Archive | Medical Students

@RuralGPScot launches #ruralLGBTQ resources for #ruralGP

Last week, the Rural GP Association of Scotland (RGPAS) launched a range of guidance designed to make rural practice in Scotland more accessible to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBTQ+) patients.

At the annual RGPAS Conference last year, held in Inverness, we were delighted to welcome Dr Thom O’Neill to talk about LGBTQ+ inequalities in rural areas, and some of the practical ways that as GPs we can reduce barriers to healthcare.  Here he is talking about what doctors can do to better support LGBTQ+ patients.

Thom’s presentation stimulated a lot of discussion, and led to a project whereby he worked with RGPAS to develop factsheets, posters and other materials to help rural GP practices ensure that their services are welcoming to LGBTQ+ patients – especially younger patients.

You can find out more about these resources at: www.ruralgp.scot/lgbtq-plus.

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Rural Medicine Café discusses Rural Health Research

Mayara Floss, founder of the Café

Readers might be familiar with the Rural Medicine Café, set up by budding rural GP Mayara Floss who is a medical student in Brazil.

Following the 2015 Rural WONCA Conference in Dubrovnik, she set up the virtual Café to create a relatively informal space in which rural medics from all over the world could come together for some conversation to discuss hot topics, and develop collaboration.  Mayara runs these sessions on Google Hangouts, which offers easy access and is fairly successful on most broadband connections.

So far an impressive range of topics have been discussed.  The most recent event took place on Saturday, and involved doctors and students from Brazil, the Caribbean, Halifax in Canada, Scotland and Kenya discussing ways in which research in rural health could be improved and facilitated.

An important outcome of each virtual Café is that the content can be watched later, on YouTube.  The relaxed nature of these sessions means that they can take a fair chunk of time to watch, but for rural health enthusiasts who want to catch up on the conversations, it represents an interesting resource from which to learn from practices across the world.  Where else can you engage so easily in sharing and discussing rural health issues with worldwide conferes?

For future events, take a look at the Café Facebook page.  The most recent Café (running to just over an hour) can be accessed at the following link:

https://youtu.be/SdP53qewijU?t=1s

Well done to Mayara for an impressive result to her initial ambitions to develop this project.  Do contact her via the Facebook page if would like to watch or take part in a future Café.  The next Café will discuss the WONCA Rural Medical Education Handbook on Saturday 4th February.

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RGPAS Scholarships – for students and GPs

2015logopngApplications are invited for a number of scholarships made available by The Rural GP Association of Scotland (RGPAS).  Funded by the RGPAS Educational Trust (which also receives any monies raised through RuralGP.com advertising) the scholarship scheme aims to:

  1. Encourage and enable Scottish students to experience a Rural GP elective in Scotland, and
  2. Support members of RGPAS (GPs and ST Trainees) to attend international conferences, in a bid to promote international collaboration, awareness of Scottish innovations in rural general practice, and to experience the benefits of seeing innovation from across the world.

Undergraduate Elective Scholarships

In 2017 there will be five student elective scholarships available, each to a value of £200.

  • This can be used to fund accommodation, travel or other associated costs. Receipts may be requested at the committee’s discretion.
  • The student must be doing their elective at a Scottish rural practice where at least one GP is a member of RGPAS. The student must be at least 20 miles away from their home address.
  • Electives may take place at any time of the year, and be for a minimum of 4 weeks.
  • The student must be an undergraduate medical student from a Scottish university.
  • The student should submit either a 500 word report or a video (of 3 minutes or more) about their experience within 2 months of the end of the elective. They may be asked to present at the next RGPAS conference too, if they are able.
  • Details of successfully awarded scholarships will be made available to RGPAS members, and also via the RuralGP.scot and RuralGP.com websites.

GP Travel Scholarships

In 2017 there will be four travel scholarships available. Nominally each of these will be worth £500, however some flexibility may be applied by the Committee to support applications which require more or less than this amount.

  • The applicant will be a member of RGPAS for at least 3 months prior to application. They will be a GP or a GP Trainee (at any stage of ST training) currently practising in Scotland.
  • RGPAS Committee members are eligible to apply.
  • The recipient should attend a conference in a country other than the UK. There will be a preference for activities that foster new relations with other country/world organisations such as WONCA or rural GP associations.
  • The money may be used for travel, accommodation or locum costs associated with attending a conference, event or experience in rural practice
  • The recipient should submit either a 500 word report or video (of 3 minutes or more) about their experience within 2 months of the end of the travel period. They may be asked to present at the next RGPAS conference too, if they are able.
  • Details of successfully awarded scholarships will be made available to RGPAS members, and also via the RuralGP.scot and RuralGP.com websites.

