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Review of Medical Education and Training in the South West of England

On 20th January 2017, the General Medical Council (GMC) published a review of medical education and training in the south west of England.

According to the review, medical students and doctors in training are learning in positive and helpful environments but training time becomes squeezed when doctors’ workloads rises.

The report follows a quality assurance visits across the medical schools and hospitals who train doctors and an evaluation of Heath Education England (HEE) working across the south west which supervises local postgraduate training.

Several examples of good training practice have been found by the GMC assessors, including students and doctors in training studying about the day-to-day trials of delivering frontline care.

Here are listed some examples of good training practice found in the review:

  • Simulation exercises is used by the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust to help students identify and address issues that have contributed to adverse events in the past, in a safe environment.
  • Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry is providing placements at GP surgeries that have migrant workers and the travelling community on their lists to support students increase the range of patients they have contact with.
  • Exeter Medical School is including patients from a variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds in clinical scenarios to make sure that students are assured in treating a more varied patient population than is found in the area.

Doctors in training and the teacher who educate and train doctors have also told about their problems and frustrations with local training. Below are some findings from the GMC review:

  • Trusts designing rotas to safeguard patient safety and continuity of care but not continuity of training.
  • Workloads stopping some doctors in attending learning opportunities or delivering education in officially allocated time.
  • Concerns that physician assistants and doctors in non-training posts are overstretching educational capacity at some trusts. 

The Chief Executive of the GMC, Charlie Massey said that the Review of Medical Education and Training in the South West of England confirms that the medical students are getting good quality medical education and training. GMC is very delighted that the majority feel positive about their clinical and educational experiences and rural support.

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