Posts Tagged #ukmeded

Perceptions of General Practice in #UKMedEd


General practitioners are often presented with greater scrutiny by the media. Classically referred to as the ‘Gatekeepers of the NHS,’ GPs are undoubtedly the face of healthcare to the general public and yet general practice is often not taken as seriously as hospital-based specialties throughout medical education.

Pursuing a career in general practice within the medical school culture is sometimes thought of as an ‘easier’ career path in terms of challenges or opportunities. In reality, GPs face daily challenges as the first port-of-call for health complaints and, often, social issues.

How can a career in General Practice be made more attractive?

Educational Processes:

General Practitioners are one of the most aptly named specialties, as true generalists not just in medical specialty, but also in responsibilities to patients. Systems block teaching processes encourage system-based thinking, and could inevitably reduce the prospects of generalism in diagnostic thinking.

What can medical educators and GPs do to encourage generalism and system integration?

We’ll be discussing all of this in this week’s #UKMedEd chat on Thursday 4 December at 4pm.  Leading the chat will be John Fyffe and Mei Lin Lee who are both undertaking an intercalated BMSc Teaching in Medicine at Dundee.   They’ve put forward this week’s topic based on their experience of the Dundee MBChB curriculum which incorporates General Practice and Primary Care (GPPC) as an integral, ongoing portion of the undergraduate course culminating in a weekly three hour session organised by the GPPC coordinators.  These sessions are often held in city and suburban practices and include tasks for General Practice education, but are subject to interpretation by the tutors themselves.

In contrast ward teaching, however, is integral to system-based blocks that run from years 1-3, involving students in Ward rounds and discussions at the time of the block.  Regardless, 40% of Dundee students follow into general practice.

With General Practice becoming a less and less popular career choice (Svirko, Goldacre, & Lambert, 2013), could a bottom-up approach changing the education help?  One of the questions they’ll be posing is what curriculum design changes could improve General Practice teaching?

We hope you can join us!

Svirko, E., Goldacre, M. J., & Lambert, T. (2013). Career choices of the United Kingdom medical graduates of 2005, 2008 and 2009: questionnaire surveys. Medical Teacher, 35(5), 365–75. doi:10.3109/0142159X.2012.746450



New season of #UKmeded chats kicks off on 8 October

The #UKmeded Twitter chats have been in hibernation for a while but Anne Marie and I are pleased to announce that we’re starting up again on Thursday 8 October.  We’ll be running at the usual time of 9pm UK time for an hour officially but we know the conversation often carries on beyond that.

The first topic up for discussion is responsible electives which will be led by Dr Jon Dowell and the responsible electives team at the Dundee Medical School.  All medical students organise some sort of elective during there studies and whilst some choose to undertake these in their home country many use the elective as an opportunity to experience in another culture including in resource poor countries.  Some students feel unprepared for what they experience in some cultures or uncomfortable about what’s expected of them by their host organisation and a number of medical schools are now looking more seriously at preparing their students for their elective experience.  We’ll be looking at issues around electives in more detail and be posting some more information ahead of the chat.

The following week on 16 October we’re delighted to welcome back Anya de Longh who will be leading the discussion on medical ethics along with Dr Julie Wintrup from the University of Southampton.  More info will follow on this.

If you’d like to suggest topics for future topics for the #UKmeded Twitter chats then do tweet me (@nlafferty) or Anne Marie (@amcunningham) with your ideas or go to our Google Form and tell us more about your idea there.  We welcome suggestions from across the health care professions, from practising health care professionals both at junior, mid and senior levels and patients.  If you propose a topic we’ll

  1. be in touch with you to arrange a date for the chat
  2. ask you to write a short blog post either on your own blog or on this blog with a brief outline of the topic and a few questions that will help get people thinking and help to frame the discussion
  3. encourage you to lead the chat – we will be on hand to support you so you won’t be alone.

Hope you can join us next Thursday.

Looking forward to some interesting conversations 🙂

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What motivates you? How can we motivate others?

What do you think motivates people in medical education? What motivates doctors?
How might medical education reduce motivation?Might this be a downside of some of our assessments?

Watch Dan Pink. Tonight at 9pm we will try and answer some of these questions.