How to Apply

  • Please read the application pack – available from the link button below – and submit it as instructed.
  • Closing date: 6pm Friday 27th January 2017
  • The RGPAS committee will meet virtually, to discuss and judge the applications. Their decision will be final. They may decide not to award all available scholarships.

RGPAS is keen to ensure that this investment in future GPs as well as the development of its existing members, will help to generate innovation, collaboration and inspiration across Scottish rural general practice.  We look forward to receiving applications!

Download application form
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Longitudinal Clerkship: Community, Collaboration & Consolidation

3 months into our Longitudinal Clerkships and just before our Christmas break… now seems like an appropriate time to discuss the various opportunities afforded to students through the LC, both in academia and the community…

Opportunities in rural practice…

Under a fairly flexible schedule – I currently spend three half days Mon-Wed in General Practice undertaking my own consultations and seeing patients for review. This opens up the rest of these days to experience many other aspects of rural healthcare. Thus far I have been attached to a variety of healthcare providers including ambulance control, district nursing & the local pharmacy. Being one of very few students in the Highlands for a year opens up a number of doors. Last month I attended an Obstetrics Emergency Training session in Invergordon. This was run by midwives and provided some really valuable knowledge and practical experience in dealing with antenatal  emergencies from the maternal and newborn perspectives. Collaborating with various members of the medical/nursing/midwifery MDT makes for a very broad experience and understanding of the rural healthcare system. I hope to further these truly enjoyable and unique insights into next year as well.

…Community Engagement

Helping out at the Ross County match

As part of our time in rural practice, we are encouraged to get as involved as possible with our surrounding communities. The idea behind this, is to encourage seeing our patients as people and not just individuals with a diagnosis. Most of our involvement revolves around youth and sports organisations such as the Scouts or Air Cadets. However, some students are assisting with the likes of the WRVS, Citizens Advice and even with the rehabilitation and well-being of offenders and ex-offenders.

Consolidation & Assessment…

Half of my week – Raigmore Hospital

This week, all of the DLIC Students (Highlands and Dumfries & Galloway) are back in Tayside for one of three ‘Dundee Weeks’ throughout the year. These provide an opportunity for formative assessments – both theoretical and practical OSCEs. This allows us benchmark our performance and identify areas for development, both in knowledge and in practice. These weeks also provide teaching on specialist aspects of medicine we may not cover in more remote settings and focus on particular specialties and presentations we are less familiar with. This week’s focus is on acute presentations in the elderly, medically unexplained symptoms as well as significant event analyses and difficult cases.


And when we’re not being students…

Lunchtime adventures @ Dingwall Mart

Community Torch Procession @ Dornoch

 

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Longitudinal Clerkship: “Winter is coming!”

Winter in the Highlands…1017895_99c7aa2c

It’s that time of year again – There’s snow on the Ben (Wyvis), Halloween is a distant memory, and the John Lewis Christmas add has started showing on the tele…or in ‘GP-land’, coughs and colds are doing their rounds and the flu-jab programme is well under way.

Here in the Highlands, we begin the daily windscreen defrosting routine going into week 9 of 40 on the Dundee Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship.

 

 

…”General Practice, it’s not always that simple!”

Since the last update, I have had a vast array of opportunities both in General Practice and in Secondary Care. Currently, I spend 3 days per week in GP, undertaking parallel consultations – this is where I see the patient for 10-20 minutes on my own, before handing over the case to my tutor and having a three-way discussion about the history, examination findings, impression and management plan. This is an ideal system, that gives me confidence in dealing with a range of patient presentations – however, in General Practice, it’s not always that simple!

Some more complex cases can take up to an hour all in, and I often find myself finishing that day with a number of learning points to research in my own time, and more often than not – a patient experience to reflect upon. On an average day, I tend to see between 4-6 patients in this format including routine appointments and on-the-day emergency bookings. This format lets me assess and manage acute cases as well as seeing patients for follow-up, acting on blood results or adapting on-going management strategies for example.


