It was an honour to be asked to present at the 4th annual Undergraduate Medical Education Conference (UMEC) at the University of Nottingham on 7th July. It's a great opportunity to see the great work being done to improve the teaching of our students.
I think we were all impressed by the work of WAMS (Widening Access to Medical School) a programme run by medical students in association with work by the university to widen access to students who might otherwise not go to medical school. I was very lucky with the support from home I received; many are not so lucky.
It was great to hear from my fellow podcaster Charley Peal on her work 'Nifty Fifty' giving clinical students a booklet of 50 challenges such as escorting a patient to X-ray to help them orientate and stay on the ward. Or as she and her fellow medical fellow Becca Noble put it ''avoid being a trip hazard''. Not saying I actually caused people to trip up when I was a medical student but I certainly had some near misses.
There was a good discussion about the difficulties of sharing educational resources. This is why I support FOAMed despite its detractors. No paywall; no firewall. The challenge is quality control of course but I've often thought that there's great work going on that just isn't celebrated enough. I've regularly been in conferences and felt it just seems like some institutions are better than others at getting their message out there. There must be reasons at the individual level to explain this but it must also be due to leadership and the culture of an institution.
We also discussed the conundrum at the heart of medical education I feel. Our students want to pass exams. We want them to be safe doctors. It's sad but understandable when in the past I've had to cancel sessions because they're near exams and whilst they'd help the students as doctors I know engagement would be poor if I put it on.
My DREEAM colleague Matt Govan kindly filmed me. It's actually hard to boil a subject down into 7 minutes and it took a lot of practice. Looking at it I hope it shows a progression with using the P3 approach to presentation. The last time I presented I was told I dance about a bit so here I'm routed to the spot by 'anchoring' against the podium.
In my last blog at Das SMACC I mentioned how SMACC has helped change the approach to conferences at this philosophy was evident at UMEC; short presentations, workshops dotted amongst the schedule with social media being used throughout. As someone who attends a lot of conferences it's a great development and one to be continued. Thanks to everyone at the UMEC organising committee.