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© University of Oxford experience here has definitely made me consider doing primary care research alongside being a practising doctor.
- Jana Bourhill

Three Oxford University undergraduate medical students taking part in a research placement scheme in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences presented their work this month at a national showcase of primary care research.

The students, Imogen Jury, Charlotte Robinson and Jana Bourhill, are each enrolled into the University’s Final Honours Scheme. The scheme places undergraduate students with medical sciences departments for around eight weeks or more to carry out supervised research projects, before going back to their usual studies.

Their projects cover analysing GP-delivered behaviour change techniques for weight loss, a systematic review of the outcomes and recurrence rates of haitus hernias following mesh or suture-based surgery, and a study to understand whether ‘good sleep’ protects against recurrent upper respiratory tract infection.

Taking place at the Wellcome Collection in London, The National Institute for Health Research School for Primary Care Research Showcase brings together primary care researchers from universities across England. 

“I really enjoyed the showcase,” said Imogen who presented a poster at the Showcase and plans to continue studying medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital after graduating. “It was a very friendly environment for our first medical conference and it was inspiring to see the wide range of specialisms within primary care. Overall, I have loved working in the department and have really enjoyed my project.”

Charlotte, who is now considering combining research with a future career as a doctor, was initially intimidated by the prospect of presenting a poster and discussing her work with experienced researchers but found the Showcase to be a “relaxed environment” to share and discuss her project. “It was a great opportunity to receive feedback on my work and get me thinking about aspects of my project I had not thought about as much.

“My supervisors and other members of the department have been really supportive throughout the whole placement, from including me in the department coffee mornings, to bringing in an information specialist to help me define my search strategy, and encouraging me to apply for conferences to present my work.”

Jana, who graduates next summer with future plans to join the Royal Army Medical Corps, presented in a parallel session on health service delivery and was “pleased to receive many interesting and thought-provoking questions at the Showcase, especially from doctors, who were interested in how my research related to clinical practice.

“As primary care research has such clinical relevance, I’m sure that the skills that I’ve learnt carrying out this research project will be useful once I qualify as a doctor; my experience here has definitely made me consider doing primary care research alongside being a practising doctor.”


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