Archive | Medical Students

RGPAS Conference 2018 update

Our conference is set to go ahead on the 8-10 November 2018, in Inverness at the Craigmonie Hotel.

HOWEVER, we have regretfully had to make changes to the usual format, and we are not able to run the student scholarship scheme that has been a successful and vibrant component of past RGPAS conferences.

The RGPAS Committee has reflected on the current challenges to rural practice in Scotland.  Implementation of the new GP contract has created much extra work, anxiety and uncertainty amongst our members.  As a result, we aim to offer a programme focussing on pragmatic support and guidance to our members.

Our members and committee are busy rural GPs, and we have been stretched further by the implementation of a non-rural-proofed GP contract.  We believe that this has devalued and threatened many of the existing services and skills provided to Scotland’s communities by GP-led practice teams.  We need to consider our strategic response as an organisation and as individual members.

Booking details will be provided as soon as possible.

Click to download the report (2.6MB)

We intend to provide more detail on our current concerns in the next few weeks, including our perspective on progress with initiatives such as the rural Short Life Working Group.  Our summary document ‘Looking at the Right Map?’ remains our reference point for our ongoing concerns about the new contract.  There have, however, been additional concerns raised since that publication including:

  • the feasibility of rural multidisciplinary teams and pharmacy support
  • recognition of the workload created by seasonal spikes of temporary residents
  • the sustainability of additional services offered by rural practices
  • the safety and efficacy of the proposed vaccinations programme, which is to be provided by health boards
  • the effect of the new contract on capacity for undergraduate teaching
  • the effect of the contract on GP recruitment and retention in rural areas

In the meantime, we apologise in particular to the many students who have already contacted us with an interest in rural practice, and hope that we can offer our student scholarships again next year.

Further reading…

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GURRMS18 conference a massive success in Portree

Last week we highlighted the programme for the GURRMS (Glasgow University Remote & Rural Medicine Society) conference in Portree.  Over 80 students and delegates attended this event last weekend, and as expected, it was a superbly positive event that covered many aspects of rural practice in Scotland and beyond.

James McHugh, GURRMS President

It must be highlighted once again, that tickets for this event sold out within 15 minutes of becoming available online.  Behind the conference was a ton of work, ably overseen by GURRMS President and final year Glasgow medical student, James McHugh – who compered the activities along with his committee with aplomb, tight organisation and enthusiasm.

A good line up of varied speakers featured on the first day of the conference.  Dr Emma Watson opened the conference, and after this I gave a presentation on ‘Rural GP – Is it What It’s Cracked Up to Be’ – with an honest portrayal of opportunities and challenges that exist within a career of rural practice.  I used some of my own stories to highlight the privilege that many of us feel in being able to provide primary care (along with all the additional services of rural practice) to our communities, along with the breadth of practice that keeps days interesting, challenging and demanding of effective teamwork.  We touched upon some of the current challenges of getting health policy adequately rural-proofed, and reflected that this is a worldwide challenge – which makes for truly international career opportunities.

This was followed by Dr Luke Regan talking about ‘Why I Love My Job and You Should Too’ – he is an Emergency Physician at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness with experience of delivering rural emergency care both in Scotland and Australia. His talk included a simulated walk-through of a rural cardiac emergency, ably assisted by student ‘volunteers’ from the audience.

Prof Phil Wilson explored the research and academic opportunities available to rural GPs, and considered the ethical obligation on us all to appraise and share lessons learned from service and therapeutic innovations.

Phil Wilson on Scottish trials to use transcranial ultrasound to diagnose thrombolysable stroke

Dr Jacqueline Bennebroek then offered an insight into her work as a Rural Practitioner at the MacKinnon Memorial Hospital in Broadford, Skye.

Jacqueline on her role as a Rural Practitioner on Skye

Ben Price on the role of BASICS Scotland and emergency responders across rural Scotland.

Workshops were run on ‘The Lesser Spotted BASICS Responder’ by Dr Ben Price, and a Training Perspective of Rural Practice by Dr Ian Pooleman and Dr Ailsa Leslie.  Three well-delivered presentations in Pecha Kucha style featured from Duncan Stewart, Isla Kempe and Ellen Gardner on their student experiences, from elective placements to reflections on being a student on the new Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship now offered to Dundee 4th year students. The verdict – a big dose of reassurance that LICs offer a fantastic environment for learning medicine, and the fears about having gaps in knowledge did not materialise.  Indeed this has been shown in repeated reviews of LIC learning that students conclude their LIC placements with greater knowledge, insight and propensity to pass exams.

