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Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care

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Year 1 & 2: Patient Pathway in Integrated and Community Care

Every year we arrange more than 500 visits in GP practices for our year 1 & 2 students, and the feedback is some of the best for any course in the entire curriculum. This year 91% of the 1st year students and 95% of 2nd year students rated their GP placement visits with a '4' or '5' (5=excellent). 

We try to make the whole process easy for practices to get involved by providing information, programmes and objectives. 

The sessions (usually Thursday or Friday mornings) involve:

  • an introduction to the practice
  • the students sitting in on some consultations, and, most importantly, interviewing a patient about their health care experiences, either on a home visit, or after the consultation at the surgery
  • a de-brief, some feedback and discussion about the morning. 

Many practices involve their registrars and salaried doctors in organising the teaching, as the phase 1 teaching is a straightforward introduction to a very receptive student audience.

Format of each visit session 

NOTE: due to the coronavirus situation all our placements are running virtually for academic year 2020-21

Each visit is an opportunity for medical students to find out about your service and meet patients/clients to explore their personal stories. Therefore when assessing suitability of individuals to meet the students you simply need to take account of their willingness and ability to communicate with the students. In Year 2 visits, students will focus in particular on people's experiences of living with long-term conditions or disability, so it would be helpful to arrange for them to meet individuals who will be able to discuss these issues.

Essential activities:
  • Initial introduction and welcome, discussion of the programme for the morning, introduction to team members and service layout, explaining the services you provide and health and safety instructions.
  • Each student pair interviews at least one suitable, pre-consented client/patient/volunteer spending 30-45 minutes with each person. We would like the student to have enough time with a patient to really understand and appreciate how their health/illness has impacted on their life, and how they've used health care services. If you can arrange for each student pair to speak about these issues to 2 patients over the course of the morning, then they will also have an opportunity to appreciate diversity between individuals, but this is not mandatory.
  • Debriefing: students discuss with visit supervisor what they have experienced and ask questions.
Desirable activities:
  • Observing the general work of the service. If possible and time allows, please provide opportunities for students to shadow staff and/or participate in activities.