University of Sussex
2022-Article Text-6541-1-10-20221021.pdf (638.32 kB)

Establishing and promoting an ‘out-of-area’ programme for GP placements as a strategy to expand undergraduate experience in primary care

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posted on 2023-06-10, 04:15 authored by Maxwell CooperMaxwell Cooper, Menaka Jegatheesan, Sangeetha Sornalingam, Harriet Sharp, Carl Fernandes
Recruiting placements in undergraduate general practice is increasingly challenging. Here we describe our experience over the past decade of establishing an out-of-area programme for clinical medical students undertaking a four-week placement in general practice. Out-of-area programmes are run by at least five undergraduate medical schools in England and are founded upon two pillars. First, is the large pool (c60%) of GP practices nationwide not routinely teaching medical students, even for their local school. Through a personal approach (from either the student or via medical school staff contacts) these GPs often prove keen to start teaching, sometimes year on year. Second, is the NHS bursary. This reimburses student expenses (not GP teacher payment) and is eligible to most students in their fifth year of the medical course (or fourth if they have completed an intercalated one year degree). Running a successful out-of-area programme requires preparation/guidance for students, opportunistic outreach (direct approaches by students and engaging alumni and hospital colleagues’ contacts who are GPs), promotion through diverse media (university alumni/staff publications, social media and the school website), offering a range of rotation dates, quality assurance and online meetings/support. Growing the programme requires nurturing of personal relationships with GP teachers and keeping up a database of surgeries offering to teach going forward. Positive feedback helps to ‘sell’ these placements as an exciting ‘elective’ opportunity to students. We have encountered no objection from other medical schools about our programme. Strong administrative support is critical.


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Journal of Medical Education Research




University of Buckingham Press





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