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The Primary Care Teaching Group and local local film-maker reflect on their experience of producing videos designed to support and enhance student learning.

Profile picture of Nick O'Dwyer

Over the summer, the Primary Care Teaching Group worked with local film-maker, Nick O’Dwyer (pictured), to produce videos designed to support and enhance student learning. The films capture both student views of their experiences in Primary Care, as well as a conversation between GP and psychiatrist (Dr Laura Ingle and Dr Kate Saunders) about the interface between Primary and Secondary Care.

Here, Nick and Alison Convey reflect on the experience of making the films.

The film-maker’s view (Nick O’Dwyer):
I’ve recently finished filming and editing a batch of short educational films for the Primary Care Teaching Group. Alison Convey was asking the questions, so I was just responsible for the camera and editing – quite a relief after so many years working as a TV documentary director!

Two things struck me about the project.

One of the elements was an in-depth conversation between professionals from the worlds of hospital psychiatry and general practice. They talked about the pleasures and the frustrations of working on either side of the divide between hospital and community medicine – and how to make working together easier. You may have seen clips of the conversation on Canvas.

FilmStillIrene.jpg


Listening at the time, and subsequently editing the conversation, I thought how interesting and useful it was to hear professionals talking honestly and respectfully about their different roles and how to make co-operation more effective. I’m sure that’s enormously helpful to medical students still finding their way in medicine. And it felt quite healing, given the enormous stresses and frictions the pandemic has caused in the NHS.

Another chunk of filming involved Alison interviewing Year 4 and Year 5 medical students about different aspects of their GP attachments. They talked well – which isn’t always easy under the camera’s cold, glassy eye - and their interviews were frank and illuminating. Alison had the bright idea of using some of our “off cuts” to make a very short film pointing out the joys and merits of GP work – something of an antidote to negative press campaigning. This film can be viewed here.

FilmStillSusie.jpg

I was pleased to see how much that little film was enjoyed and appreciated. I’ve seen this before in my documentary career – most obviously when making a BBC series about brain surgery at the JR. Sometimes people get a bit worn down and jaded and it does no harm to hold up a mirror and show them, on screen, how and why what they do is amazing and how much it’s appreciated.

FilmStillYoungjoo.jpg

The tutor’s view (Alison Convey):
It was an immense pleasure and privilege to work with Nick on this project. His skill, professionalism and quiet encouragement were second to none. Not exactly being used to the role of TV interviewer, he gently helped me to develop my lines of questioning to get the most out of our on-camera volunteers. I don’t think I’d quite make the News Night team yet, but perhaps I can yet take a career turn towards journalism…

All the edited videos were uploaded to Canvas and embedded in specific modules. Using online filmed material to support in-person clinical learning is a valuable tool and we have received very positive feedback from students about the new films. The whole process was enabled by a generous grant from the Nuffield Oxford Hospitals Fund (NOFH). I very much hope we will be able to expand the range and scope of our video library in future.

Opinions expressed are those of the author/s and not of the University of Oxford. Readers' comments will be moderated - see our guidelines for further information.

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