First mini medical school launched

Ever wanted to understand more about the human body and the latest treatments for illnesses without the need to spend five years at med school?

Birmingham University has come up with a solution with the first mini-medical school to be run in the UK.

A series of two-hour sessions over the 10-week course will tackle some of the major topics in medicine in a fun and accessible way, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, psychiatric disorders and communication between doctors and patients.

For more information see Birmingham University

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Health academy launched for better NHS workforce

A health academy has been launched to help the NHS get the best workforce in the West Midlands and enable health workers to get jobs in the sector.

The academy, a partnership between universities and the NHS Trusts in the region, will aim to provide the best advice and guidance on employment within the NHS as well as movement into and between each educational institution for thousands of people.

The Midlands’ Health Academy (MHA) was initially developed through a partnership between Aston University, Heart of Birmingham Teaching Primary Care Trust, Birmingham City University and Matthew Boulton College. It now involves a wide range of employers, Midland universities and organisations including the Learning and Skills Council, Staffordshire University and Keele University.

The Academy will target local schools, colleges and universities to inspire young people to become part of the NHS workforce and will also encourage returners to work from this country and refugees who already have health care experience from their own countries and require additional training. Existing NHS workers will also benefit from the academy by having the opportunity to advance their careers through additional training and guidance.

For more details see Aston University

Medical students could have gaps in knowledge

A rise in the number of patients refusing to take part in medical education could mean that medical students have gaps in their knowledge, experts at Birmingham University Medical School have warned.

The team of experts say medical students will miss out on important opportunities to conduct patient consultations unless more patients are willing to help with training.

Writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics (Vol 34, Issue 2)  the team from the university’s department of Primary Care and General Practice argue that students may be qualifying with gaps in their practical experience.

This has potentially damaging implications for the quality of newly-qualified doctors in the UK.

Currently, patients need to give explicit permission before medical students are allowed to become involved in their treatment or care.

The authors believe that this should be replaced by a system that starts with the idea that there is no reason why students who are competent to do so should not be helping to treat patients.

Associate Professor Nick Ross from the Birmingham team said: “Whilst the personal choice of each patient is of paramount importance, it is not in patients’ interests to see doctors who are not fully competent in a clinical environment.

“We believe that the current system does very little to encourage patients to take part in medical education or to explain the benefits of having a student present during a procedure.”

For more see the University of Birmingham