Monday – AM Attachment with Midwifes, seeing my ‘Pregnant Patient’ follow-up; PM Parallel Consultations GP

Tuesday – AM Parallel Consultations GP; PM Self-Directed Learning

Wednesday – AM Parallel Consultations GP; PM Practice Led Training

Thursday – AM Outpatient Rheumatology Clinic; PM Radiology, Abdominal Ultrasounds and Echocardiograms

Friday – AM Medical/Surgical Admissions ward round; PM Outpatient Renal Clinic


explore the dynamics of different teams and environments”… 

8 weeks have passed since I started on the L.C – this is the equivalent to 2 blocks within the traditional Dundee 4th Year programme. Accordingly, I have had the chance to really integrate with the medical team here in NHS Highlands. From liaising with nurses and HCAs to arrange basic testing for patients within the practice, collaborating with the secretaries for making referrals to Secondary care, to experiencing the processes behind Ambulance control – the other side of the phone call when I book a patient transfer or indeed when a 999 call goes out.

On the other two days of my working week, I go searching for activities within Raigmore Hospital. Often this will involve attending Outpatient Clinics – advancing my knowledge in areas I feel particularly weak in or those which I may have a particular interest in. Turning up to regular surgical and medical admissions ward rounds allows me to see a range of presentations and explore the dynamics of different teams and environments. Spending time on the wards allows me to keep my practical skills up-to-date, an important part of medical practice and, indeed, my Preparation in Practice assessment. Through attending ward rounds, I have had the opportunity to assist in theatre, acting as cameraman for various laparoscopic (key-hole) procedures. Having the flexibility to choose where and when I spend my time in hospital is great, as I can tailor clinical experiences to my own learning needs and interests. I hope to make arrangements in the near future to spend short blocks of 2-3 days at a time in the one specialty, particularly in Acute Care/Anaesthesia, Psychiatry, Paediatrics & Obstetrics – departments which require a bit more continuity to gain valuable clinical experience.


In the next update…I will be discussing the various opportunities a rural longitudinal clerkship offers and the highlights of community integration.


 

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#RGPAS16 a major success

Last week, over eighty students, trainees, new and more experienced GPs from across Scotland and beyond, met at the annual conference of RGPAS.  An action-packed programme provided a wide variety of clinical and non-clinical topics, and there were plenty of opportunities to meet and discuss rural practice.  Rural GP-ing in Scotland is a simulating place to be!

rgpas16_-1

Scroll to the bottom of the page for more conference photos…

ruralgpscot_2016-oct-24

But we had some GPs from further afield too!

screen-shot-2016-11-03-at-00-44-28

Rural GPs from across Scotland came for the conference…

Kicking off the programme, we heard from Dr Helen Brandstorp of the National Centre for Rural Medicine in Tromso, Norway.  Helen provided a good backdrop to the fact that “we’re all in this together” – the challenges and delights of rural practice are prevalent in Norway in similar levels to Scotland.  The ground is fertile for further collaboration with international confreres and we hope to see ongoing links with our Norwegian counterparts in rural medicine.

The rest of the conference featured a rich variety of clinical and non-clinical topics of relevance to rural practice.  We were lucky to have an excellent range of engaging and entertaining speakers.  From updates in emergency medicine, to humanitarian and MSF work, to developing rural LGBT-friendly health services, to IT Reprovisioning, to research tips, to rural surgery, to featured student presentations… there was plenty going on, and the conference dinner provided plenty of opportunity to make further connections and allow the conversations to flow, along with a bit of traditional music too.

We were delighted to host a good number of students, trainees and new doctors… in particular there were nineteen heavily-subsidised student places – and they didn’t disappoint in their contributions of innovative ideas throughout the conference.

Instead of listing all the speakers here, the programme remains available – and we were delighted that over 200 #rgpas16 tweets were exchanged in the course of the conference.  We’ve collated these with Storify, and you can view the Storify timeline here.

Here’s a few of the twitter highlights:

The conference rounded off on the Saturday with a visit to the Bristow Coastguard helicopter base at Inverness Airport, where Winchman Paramedic Duncan Tripp and his colleagues treated student and experienced GPs to a tour round the facilities, including one of their £26 million Sikorsky search and rescue helicopters.