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Feedback in Medical Education – #ukmeded Twitter chat 14-2-2013

No matter what we do or where we work we get feedback on our actions and behaviour. In (medical) education the feedback can make the difference between a successful career and failure to achieve our goals.

So this week we will share thoughts about feedback.  What works well. What does not work well. And how we learn the difference.

How feedback can be improved

I found three helpful links. One above from University of Edinburgh.  The second is a slideshow from University of Texas Paediatric department on Feedback and evaluation in medicine delivered in 2012. 2012-03-02 Providing and Receiving Feedback in Medicine (Glen Medellin, MD, Jean Petershack, MD)

The third is from JAMA in 1983 Feedback in Clinical Medicine

David Lewis

GP  Hertfordshire UK

Feb 2013

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Should we be using social media in medical education?

The #UKmeded chat tonight, 31 January 2013, will look at whether we should be using social media in medical education.

On the #UKmeded GDoc asking for suggestions for chat topics Anne Marie Cunningham has written:

I see lots of talk about this on Twitter, but I’m not sure how other students feel about this. Would it feel like a deluge? My past experiments to get students to engage in social media have not had a very big take-up so I think that often we need to get staff on board first. And we have to talk to people realistically about time management because for many the biggest worry is getting swamped with information.

Undergraduate students in most medical schools form their own Facebook groups but they see this very much as their own social space, even though they might share information about clinical attachments and share revision tips and resources etc around exam time.  Surveys I’ve read and conversations with students at my own school would seem to indicate that there’s generally a 50-50 split between students who don’t want medical schools interacting with them on Facebook and those that think we should because they dont like the VLE.

So are there other social media channels we should be using to support medical education at undergraduate and postgraduate level?  There are those, who are perhaps still relatively early adopters, using the likes of Twitter to support medical education but we are still in the minority.  Some staff are wary of using social media channels because of concerns about digital professionalism.  Also the assumption that all students are already making good use of technology and social media to support their learning is misplaced.  Yet those in engaging with social media and the whole free open access medical education #FOAMed movement recognise the potential for social media to support life long learning.

With all this in mind here are a few things to think about and stimulate discussion for tonight’s chat:

  • Should we be using social media to support medical education?
  • Do we need to be embedding the use of social media in the curriculum so that students are introduced to the benefits of social media and can see how these tools can be used to support learning as well as raise awareness of individuals’ digital footprints and professionalism?
  • Does using social media just add to the expectation that students expect instant responses to questions etc and make it more difficult for staff to switch off from work and add further blur to the work – personal divide?
  • How would medical students and trainees like to see social media used to support their learning?

Join the discussion at 9.



The Health of Medical Students – #UKMedEd Chat 29.11.12

This week’s #ukmeded chat is on the health of medical students and we’re delighted to have Dr Mhairi Hepburn (@DundeePsych) helping to lead the discussion.

Mhairi would like to leave the discussion as open as possible, but has posted a few questions to get you thinking:

Do medical students have different healthcare needs to other students?

How have your health problems affected your studies/work/approach to life?

What do you think medical schools can do to help students with health problems?

We hope you can join us at 9pm on Thursday 29 November.

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Launching #ukmeded chat!

ImageIt’s been well over a year since our last UK #meded chat and we decided it was time to start things going again. Lots of great people involved in medical education have became active on Twitter in the last year and we are sure that there are very many interesting conversations to be had!

In the past we’ve used the #meded tag for our chat. There is still a N American chat which happens at 9pm EST on Thursdays too. But we’ve decided to trial using our own UK tag for a while. In the past I have been worried about fragmenting a not very large community, but I can see the point of those who think that at least for the chat itself a distinct tag might be useful.

We have always kept these discussions quite informal. We thought that for our first session we would discuss how to get the most out of clinical attachments/placements. This was a topic that we covered last year too and it will be interesting to see what comes to the fore this time.

To date all of our experiences in leading this chat have been very positive. We thought it would be good practice though to make sure that participants were aware of the public nature of the tweets, and the fact that using the hashtag may increase the visibility of tweets. We therefore urge you to read over this declaration and let us know if you have any concerns.

Pleae join us tomorrow night as we start our journey again and remember to have fun!



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