DAY 3 – SPEAKING TO MED STUDENTS

Venue: Queen Mary University


PBL Session

This morning we were placed in a PBL workshop which was organised by medical students from UCL and Barts Medical School. We had to identify some of the key problems with patient and respect them in our groups before arriving at a diagnosis and then presenting our ideas to the rest of the group. I was already quite familiar with the PBL style of learning by this stage as I had previously taken part in one as well as having had sat in one with 5th year medical students. The students themselves thought it was a good way to learn providing lectures were provided alongside it in order to reinforce their learning.

Research Project

We were then given some time to delegate tasks to each other and split up the different parts of our project so we could start our individual research. I found out about how an e-cigarette works and how they are designed to stimulate the act of smoking tobacco without the toxic chemicals produced by burning tobacco leaves. I also conducted a little research on some of the harmful chemicals found within an e-cigarette whilst my team mates completed their research on their win individual areas. It was a nice experience working in a team and later being able to bring all the information together to see a completed project. I thought it was great the way our research all complemented each other’s.

    General Practice 

    In this session I was able to appreciate the 1948 founding principles of the NHS, which still bear a great importance in our modern healthcare system:

    • That it meet the needs of everyone.
    • That it is free at the point of delivery.
    • That it is based on clinical need rather than the ability to pay.

    It was only later, in 2011 that the patient’s right to decide and they were placed at the centre. This was something which somewhat surprised me, as our healthcare system today is focussed primarily on the choice of the patient and the fact that this principle only became implied a few years ago was something quite bewildering to me.

    One of the things about being a doctor General Practice which GPs hold quite proudly is the fact that is has a very holistic approach and therefore solely seeks to serve the best interests of the patient alone. It’s also rather special that most GPs will have contact with their patients all the way throughout lives, from the moment they are born right through to their old age. As well as being involved in treatment and prevention, through measures such as vaccination programmes, GPs are also involved in education, which is something which I actually had the opportunity to see during my work experience when the nurse practitioner at the Practice was providing information to a lady who had recently been diagnosed with diabetes.

    The primary care team is often thought to involve doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners; but  there is actually many more professions who work to ensure that the first point of contact for patients is of the best experience including healthcare assistants, counsellors (drugs and alcohol), district nurses, health visitors, welfare advisors. I have heard this shocking statistic before which was repeated in this session that 90% of patient contact takes place at GP, but this sector only receives a mere 8% of the budget. The GP who was presenting this session gave us her opinions on how General Practice may become in the future which were interesting ideas to hear and reflect on. She mentioned that she thought they would be better coordination of acre for complex patients and more emphasis on prevention as the saying we have all heard states that “prevention is better than cure”. 

    Surgical Skills Workshop

    This session was delivered the QM Surgical Society and at the end we were given the opportunity to ask questions about how life is as a medical student. As everybody says, it’s a lot of work, but that’s definitely not something which puts me off, I love a challenge and am certain that I will be able to Bala,nice my workload rather easily. There were some first year medical students, as well as 5th year students so we were able to hear from each of them and see what their own personal experiences were which is something which provided a great insight for me.

    During this session though, we learn how to suture, something which I had once again tried a couple of times before. It was still rather fiddly, but clearly something that with practice you should get better at. Every time I try suturing, I am always awed at how time consuming it must be for a surgeon to knot the thread six times for every stitch before moving on to the next stitch.

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