Thanks to all those who presented, and to all others who contributed to the conference planning.  The event proved to be fun, engaging and relevant to rural practice.  We hope to do the same next year – provisionally booked at the Craigmonie Hotel again on 2nd-4th November 2017.  Meantime, at RGPAS we are keen to stimulate and encourage further work in Scottish rural practice.  A new committee was formed, and I am delighted to take the helm of an able and enthusiastic team.  It’s going to be an exciting year!

Here’s some photos of the event…

 

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#RGPAS16 brimming with student ideas for #ruralGP

newlogosquaretextToday over 80 students, trainees and rural GPs will meet up in Inverness, for the annual conference of the Rural GP Association of Scotland.

This year’s event has attracted record numbers of attendees, and a stimulating programme of events is in store, along with lots of opportunities to chat, network and seek new ideas for rural practice.

As part of the RGPAS student scholarship programme, we have encouraged student delegates to submit video or audio clips of around 60 seconds, outlining their visions of the future of rural practice.

Not all clips are available as yet, and we will develop this page over the next week to include more clips, as well as add the photos of RGPAS students on this page too.  In the meantime, take a listen to the diverse and innovative ideas being put forward by the students below, all of whom will be joining us in Inverness.  Great to hear such an inspired group of students!

The conference will run from 2pm today – Thursday 3rd November – to Friday 4th November.  You can follow events on twitter using the hashtag #RGPAS16 – we hope to share reports and presentations from the conference on RuralGP.com soon after the conference too.

 

Innovation ideas

Sally Andrews (Aberdeen University): On the role of telemedicine to improve patient care and good housing availability to improve recruitment to rural areas…


Joe Daley (Glasgow University): Improving the interface between rural primary care and secondary care input…


Rhys Hall (Glasgow University):  The use of drones to overcome geographical barriers of rural practice…


Catherine Lawrence (Hull & York Medical School): Reflects on her experience of a Scottish rural GP elective…


Scott MacDonald (Glasgow University): Using technology to allow patients to take more responsibility for monitoring their health…


Lean-Lik Ng (Dundee University): How to engage with medical students of today to pave the way for future rural general practice…


Iona Robertson (Dundee University): Describes the increasing role of telemedicine in reducing the need to travel longer distances to secondary care…


Keenan Smith (Glasgow University): Reflecting on infrastructural revolution to provide better access to rural healthcare…


Blair Wallace (Dundee University): On the role of point-of-care investigations in improving efficiencies and quality of care offered to rural patients…

 

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Longitudinal Clerkship: Studying Medicine in rural Scotland

Scotland’s first ‘Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship’

In September, seven medical students from the University of Dundee embarked on a totally new adventure – immersing themselves in either the Highlands or Dumfriesshire for their entire 4th Year.

Studying between Dingwall GP and Raigmore Hospital, I hope to provide regular updates throughout our 10-month journey on Scotland’s first ‘Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship’.

A unique insight into primary care…

Four weeks into the new programme and things are well under way…3 days a week in General Practice, meeting patients through parallel consultations is an ideal way to develop clinical, consultation and practical skills. Being located in the practice setting for almost a year provides a unique insight into primary care delivery and our patient population: From visiting patients in their home environment, seeing a pregnant woman from booking to delivery, following the developing neonate & supporting a palliative patient from diagnosis to death. These are some of the many experiences we are already immersed in, that could only really be achieved through a longitudinal placement.

…Seeing the whole picture

From week two I was encountering some patients for the 2nd or 3rd time for review, or in secondary care for admission/referral/further investigations, right to the point of discharge and follow up…seeing the whole picture. There is great satisfaction that comes with being involved in the patient pathway as a whole and building on patient relationships over weeks or months – where they really appreciate seeing a familiar face throughout their journey.

Integrate with the community

Outside of medicine, the L.C provides a great opportunity to integrate with the community through volunteering with schools, youth organisations & third sector groups. Being in the one location for almost a year creates time to explore the abundant social, sporting and leisure freedoms that rural Scotland has to offer.

 

 

 

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RGPAS Conference Student Scholarships 2016

Twitter hashtag: #RGPAS16

Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness

Craigmonie Hotel, Inverness

Things are heating up for this year’s RGPAS 2016 conference, to be held in Inverness on 3-4 November.  A full programme is planned, spanning a range of topics relevant to rural general practice.

We are pleased to announce that following the success of student scholarships being offered for the last 2 years, we will once again be offering RGPAS Conference Student Scholarships.

