YOUNG doctor Tom Leach has been hailed as one of the medical world’s top 50 innovators.
Dr Leach, aged 26,who trained at the Royal Bolton Hospital, created almostadoctor.com after his university notes were a hit with fellow students and he has now been recognised by industry publication the Health Service Journal.
He said: “At medical school I was a bit of a geek and used to type up my notes and print them out, and they became really popular with other students who photocopied them and handed them out.
“One day I went to the library and there was a queue for the photocopier where people were copying my notes, so at that point I decided to put them on a website to share with other students.”
At first almostadoctor.com was only used by Manchester students, but through word of mouth the site became popular at other medical schools across the country.
The website now has hundreds or articles, blogs and resources from junior doctors and medical students, it receives thousands of hits every day from students and doctors around the world.
Dr Leach, who now works in Australia, added: “It is like the Wikipedia of medicine, with doctors as editors to verify the content, but it’s written in a simple way.
“Lots of medical textbooks and journals are written in complex language that is not easy to read or understand, even as a doctor, so I wanted to write something that first-year medical students could read easily.”
Dr Leach said he was surprised to make the prestigious list of Health Service Journal’s 50 top innovators.
He said: “I was very flattered, and proud that something I had made had made an impact.
“I didn’t really realise how big a deal it was until the list was released and I saw the other names on it. There were some really important people, like Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS.”
After five years of studying medicine at the University of Manchester, Dr Leach said Bolton was his first choice for the next step of his career.
Dr Leach, who is originally from Derbyshire, spent two years completing his foundation training at the Royal Bolton Hopsital.
He said: “As a medical student I had many placements at hospitals in and around Manchester, but Bolton had been my favourite.
“The staff and patients there had been extremely welcoming and friendly, and Bolton also offered a special leadership training programme, which involved spending time with managers and non-clinic staff to learn about the running of the hospital, and this appealed to me.”