. I have received unrestricted support from all the staff involved and completed the course with a distinction award.

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