As of 7th October, all student scholarships have been allocated following a large number of fantastic applications. You may still be able to register for the conference by emailing hello@ruralgp.scot however spaces are limited now for the conference too, so please email to check first. Thanks.

What’s on offer?

Last year we received some great feedback about the event, most of which was really positive.  This year we have built 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.

Read student feedback from last year (pdf)

We will cover the accommodation costs for Thursday night (shared twin room, same gender) of up to ten students who register for the event.

In addition, we have arranged a greatly reduced rate for all students who wish to attend – £10 conference fee (reduced from £120) for the full programme.  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.

Who’s eligible to apply?

You must be an undergraduate medical student at a Scottish 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?

Just complete the form below – closing date Friday 7th October 2016.  We’ll get back to you a few days after the closing date, either to confirm your success, or to outline other options for accommodation.

Present your vision

We will be featuring a special session on the Friday afternoon of the conference, aimed to bring together students’ and trainees’ “2020” visions 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 will allow us to feature a number of short, snappy presentations of just over 6 minutes, and give students and trainees a podium to share their views on the future of rural practice.  Slides can be 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.

Application Form

All scholarships now allocated.

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RGPAS Scholarships – for students and GPs

2015logopngApplications are invited for a number of scholarships made available by The Rural GP Association of Scotland (RGPAS).  Funded by the RGPAS Educational Trust (which also receives any monies raised through RuralGP.com advertising) the scholarship scheme aims to:

  1. Encourage and enable Scottish students to experience a Rural GP elective in Scotland, and
  2. Support members of RGPAS (GPs and ST Trainees) to attend international conferences, in a bid to promote international collaboration, awareness of Scottish innovations in rural general practice, and to experience the benefits of seeing innovation from across the world.

In April 2016 we awarded three scholarships:

  • James McHugh of Glasgow University, for his student elective on the Isle of Arran
  • James Durbar of Manchester/St Andrews University, for his student elective on Benbecula
  • Dr David Hogg, Rural GP on the Isle of Arran, to attend a rural research symposium being held at Tromso University in Norway, in September

Student (Undergraduate) Scholarships

In 2016 there are three remaining scholarships available, each to a value of £200.

  • This can be used to fund accommodation, travel or other associated costs. Receipts may be requested at the committee’s discretion.
  • The student must be doing their elective at a Scottish rural practice where at least one GP is a member of RGPAS. The student must be at least 20 miles away from their home address.
  • Electives may take place at any time of the year, and be for a minimum of 4 weeks.
  • The student must be an undergraduate medical student from a Scottish university.
  • The student should submit either a 500 word report or a video (of 3 minutes or more) about their experience within 2 months of the end of the elective. They may be asked to present at the next RGPAS conference too, if they are able.
  • Details of successfully awarded scholarships will be made available to RGPAS members, and also via the RuralGP.scot and RuralGP.com websites.

GP Travel Scholarships

In 2016 there are three remaining travel scholarships available. Nominally each of these will be worth £500, however some flexibility may be applied to support applications which require more or less than this amount.

  • The applicant will be a member of RGPAS for at least 3 months prior to application. They will be a GP or a GP Trainee (at any stage of ST training) currently practising in Scotland.
  • RGPAS Committee members are eligible to apply.
  • The recipient should attend a conference in a country other than the UK. There will be a preference for activities that foster new relations with other country/world organisations such as WONCA or rural GP associations.
  • The money may be used for travel, accommodation or locum costs associated with attending a conference, event or experience in rural practice
  • The recipient should submit either a 500 word report or video (of 3 minutes or more) about their experience within 2 months of the end of the travel period. They may be asked to present at the next RGPAS conference too, if they are able.
  • Details of successfully awarded scholarships will be made available to RGPAS members, and also via the RuralGP.scot and RuralGP.com websites.

How to Apply

  • Please read the application pack – available from the link button below – and submit it as instructed.
  • Closing date: Sunday 19th June 2016.
  • The RGPAS committee will meet virtually, to discuss and judge the applications. Their decision will be final. They may decide not to award all available scholarships.

RGPAS is keen to ensure that this investment in future GPs as well as the development of its existing members, will help to generate innovation, collaboration and inspiration across Scottish rural general practice.  We look forward to receiving applications!

Download an Application Pack
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