RJAH surgeon awarded prestigious prize for research

Release Date: 23/10/2019

RJAH surgeon awarded prestigious prize for research

A surgeon at Shropshire’s specialist orthopaedic hospital has been awarded a prestigious prize for a research paper written during her time as an orthopaedic fellow at the Hospital.

Miss Karen Shepherd, who is now a Consultant Orthopaedic and Oncological Surgeon, was awarded the Alan Darby Prize in Musculoskeletal Tumours for her research paper which focussed on prostate cancer and bone disease.

The Alan Darby Prize is awarded to the trainee who publishes the most prestigious research paper on tumours and is named after Dr Alan Darby, a former Consultant Orthopaedic Pathologist at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital.

Karen said: “I am absolutely honoured, and still completely in shock, to be the latest winner of the Alan Darby Prize.

“My paper focused on factors that influence prognosis and the expected development of metastatic bone disease in prostate cancer.

“I didn’t at all expect it to be considered the most prestigious tumour paper out of my fellowship year.”

Karen, who works on Montgomery Unit at the Oswestry-based hospital, was announced the winner at the annual meeting of the Old Oswestrians’ Club – a society founded in 1952 with the aim for former Oswestry / Stoke trainees to exchange professional ideas.  

Karen added: “Since I published the paper, I’ve gone on to my first Consultant appointment at RJAH, working with patients who have primary bone cancers and metastatic bone disease as well as soft tissue tumours, which was always part of my long term ambition as a trainee.

“Before I decided to train as a doctor, I was a qualified Therapeutic Radiographer and also completed a PhD in quality of life and cancer treatment outcomes, which is where my passion lies.

“The team I work with in the tumour service are forerunners in tumour research and I feel very privileged to be working alongside them."

Karen has been a Consultant with the tumour team for one year, and in this time has received several other accolades as well as the Alan Darby Prize.

She said: “My first year as a Consultant really has been so memorable. Already I have been working as an academic and clinical supervisor to orthopaedic trainees in our Unit. I was nominated for Trainer of the Year by Charlotte Tunstall, Specialist Registrar. She worked so hard and very much became part of our team”.

“I also received a nomination in the Patient Choice Award for the Trust’s Celebration of Achievement Awards, which felt really special.  I am lucky to work with very special individuals”.



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