Rural surgical legend Dr David Sedgwick talked about his Life and Work as a Rural Surgeon over 25 years – most of which was at the Belford Hospital in Fort William.  The fact that David had just arrived back from teaching in Rwanda the previous day was particularly impressive, and highlighted again the role that rural doctors and surgeons can have in global healthcare.

Prof Sarah Strasser during one of the student workshops

The keynote talk ‘Rural Health Worldwide’ was delivered by rural health stalwarts Prof Roger Strasser and Prof Sarah Strasser.  They had travelled into Scotland the previous day, covering even more impressive mileage than David Sedgwick… it is perhaps testament to the GURRMS committee that they facilitated such experienced input, and that Roger and Sarah were willing to travel from Canada and Australia respectively to make it to Portree.  Their talk was followed by a particularly engaging question and answer session, and it was clear that delegates were inspired and enthused by the perspectives that Roger and Sarah brought to the conference.

10 Skills of a Rural Doctor – from talk by Roger and Sarah Strasser

The day concluded with an evening reception including ceilidh.  The next day GURRMS successfully ferried delegates across north west Scotland – with some walking in nearby scenery, some opting for whisky tasting, some going for mountain rescue training and some travelling to the Western Isles for a 2 day trip to see the hospital in Stornoway and the surrounding area.

Well done once again to the GURRMS Committee for a well-organised, good-natured and inspiring conference.  We hope to see plans develop for GURRMS19 next year – and we hope that the Scottish rural GP community will support the event once again.

More photos below…

 

 

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GURRMS student conference in Portree this Friday

The Glasgow University Remote & Rural Medicine Society will hold their conference this Friday and Saturday in Portree, on the Isle of Skye.

This follows a highly successful conference held by GURRMS last year on the Isle of Islay, successfully bringing together a large number of medical students from Scotland and beyond, to hear about rural practice, share thoughts and experiences, and gain a better perspective of career options for the future.

Quite incredibly, tickets were sold out for GURRMS18 within 15 minutes of them becoming available online.  Perhaps it is not so surprising, given the varied and experienced line-up of speakers they have secured for the event, along with activities both medical and social.  The blend of social and educational activities provided at GURRMS17 has also established a positive and attractive precedent for GURRMS too.

You can read through the GURRMS conference programme – just released today – from this link.  Highlights include Dr Ben Price talking about BASICS Scotland activity, Dr Luke Regan discussing ‘Why I Love My Job and You Should Too’, and Prof Phil Wilson on ‘Why Rural Doctors Need to do Research’.  I am delighted to have been asked to speak too, and will be asking ‘Rural GP – Is it what it’s Cracked Up To Be?’.

The Keynote Talk is being delivered by Profs Roger and Sarah Strasser – who are travellig from Canada and Australia as I type, to inspire the GURRMS18 students with their advice and experience from developing innovative rural health education… and the international opportunities that come with rural practice.

The conference has been supported by a number of organisations, including RGPAS, but much of the credit must fall to James and his committee of Josie, Seb, Michael, Eloise and John for all their work to bring this together.

Many students in Scotland have very little exposure to rural medicine, despite almost half of the population living in such an area. The aim of this conference is to promote this career as a viable option and to encourage those interested to go and explore what there is to offer! Here on Skye, we hope you have an authentic experience and truly get to see what rural medicine is.

My own journey was started with an elective on Arran where I learned first-hand how this path is right for me, so we hope that we can give you a glimpse of that with what will be a stimulating programme. We encourage you to get involved in discussions and make the most of the experts here, who have a wealth of experience!

James McHugh, President of GURRMS

Well done to GURRMS for putting on this event, juggling all the logistics (whilst some were sitting final exams) and providing such a brilliant showcase for Scottish and international rural health.  We might even celebrate with a Skye dram or two!

You can follow the conference on Twitter using the #GURRMS18 and #thinkrural hashtags.

Download the #GURRMS18 programme

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Mayara Floss: the challenges for women working in rural health

Mayara Floss

This video of Dr Mayara Floss – rural doctor in Brazil and passionate advocate for international rural health – has recently been publicised via the Rural WONCA email list by Dr John Wynn Jones, chair of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Health.

Mayara was invited to give her perspective on the issue of “Investing in rural health workers for the economic participation and empowerment of rural women and girls” at a meeting of the joint Commission on the Status of Women: a side-event of the World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations and Women in Global Health.

