“Here at Peninsula Medical School at the University of Plymouth, we have introduced a number of changes to the curriculum to promote careers in general practice, improving perceptions of what it’s like to be a GP.
“These include increasing the duration of primary care clinical placements, positive role modelling, by increasing the number of GPs involved in small-group learning and academic tutoring, along with general and specialist training across the spectrum of primary and secondary care (ie GP and specialist).
“We have also designed clinical placements – which is students putting their learning into practice – and special study modules, with the aim of engaging medical students in projects that underpin integrated healthcare and working closely with our NHS partners.
“An example is the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Virtual Clinics project that I led alongside GP, Dr Jonathan Cope. This innovative pilot aims to enhance the quality of ENT care in the community and, over the last two years, our medical students have been closely involved in the planning meetings, design, set up and evaluation. As part of this project, students are also developing evidence-based educational platforms to support primary care practice.
“The University recently secured 55 extra places for medical students based on our commitment to increasing the number of graduates taking up a career in general practice. And as the lines between primary and secondary care become ever more blurred, we continue our commitment.”