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Dr Alison Convey is excited to announce a new pilot course, which will bring clinical teaching to Year 3 students for the first time.

A male student doctor consults with an older gentleman in his hospital bed. © Medical Sciences Division and John Cairns

For the academic year 2021-22, the Primary Care Teaching Group is launching a pilot course which will provide third-year medical students with patient contact. This is the very first time that students in Year Three will have the opportunity to experience clinical practice and develop important consultation skills. The aim will be for students to build on the early introduction to clinical medicine they receive during the Patient & Doctor course (in Years One and Two), strengthening their motivation and curiosity for clinical learning whilst they conduct their Final Honour School (FHS) studies.

The driving force behind this project has been sustained feedback from students over several years, which has regularly requested clinical teaching in the third year. Consistent comments highlight that Year Three represents a real “gap” in students’ perceived development of themselves as future doctors.

The decision to make this a pilot course means that we will be able to assess its impact and make use of evaluations by our students, tutors and patients to develop and expand the course for cohorts to come. It is therefore an immensely valuable opportunity for students and patients to shape the future of a key innovation in the Oxford degree.

The planned methods are also innovative. For the first time, this pilot course will introduce the principles of the internationally recognised “Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship” (LIC) model to Oxford, in a way which will complement the unique attributes of the Oxford degree. Initially developed in the USA, Canada and Australia, LICs aim to promote coherence and excellence in clinical training, as well as develop professional behaviours. LICs aim to help students understand “the patient journey”, meaning that this project represents an important opportunity to put patients at the centre of course design.

The pilot scheme will involve 32 enthusiastic students, working with 13 fantastic Patient & Doctor course tutors. We will keep you posted with developments and feedback throughout the coming year.


In other Patient & Doctor course news…

We have been working on developing new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion teaching in Years One and Two of the Patient & Doctor Course. We are very pleased that we will be given extra curriculum time to create new, centrally-delivered sessions next term. These will complement and support the existing Patient & Doctor teaching run by GP tutors. We will update all course tutors about this in detail before the start of Michaelmas Term.

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