John introduced the video more eloquently than I could, and so with his permission, here’s what he said:

Dear All

I want to congratulate Mayara and thank her on behalf of Rural Wonca and all the rural health workers around the world for her presentation and wise words at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Mayara is an exceptional person. I can’t even call her a future leader because despite the fact that this is her first year as a doctor she is already a world leader and an example to us all. It will be the Mayara’s of this world who will take up the mantle for the next generation and its our duty to support them.

Please look at the video of her session. She describes how medical schools in the largely rural country of Brazil do little to promote and teach rural health care. She eloquently describes her own journey against the odds and her quest to work among rural communities and the barriers that she encountered. Everyone needs to watch her presentation! 

During the panel session she implores us first to listen to our patients and are communities before coming up with ” so called helpfull solutions”.

She also asks us to think about the political tragedy that is happening in Brazil and the dismantling of one of the most enlightened primary care systems in the world and its replacement with private health.

We are all very proud of her and the many other members of Rural Seeds who are working so hard around the world to build their careers and make a difference for rural communities.

Kind regards

John

Mayara speaks in the video below for 20 minutes, at 30 minutes in, and there are subsequent (excellent!) contributions to the discussion thereafter.

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Louise Polson publishes in RRH about student placement in Shetland

Louise Polson, medical student at Glasgow University, has written about her student rural medicine placement in Remote & Rural Health.

She writes…

This placement also provided the opportunity to research and write this essay, which gave me a much deeper understanding of how emergency care is provided in remote areas and allowed me to consider how care could be improved for future patients. I believe key areas for improvement include increasing links with medical schools to provide more student placements, possibly through publicising positive testimonies from students who have already been (such as myself), and also improving recruitment and retention of staff through increased access to further training opportunities.

Congratulations Louise!  We are particularly pleased to see this published, as Louise joined us in 2015 when she received an RGPAS Student Scholarship to attend our annual conference.

Read the full article here: https://www.rrh.org.au/journal/article/3824#cite_2

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NES Annual Educational Awards – nominations invited

Nominations are now invited for the annual NES Education Awards.  With so much quality medical education being delivered across rural Scotland, we would encourage readers to consider whether they can nominate individuals or teams for these awards…

The 5th annual NES Medical Directorate Awards for 2018 is to recognise outstanding contributions to the quality of medical education and training in Scotland. Significant numbers of our undergraduate students excel in national competitions and awards, those who graduate from Scottish Medical Schools rank very highly in Foundation Programme selection processes and many of our postgraduate training programmes rank 1st, 2nd or 3rd in league tables of the 20 UK Deanery/LETBs for “overall satisfaction”.  Due to the current nature of regulatory monitoring, often the focus of quality management processes is on areas of medical education and training that require development, however it is known that many aspects are excellent and deserve recognition.

A core group including representation from the Postgraduate Deans, GP Directors, STB Chairs, Scottish Deans Medical Education Group, Scottish Foundation School, NES General Management, Directors of Medical Education and trainees currently oversee this initiative. Awards will be made at the congress dinner during the 8th Annual Scottish Medical Education Conference on Thursday 26 April 2018.

Award Categories

  1. Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education
  2. Award for Scholarship
  3. Award for Process Development and Implementation
  4. Award for Innovation in Training
  5. Team of the Year Award
  6. Award for Staff Support
  7. Award for an Outstanding Role Model
  8. Award for Excellence in Facilitating Transitions in Medical Education & Training

Nomination Process

  1. Nominations can be submitted by following the enclosed Questback link :
  2. The CLOSING DATE for submissions is Friday 16 March 2018.
  3. The nomination statement must indicate the award category, will typically be around 500 words but no more than 750 words in length, take the form of a narrative, and must specifically address the criteria, highlighting why the nominee is deserving of the award.
  4. The nomination statement may be supplemented by a curriculum vitae and up to three supporting materials (if appropriate). These can include: supporting testimonials, documents containing statistics, supporting research, evaluation or inspection reports, press cuttings and promotional material and should be submitted separately to Medical_Awards@nes.scot.nhs.uk
  5. Any queries should be sent to Medical_Awards@nes.scot.nhs.uk

Award Ceremony

Each category winner will be presented with a commemorative certificate at the congress dinner on Thursday 26 April 2018.

