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Showing posts from May, 2016

Surviving (and hopefully passing) CSA

Dr Ravi Parekh ST3 GP trainee & ACF
Throughout my years in GP VTS training the three letters C, S and A have been hanging over my head like a grey cloud. There seemed to be an incredible hype and fear surrounding the exam with rumours flying around, to the extent that I was surprised on the day to see that the examiners were actually real human beings and not monsters! I thought it might be useful to share some of my experiences in preparing for the exam, and the actual day itself for those who will be sitting the exam in the future. As medics, we are all very familiar with exams and I am sure each candidate understands which revision technique works well for them– so I must emphasise this is my experience and by no means the “right” or “best” way to approach CSA.
Preparation… The most important thing that helped me in preparing for the CSA was practise, practise and more practise. Amongst the ST3s in our VTS we formed a revision group,   initially gathering once a week (after VTS tea…

Imperial College GP Society

A group of enthusiastic students at Imperial College School of Medicine set up a General Practice Society (ICGPS) back in 2014, with the aim of developing and promoting an interest in General Practice amongst medical students of all year groups. 2 years on, we have a rapidly growing society, now with 79 members and almost 300 people subscribed to our mailing list!

Most recently, we held an event entitled ‘Specialist Careers in General Practice,’ on Tuesday 15th March 2016, where we wanted to show medical students the very varied career paths within General Practice. We had 4 very kind and interesting speakers, with incredibly diverse interests – Dr Graham Easton as a medical journalist, Dr Dana Beale with a special interest in working with the homeless, Dr Jasmin Malik who has experience with tropical/wilderness medicine and works as a part time GI endoscopist, and Dr Will Wall as a British Army GP.

If you have any suggestions for further events, or would like ICGPS to advertise rele…

Innovative Education using Medical Humanities - a review of our recent Medical Humanities conference by Helen McGeown

Innovative Education using Medical Humanities

Throughout my medical degree and foundation training, I have had few opportunities to engage in learning styles other than those focused on learning and retaining information. Having fond memories of my A-level English class, where we were encouraged to explore ideas rather than regurgitate facts, I was excited to attend Imperial’s conference on Innovative Education using Medical Humanities.
The conference programme included a diverse range of speakers, including an actor, a music therapist and a sculptor, as well as doctors and medical students with strong interests in medical humanities. Giskin Day, lead for medical humanities teaching at Imperial provided an introduction to the concept of medical humanities as well as facilitating creative activities, my favourite of which was ‘prescription poetry’ (see picture)
Speakers at the conference convincingly argued for the inclusion of medical humanities as a core aspect of all medical curricula…

All Hail Red Whale: reflections on the GP update course

By Maham Stanyon, GPVTS ST2
Do you practise according to guidelines? Can you hand on heart, pen to prescription pad, say that you are up to date with the latest recommendations in managing pre-diabetes, preventing falls in the elderly, and can rattle off the latest NICE cancer guidelines with confidence? Even before you get to the guidance itself, there is the dilemma of which one to read; keeping up to date with NICE, SIGN, Royal College recommendations and various expert panels is a full time job in itself, let alone treating patients, tending to QOF targets, carrying out audits and engaging with eportfolio. Even with 10 minutes per patient, where is the room in our day for browsing the latest updates?
Enter the Red Whale GP update course; a course compiled by practising GPs giving an intelligent focused breakdown of the latest evidence in everything that presents to general practice. During our one-day course, akin to a normal clinic, we went from atrial fibrillation and cows’ milk p…

All Medical Students should go to jail!

by Dr Ros Herbert, Health Inequalities and Medical Education SCM Course Lead (

This was the pitch made to a panel of 'Dragons' at the Society of Academic Primary Care conference in Cambridge recently. Modeled on the popular TV show, Dragons’ Den, a team made up of Giskin Day( Medical humanities Lecturer), medical student Hannah Tullett and myself, tried to persuade the panel to invest in
an innovative new module in health inequalities that has been piloted very successfully at Imperial College.

We argued that not only should medical students go to jail, but also to refugee clinics and homeless shelters – all settings in which practising medicine is particularly challenging. research shows that medical students often become less sympathetic to patients with social deprivation as they go through medical school. This is probably because these patients are most often seen in accident & emergency when problems are acute. Students have little exposure to …

Professor Mala Rao appointed as Vice Chair of NHS Workforce Race Equality Standards Advisory Group

Professor Mala Rao, Senior Clinical Fellow at the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, has been nominated to serve as the Vice Chair of the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standards Advisory Group established by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England and Lord David Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health with responsibility for NHS productivity. Set up with the aim of addressing racism and ethnic inequalities in the NHS workforce, the Group is chaired by Sir Keith Pearson, Chair of Health Education England and includes as its members, all the Chairs of the NHS family of organisations or their representatives. The Group was launched following the publication of two reports in 2014. One highlighted ethnic disparities in senior leadership positions in the NHS, and the other, led by Professor Rao, explored the likely drivers of lower levels of wellbeing in England’s ethnic minority population including in the NHS workforce.