Download NES Education Awards Nomination Advice
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@GURRMS 2018 Conference: Skye, 23-25 March

Tickets for the 2018 GURRMS (Glasgow University Remote & Rural Medicine Society) are set to go on sale for students tomorrow evening.  Following on from the highly successful GURRMS 2017 conference that was held on Islay last year, GURRMS 2018 is set to take place in Portree on the Isle of Skye, at the Aros Centre from 23-25 March, and another action-packed and stimulating programme is taking shape.

James whilst on an Isle of Arran Medical elective.

I caught up with the chair of GURRMS, James McHugh, this afternoon to find out more about how plans are coming together.  Once again a full range of speakers has been organised, and the committee are busy sorting out finances and logistics to ensure that this year’s event runs smoothly.  Kudos to them given that these guys are also coming up to their final exams, with the stresses and time involved with that.

Full details will be announced over the next while on the GURRMS Facebook page, and tickets are due to become available in the next day or so.  Last year’s event sold out within hours and so be sure to keep an eye out for the tickets being launched.

GURRMS 2018 is receiving financial support from RGPAS (the Rural GP Association of Scotland) along with a number of other funding streams, and RGPAS has been keen to support and encourage student activities like this, so we’re delighted to see plans take shape so promisingly.

We wish the best of luck to GURRMS in running their second conference, and we’re looking forward to meeting students who are keen to find out more about rural practice – see you in Skye!

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Reflections on an LIC in Lochaber

Lewis Mundell, student of Dundee University, recently completed a Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship in Fort William as part of his medical school training.  This article featured in Lochaber Life Magazine earlier this month.  It has been reproduced here with the kind permission of Iain Ferguson of the Write Image (picture credits to Iain too).

Training to be a Doctor in Lochaber

Lewis Mundell, LIC Student

I have spent almost a year in the Lochaber community, training as part of a project undertaken in partnership between the University of Dundee and Tweeddale Medical Practice. This is a trial project and a first in the UK. The purpose: to improve the teaching of medical students.

Other Medical Students in Dundee mainly spend their time in hospital in the form of four-week placements in different medical wards. The project I have been doing under the supervision and guidance of Dr Jim Douglas is focused on learning in the community where 90% of healthcare takes place. A focus is spent on patients, to learn from them rather than tutorials or textbooks.

Although the majority of my time has been spent in Tweeddale, 40% of my time has been spent in Raigmore and the Belford Hospital as well as working with Physiotherapists, District Nurses and Pharmacists. By being in the community, I have gained a better perspective of health care, understanding the challenges patients face when the GP simply says ‘visit the Physiotherapist’.

The most unique part of this year has been the ‘Patient Journey’. This has allowed me to follow people through their health care experience from ‘cradle to grave’. I have followed mothers through pregnancy; seen children cope with infections; learned from teens struggling with depression; saw life-saving surgery; watched a patient fight cancer and the hardest part – the privilege of being present at the end of life. Each of these experiences has been humbling and I will never forget the people involved.

Many medical ‘experts’ have said ‘how can a student learn everything he needs to know without being trained in a city, in a ‘centre of excellence’? I would argue that a community like Lochaber is a centre of excellence as it is a centre of people, all actively engaged in training a medical student. In comparison to cities, where community is reduced, Lochaber can recognise its own need for doctors and other health care professionals and therefore its need to train these professionals locally.

Once again I would like to thank you all for allowing me to join your community. I have learned so much! I will definitely consider returning to this area for future training and possibly long-term employment when I’m qualified. It is impossible to list the many people who have helped me, but a special thanks goes to Dr Jim Douglas and all the staff at Tweeddale, Dr Amy Macaskill and the CMHT, Theresa Mackay and the Midwifery Team, Belford Staff, Jaquai Parfitt, Staff at Raigmore, Fleming & Fleming, Lloyds Pharmacy, Macmillan Cancer team and not least the Scottish Ambulance Service.

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Students present Bright Ideas for Rural Practice

This year, the Rural GP Association of Scotland has once again run its student conference scholarship programme.  This is a significant investment for RGPAS, which uses money raised into its Educational Trust fund to support these scholarships.  The scholarships offer heavily-subsidised tickets to enable undergraduate students in the UK to attend and participate in the annual RGPAS conference.

To apply, students were asked to submit a 60 second sound or video clip explaining their Bright Idea for Rural Practice.  We are delighted to feature the winning entries below.

A number of these will be selected for PechaKucha-style presentation at our conference in November.  You can read more about the scholarships here, and also a great write-up of last year’s conference by one of the scholarship holders then, Catherine Lawrence from Hull & York Medical School.

There is still time to sign up to the conference, which takes place from 2-4 November 2017 in Inverness.  £130 for GPs or £65 for trainees gets you two-and-a-half days of quality CPD, along with a conference dinner (and wine).  It’s a great way to catch up with like-minded colleagues, and hear updates on clinical and non-clinical topics that are relevant to rural practice in Scotland.

Well done to all our scholarship winners.  We look forward to meeting you in Inverness!

Rohan Bald (Glasgow): Tackling Loneliness

Emma Bean (Glasgow 5th Year): Drones

Josephine Bellhouse (Glasgow): Improving Use of Communication Technology

Katherine Cox (Glasgow 4th Year): Developing Videoconferencing Peer Support

David Gibson (Glasgow): Awareness of Rural Medicine as a Career

Haiyang Hu (Glasgow): Access to Mental Health Services

Saskia Loysen (Glasgow): Increasing the use of Telemedicine (and pyjama bottoms)

Eloise Miller (Glasgow): Develop Rural Medicine Intercalated Degrees

Danielle Parsons (Aberdeen 4th Year): a Rural Medical School for Scotland

Gregor Stark (Glasgow 5th Year): Rural Research Consortium

Rosslyn Waite (Dundee): Improving Connectivity

Hannah Webb (Glasgow 2nd Year): Access to Sexual Health Services

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RGPAS Conference Student Scholarships 2017

 

Twitter hashtag: #RGPAS17

Student workshop at RGPAS16

Things are heating up for this year’s RGPAS 2017 conference, to be held in Inverness on 2-4 November.  A full programme is planned, spanning a range of topics relevant to rural general practice.  Click here for the latest conference programme.

We are pleased to announce that following the success of student scholarships being offered for the last 3 years, we will once again be offering RGPAS Conference Student Scholarships.

Year on year we aim to build on feedback, including a session specifically for students and trainees which is being led by the current NES GP Rural Fellows – should be a great session.

Never have I been to a conference so friendly, so relaxed, and so full of life.

Read more in student Catherine Lawrence’s conference review

What’s on offer?

Student scholarships are available for a greatly reduced rate: £10 (reduced from £130) for the full programme – including the conference dinner with wine too!  We will also provide accommodation (bed & breakfast) for Thursday and Friday nights – shared twin room, same gender – of up to ten students who register for the event.

The cost of this is being funded from the RGPAS Educational Fund.  Income for this fund includes the proceeds of the donations made for advertising on RuralGP.com, our conference sponsors and other activities that RGPAS carries out to fundraise over the year.

Who’s eligible to apply?

You must be an undergraduate medical student at a UK university (intercalated, international and mature students welcome to apply).  We are keen to hear from any students who have an interest in general or rural practice.

How do I apply?

We want to hear your ideas!  We ask all scholarship applicants to record 60 seconds of audio or video, outlining your bright idea for the future of rural practice.  Is there a technological innovation that you think is untapped?  How do we use new clinical approaches to improve the care of our patients?  How do we improve the working lives of rural GPs and their colleagues?

 

 

Email us at hello@ruralgp.scot with the subject “Students #RGPAS17” along with your submission (a file, or even better a link to a Dropbox/YouTube/Vimeo movie, or Soundcloud audio) and the following details about yourself:

  • Your name
  • Your university
  • Contact address & mobile
  • If you require accommodation, and confirmation of whether this is required for both nights
  • Confirmation that you intend to attend the conference from Thursday lunchtime to Saturday lunchtime
  • Title of your submission
  • “I consent to my presentation being made available on RuralGP.com, RuralGP.scot and affiliated websites/social media”.

Closing date for applications is 15th September.  Successful applicants will be notified by the end of September at latest.  Those successful applicants will then be invited to register and make £10 payment using our online booking facility to secure their place.

Present your vision

We will be featuring a special session on the Friday afternoon of the conference, aimed to bring together students’ visions for the future of rural practice.  From those students who have received a scholarship, we will select several to present a short powerpoint presentation – of 20 slides each advancing after 20 seconds.  This format is often called ‘Pecha Kucha’ and there is a wealth of advice and tips on the internet about how to make a good Pecha Kucha presentation.

The format allows us to feature a number of short, snappy presentations of just over 6 minutes each, and give students and trainees a podium to share their views on the future of rural practice.  Slides can include text, but the more photos the better!  We will let you know if your ideas have been selected for presentation very soon after the deadline, and you can download a template powerpoint file here.

Any questions?  Email hello@ruralgp.scot

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